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1 Corinthians 1

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1I, Paul, am writing this letter. I have been chosen to be an apostle of Christ Jesus just as God planned. Our brother Sosthenes joins me in writing.
2We are sending this letter to you, the members of God’s church in Corinth. You have been made holy because you belong to Christ Jesus. God has chosen you to be his holy people. He has done the same for all people everywhere who pray to our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is their Lord and ours.
3May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Paul Gives Thanks
4I always thank my God for you. I thank him because of the grace he has given to you who belong to Christ Jesus. 5You have been blessed in every way because of him. You have been blessed in all your speech and knowledge. 6God has shown that what we have spoken to you about Christ is true. 7There is no gift of the Holy Spirit that you don’t have. You are full of hope as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to come again. 8God will also keep you strong in faith to the very end. Then you will be without blame on the day our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 9God is faithful. He has chosen you to share life with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Taking Sides in the Church
10Brothers and sisters, I make my appeal to you. I do this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I ask that all of you agree with one another in what you say. I ask that you don’t take sides. I ask that you are in complete agreement in all that you think. 11My brothers and sisters, I have been told you are arguing with one another. Some people from Chloe’s house have told me this. 12Here is what I mean. One of you says, “I follow Paul.” Another says, “I follow Apollos.” Another says, “I follow Peter.” And still another says, “I follow Christ.”
13Does Christ take sides? Did Paul die on the cross for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. 15No one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16It’s true that I also baptized those who live in the house of Stephanas. Besides that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else. 17Christ did not send me to baptize. He sent me to preach the good news. He commanded me not to preach with wisdom and fancy words. That would take all the power away from the cross of Christ.
Christ Is God’s Power and Wisdom
18The message of the cross seems foolish to those who are lost and dying. But it is God’s power to us who are being saved. 19It is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of those who are wise.
I will do away with the cleverness of those who think they are so smart.” (Isaiah 29:14)
20Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where are the great thinkers of our time? Hasn’t God made the wisdom of the world foolish? 21God wisely planned that the world would not know him through its own wisdom. It pleased God to use the foolish things we preach to save those who believe. 22Jews require signs. Greeks look for wisdom. 23But we preach about Christ and his death on the cross. That is very hard for Jews to accept. And everyone else thinks it’s foolish. 24But there are those God has chosen, both Jews and Greeks. To them Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom. 25The foolish things of God are wiser than human wisdom. The weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when God chose you. Not many of you were considered wise by human standards. Not many of you were powerful. Not many of you belonged to important families. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28God chose the things of this world that are common and looked down on. God chose things considered unimportant to do away with things considered important. 29So no one can boast to God. 30Because of what God has done, you belong to Christ Jesus. He has become God’s wisdom for us. He makes us right with God. He makes us holy and sets us free. 31It is written, “The one who boasts should boast about what the Lord has done.” (Jeremiah 9:24)
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Greeting
1From Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and from Sosthenes, our brother in the Christian faith.
2To God’s church that was made holy by Christ Jesus and called to be God’s holy people in the city of Corinth and to people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
3Good will  #1:3 Or “Grace.” and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are yours!
4I always thank God for you because Christ Jesus has shown you God’s good will. 5Through Christ Jesus you have become rich in every way—in speech and knowledge of every kind. 6Our message about Christ has been verified among you. 7Therefore, you don’t lack any gift as you wait eagerly for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8He will continue to give you strength until the end so that no one can accuse you of anything on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God faithfully keeps his promises. He called you to be partners with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
God’s Wisdom Is Better Than the World’s Wisdom
10Brothers and sisters, I encourage all of you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to agree with each other and not to split into opposing groups. I want you to be united in your understanding and opinions. 11Brothers and sisters, some people from Chloe’s family have made it clear to me that you are quarreling among yourselves. 12This is what I mean: Each of you is saying, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,”  #1:12 Cephas is the Aramaic name for the Apostle Peter. or “I follow Christ.” 13Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in Paul’s name? 14I thank God that  #1:14 A few of the older manuscripts read “I am thankful that.” I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius 15so that no one can say you were baptized in my name. 16I also baptized Stephanas and his family. Beyond that, I’m not sure whether I baptized anyone else. 17Christ didn’t send me to baptize. Instead, he sent me to spread the Good News. I didn’t use intellectual arguments. That would have made the cross of Christ lose its meaning.
18The message about the cross is nonsense to those who are being destroyed, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved. 19Scripture says,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise.
I will reject the intelligence of intelligent people.”
20Where is the wise person? Where is the scholar? Where is the persuasive speaker of our time? Hasn’t God turned the wisdom of the world into nonsense? 21The world with its wisdom was unable to recognize God in terms of his own wisdom. So God decided to use the nonsense of the Good News we speak to save those who believe. 22Jews ask for miraculous signs, and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but our message is that Christ was crucified. This offends Jewish people and makes no sense to people who are not Jewish. 24But to those Jews and Greeks who are called, he is Christ, God’s power and God’s wisdom. 25God’s nonsense is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
26Brothers and sisters, consider what you were when God called you to be Christians. Not many of you were wise from a human point of view. You were not in powerful positions or in the upper social classes. 27But God chose what the world considers nonsense to put wise people to shame. God chose what the world considers weak to put what is strong to shame. 28God chose what the world considers ordinary and what it despises—what it considers to be nothing—in order to destroy what it considers to be something. 29As a result, no one can brag in God’s presence. 30You are partners with Christ Jesus because of God. Jesus has become our wisdom sent from God, our approval, our holiness, and our ransom from sin. 31As Scripture says, “Whoever brags must brag about what the Lord has done.”