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1 Corinthians 1

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1This letter comes from Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ according to the will of God, and from Sosthenes, our brother. 2It is sent to the church of God in Corinth, those who are being made right in Christ Jesus, called to live holy lives—and to everyone who worships the Lord Jesus Christ everywhere, the Lord both of them and of us.
3May you have grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4I'm always thanking God for you because of the grace of God given to you in Christ Jesus. 5Through him you have been made rich in everything, in all that you say and every aspect of what you know. 6In fact the testimony of Christ was proved valid in your experience, 7so that you're not missing any spiritual gift as you wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8He will also keep you strong to the very end, so you will be kept right until the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is trustworthy who called you to share together in fellowship with his son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10Brothers and sisters, I plead with you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you all agree and that you're not divided. Instead develop a united attitude and purpose. 11For I have been told things about you, my brothers and sisters, by some of Chloe's people—that you are quarreling among yourselves. 12Let me explain what I mean. You're all making different claims: “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow Christ.” 13Is Christ divided? Did Paul die on a cross for you? Was it in the name of Paul that you were baptized?
14I'm grateful to God that I didn't baptize any of you, except Crispus and Gaius, 15so nobody can claim they were baptized in my name. 16(Oh, and I also baptized the Stephanas family—I can't think of anyone else.) 17For Christ didn't send me out to baptize, but to spread the good news, and not with eloquent human wisdom, otherwise the cross of Christ would be made powerless.#1:17. Or “ineffectual.” Literally, “emptied.”
18For the message of the cross is nonsense to those who are lost, but it's the power of God to those of us who are saved. 19As Scripture says, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will wipe out the cleverness of the clever.”#1:19. Probably referencing Isaiah 29:14.
20So how about the wise, the writers, and the philosophers of this age? Hasn't God turned the wisdom of this world into foolishness? 21Since God in his wisdom allowed the world in its wisdom not to know God, it was God's gracious plan that by the foolishness of the good news those who trusted in him would be saved. 22The Jews ask for miraculous signs, and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but our message is of Christ killed on a cross—offensive to the Jews, and foolishness to the foreigners. 24However, for those who are called by God, both Jews and foreigners, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than we are; and the weakness of God is stronger than we are.
26Brothers and sisters, remember your calling—and that this did not include many who are wise, humanly speaking; not many who are powerful; not many who are important. 27Instead God chose the things the world considers foolish to humiliate those who think they are wise. He chose the things the world considers weak to humiliate those who think they are strong. 28He chose the things that are unimportant and despised by the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,#1:28. This complicated verse is really saying that God uses things and people not viewed as important by this world to demonstrate what really is important. 29so that nobody should boast in God's presence.
30It's because of him that you live in Christ Jesus, who God made to be wisdom for us. He sets us right, keeps us right, and frees us. 31So as Scripture says, “Whoever wants to boast, let them boast in the Lord.”#1:31. Referencing Jeremiah 9:23.
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1From Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes.
2To the members of God’s church in Corinth. You have been made holy in Christ Jesus, and you’ve been called to be his holy people together with all those everywhere who pray to our Lord Jesus Christ, who 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 because of the grace he has given you in Christ Jesus. 5Through him God has enriched you in every way, in speech and in knowledge, 6so you’ve been able to recognize that what we told you about Christ is true. 7You have every gift of the Holy Spirit as you wait eagerly for our Lord Jesus Christ to return. 8God will keep you strong to the very end, so that you will be blameless on the day he returns. 9God is faithful, and he has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Report About Arguments
10I ask all of you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree with one another and not argue. Look and think about things in the same way. 11My brothers and sisters, I say this because some people from Chloe’s family have told me that you’re arguing with one another. 12Here’s 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.”
13Is Christ divided? 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, 15so that no one can say they were baptized in my name. 16(Oh, right, I also baptized Stephanas and those in his house. I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17Christ didn’t send me to baptize; he sent me to preach the good news. But I wasn’t supposed to try to persuade you with fancy words, because 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. But to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. 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’re so smart.”
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 wouldn’t be able to understand him through its own wisdom. Instead, God was happy to use the foolish things we preach to save those who believe. 22Jews want to see signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach about Christ and his death on the cross. That’s very hard for Jews to accept, and Gentiles think it’s foolish. 24But to everyone God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom. 25The foolish things of God are wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when God called you. Not many of you were considered wise by human standards. Not many of you were influential. Not many of you came from 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 which are looked down on as if they were nothing, in order to discredit the things that are considered significant. 29That way no one can brag to God about who or what they are. 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 he sets us free. 31It is written, “The one who boasts should boast about what the Lord has done.”