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1 Corinthians 1

Chapter 1
Paul says ‘Hello’
1This letter is from me, Paul. God chose me to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. That is what he wanted. Our Christian friend Sosthenes is with me here as I write to you.
2I am sending this letter to you, the people of God's church in Corinth. God has made you clean because you belong to Christ Jesus. He has chosen you to be his special people. So, you join together with all people everywhere who worship our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is their Lord, as he is our Lord.
3I pray that God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, will continue to help you. I pray that they will give you peace in your minds.
Paul thanks God
4I always thank God because of you. I thank him because he has been very kind to you. He has helped you like that because you belong to Christ Jesus. 5As a result, God has given you all the things that you need. You are able to speak everything that he wants you to speak. You are able to understand everything that he wants you to know. 6In that way, God has shown you that the message we told you about Christ is true. 7As a result, God has given you every spiritual gift that you need. God has blessed you with those gifts as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to return. 8God will also keep you safe and strong until the end. Then, on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns, you will not be guilty of anything wrong. 9God always does what he has promised to do. He has chosen you to be friends with his Son, Jesus Christ, who is our Lord.
Christians must not quarrel
10My Christian friends, I tell you this with the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Please agree with each other. Do not become separate groups. Be united and think about things in the same way.’
11Some people from Chloe's house have told me news about you. My friends, they say that you are quarrelling among yourselves. 12It happens like this: One of you says, ‘I belong to Paul's group.’ Another person says, ‘I belong to Apollos' group.’ Another person says, ‘I belong to Peter's group.’ And another person says, ‘I belong to Christ's group.’
13You should not speak like that! It seems like you are breaking Christ into several parts. I, Paul, did not die on a cross to save you. When they baptized you, it was not on my behalf. 14I thank God that I myself did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. 15So, none of you can say, ‘I belong to Paul's group because he baptized me.’ 16(Now I remember that I also baptized Stephanas and his family. I cannot remember that I baptized anyone else.) 17Christ did not send me to baptize people. But he did send me to tell God's good news to people. When I speak his message, I do not use clever words that show how wise I am. It is Christ's death on the cross that has power to save people. I do not want to spoil that power with clever words.
Christ's death on the cross
18Some people think that the message about Christ's death on the cross is silly. Those are people who are destroying themselves. But it is different for us, the people that God is saving. The message about the cross shows us God's power to save us.
19It says in the Bible:
‘I, God, will destroy all the clever thoughts of wise people.
I will show that their clever ideas are worth nothing.’ #1:19 See Isaiah 29:14.
20So, the wise people in this world are not really important. The clever teachers of God's Law are not really important. People who know how to argue well are not really important. God has shown that the wise ideas that belong to this world have no value.
21God himself is wise. He has decided that people can not know him just because they are wise in their own way. Instead, God uses the message about Jesus to save people. That message may seem to be silly to some people. But when we tell it to people, God saves them if they believe it.
22 Jewish people want to see God do a miracle. Then they will listen. Gentile people want to listen to a message that has clever ideas. 23But as for us, we tell people about how Christ died on a cross. That is a message that Jewish people refuse to accept as true. Gentile people think that it is a silly message. 24But it is different for us whom God has called to come to him. Some of us are Jews, and some of us are Gentiles. For us, Christ shows God's great power. He shows how wise God is. 25Christ's death on a cross may seem a silly thing for God to do. But really it shows that God is very wise. He is wiser than people with their clever ideas. Christ's death on a cross may seem to show that God is weak. But really he is stronger than any human power.
26Christian friends, remember the time when God called you to come to him. Think about what you were like. Not many of you were clever or powerful in the way that people think is good. Not many of you belonged to important families. 27Instead, God chose to use things that people think are silly. He did this so that clever people would be ashamed. Yes, God chose to use things that people think are weak. He did this so that powerful people would be ashamed. 28God chose to use things that people think are useless. People who belong to this world do not like those things. They think that they have no value. God did this so that the things that seem important would become unimportant.
29Because of all this, nobody can be proud of themselves in front of God. 30It is because of God's work that you now belong to Christ Jesus. As a result of Christ's death on the cross, we share in God's wise plan. Because we belong to Christ, God makes us right with himself. He makes us his own special people. He makes us free from the power of sin.
31Remember what is written in the Bible:
‘If you want to be proud about something,
be proud of what the Lord has done.’ #1:31 See Jeremiah 9:24.
Appeal to Unity
1Paul, called as an apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and our brother #This man may have served as secretary to Paul to record his dictation, and may be the synagogue leader mentioned in Acts 18:17.Sosthenes,
2To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified (set apart, made holy) in Christ Jesus, who are selected and called as saints (God’s people), together with all those who in every place call on and honor the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
3Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4I thank my God always for you because of the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, 5so that in everything you were [exceedingly] enriched in Him, in all speech [empowered by the spiritual gifts] and in all knowledge [with insight into the faith]. 6In this way our testimony about Christ was confirmed and established in you, 7so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift [which comes from the Holy Spirit], as you eagerly wait [with confident trust] for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ [when He returns]. 8And He will also confirm you to the end [keeping you strong and free of any accusation, so that you will be] blameless and beyond reproach in the day [of the return] of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful [He is reliable, trustworthy and ever true to His promise—He can be depended on], and through Him you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
10But I urge you, believers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in full agreement in what you say, and that there be no divisions or factions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your way of thinking and in your judgment [about matters of the faith]. 11For I have been informed about you, my brothers and sisters, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are quarrels and factions among you. 12Now I mean this, that each one of you says, “I am [a disciple] of Paul,” or “I am [a disciple] of Apollos,” or “I am [a disciple] of Cephas (Peter),” or “I am [a disciple] of Christ.” 13Has Christ been divided [into different parts]? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul? [Certainly not!] 14I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one would say that you were baptized into my name. 16Now I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know if I baptized anyone else. 17For Christ did not send me [as an apostle] to baptize, but [commissioned and empowered me] to preach the good news [of salvation]—not with clever and eloquent speech [as an orator], so that the cross of Christ would not be #Paul may be referring to the danger that convincing people to become Christians by the use of clever rhetoric would result in false conversions (cf 2:5).made ineffective [deprived of its saving power].
The Wisdom of God
18For the message of the cross is foolishness [absurd and illogical] to those who are perishing and spiritually dead [because they reject it], but to us who are being saved [by God’s grace] it is [the manifestation of] the power of God. 19For it is written and forever remains written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise [the philosophy of the philosophers],
And the cleverness of the clever [who do not know Me] I will nullify.”
20Where is the wise man (philosopher)? Where is the scribe (scholar)? Where is the debater (logician, orator) of this age? Has God not exposed the foolishness of this world’s wisdom? 21For since the world through all its [earthly] wisdom failed to recognize God, God in His wisdom was well-pleased through the #The straightforward message of salvation seemed foolish to unbelievers.foolishness of the message preached [regarding salvation] to save those who believe [in Christ and welcome Him as Savior]. 22For Jews demand signs (attesting miracles), and Greeks pursue [worldly] wisdom and philosophy, 23but we preach Christ crucified, [a message which is] to Jews a stumbling block [that provokes their opposition], and to Gentiles foolishness [just utter nonsense], 24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles), Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25[This is] because the foolishness of God [is not foolishness at all and] is wiser than men [far beyond human comprehension], and the weakness of God is stronger than men [far beyond the limits of human effort].
26Just look at your own calling, believers; not many [of you were considered] wise according to human standards, not many powerful or influential, not many of high and noble birth. 27But God has selected [for His purpose] the foolish things of the world to shame the wise [revealing their ignorance], and God has selected [for His purpose] the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong [revealing their frailty]. 28God has selected [for His purpose] the insignificant (base) things of the world, and the things that are despised and treated with contempt, [even] the things that are nothing, so that He might reduce to nothing the things that are, 29so that no one may [be able to] boast in the presence of God. 30But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God [revealing His plan of salvation], and righteousness [making us acceptable to God], and sanctification [making us holy and setting us apart for God], and redemption [providing our ransom from the penalty for sin], 31so then, as it is written [in Scripture], “He who boasts and glories, let him boast and glory in the Lord.”