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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.
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.”