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1 Corinthians 1

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1I am Paul, and this letter is from me. God wanted me to go and tell people about Jesus Christ, so he picked me to be his special worker. And Sosthenes is here with me. He is our Christian friend, and he is helping me write this letter.
2I’m sending this letter to you Christians there in Corinth city. God picked you to be his own special people, and he joined you to Jesus Christ. You are in God’s family now, along with everyone that says to Jesus, “You are my leader.” He is their leader, and he is our leader too.#Acts 18:1
3I’m asking God our father, and Jesus Christ our leader, to be good to you, and to make you feel happy and quiet inside yourselves.
God gives his people lots of good things
4I always thank God for you mob. You belong to Jesus Christ now, and God is really good to you.
5Yes, Jesus Christ gave you everything you need. He lets you know a lot of things, and he gives you the power to tell God’s message to people. 6That shows that the message we told you about Jesus Christ is true. 7You really want our leader, Jesus Christ, to come back from heaven, and while you are waiting for him, you have all the spiritual power that he gives us to do his work. 8God will keep you believing properly in our leader Jesus Christ, and you will stay strong for him until the day when he will come back from heaven. At that time, nobody will be able to blame you or say that you did anything wrong. 9God picked you to be a friend of his son, our leader Jesus Christ. And you can trust God, he will keep you strong for Jesus.
Don’t split up to follow different Christian leaders
10My Christian friends, our leader Jesus Christ wants me to say this to you. All you Christians have to agree with each other and stay together. Don’t split up. Please think the same way as each other, and agree together about the right way to follow Jesus.
11You see, my friends, some of Chloe’s mob told me what is going on there in Corinth. They reckon that you are arguing too much with each other and you are splitting into different groups. 12They reckon some of you say, “Paul is our leader,” and others say, “That other man, Apollos, he is our leader,” and others say, “No, not them. Our leader is Peter,” and others say, “Jesus Christ is our leader.”#Acts 18:24
13Listen, that’s not right. Don’t split up into groups like that. If you do that, it’s like you are splitting up Jesus Christ. Stop and think about it. Did I, Paul, die for you on a cross? No way. And when Christian leaders baptised you, when they took you through that special washing ceremony, did they baptise you to show that you belonged to me, Paul? No way. 14-15I thank God that I only baptised a few of you, so, none of you can say, “Paul baptised me, so he is my leader.” I only baptised Crispus and Guyus.#Acts 18:8; 19:29; Romans 16:23 16And I just remembered, I baptised Stefanas and his family too. But I can’t remember baptising anyone else.#1 Corinthians 16:15 17You see, Jesus Christ didn’t send me to baptise people. He sent me to tell the good news to people, that Jesus died for them. That message is powerful. God didn’t send me to say smart words to people. That sort of talk is useless. People might just think about my smart words, and not listen to God, and so they will not hear God’s powerful good news.
God shows his power in the message about Jesus
18We tell everybody the message that Jesus died on a cross to save them. Some people hear that message and think it is stupid. Those people’s spirits are finishing up, and they are lost. But other people hear that message and think it is good. You are like that mob, and so are we. We know that message is from God. It tells us that he is using his power to save us. 19It is like God says in his book,
“People might think they are smart, and they might reckon they know everything,
but God shows them that they are not wise, and he will stop them from doing what they are thinking about.”#Isaiah 29:14
20So what does that tell us about the smart people in this world? And what about those people that reckon they properly know the Jewish law? And what about those people that can talk really good, so that they win arguments? None of them get to know God. They leave God out. They don’t think about him, and in the end God shows us that they are all stupid.#Job 12:17; Isaiah 19:12; 33:18; 44:25 21You see, God is properly wise. He knows that most people in this world want to be smart and think up their own ideas about God. But he blocks them, so they will never get to know him that way. Instead, God is happy to save everybody that believes his message. And we tell you that message, even though other people think we are stupid.
22You see, the Jewish people want to see God do something powerful, and then they reckon they will believe him. And other people that are not Jews, they just want to hear about smart ideas. 23But we are not like those people. We tell people about Jesus Christ, and we tell them that he died for them on the cross. The Jewish people can’t understand that. It isn’t what they want, so they don’t believe it. And the other people that are not Jews, they reckon it is stupid, so they don’t believe it. 24But we are different. God has picked us to save us. Some of us are Jews and some of us are not Jews, but when we listen to that message about Jesus Christ it is a powerful message for us. We believe it and God saves us. And we know that God is really wise because he sent Jesus to save us. 25People might reckon that is a stupid thing for God to do, but God’s way is better than the best idea any person ever had. And people might reckon that God is weak, they might reckon that he just let his son die. But they are wrong. God did that to show us that he is stronger than anyone else.
26My Christian friends, remember what you were like before God picked you. Most of you were not the smart sort of people. Most of you were not powerful people. Most of you didn’t belong to important families. 27You see, people in this world reckon you are stupid, but God picked you anyway. He did that to show that those smart people are wrong, and they have to feel shame. Yes, God picked the weak people in this world to show that the powerful people are useless, so they have to feel shame. 28And God picked people from this world that are not great, and people that are like nothing, so that in the end, those other people that reckon they are great, they will become like nothing. 29God does that so that nobody can ever get up in front of God and say, “I’m really good. I’m better than other people.”
30But as for you, God joined you to Jesus Christ. You and us together, Jesus helps us to be wise, like God. And Jesus makes us to be God’s friends, so that he will tell us we are all right. And Jesus makes us God’s own special people too. Jesus died to pay for us and set us free from everything that is wrong. 31So we have to talk the way God tells us to. He says this in his book,
“If you want to talk about great things, don’t talk about yourself,
but talk about God, and tell everyone about the great things that he does.”#Jeremiah 9:24
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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.”