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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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Paul's greeting and prayer
1From Paul, chosen by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from Sosthenes, who is also a follower.
2To God's church in Corinth. Christ Jesus chose you to be his very own people, and you worship in his name, as we and all others do who call him Lord.#Ac 18.1.
3My prayer is that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!
4I never stop thanking my God for being kind enough to give you Christ Jesus, 5who helps you speak and understand so well. 6Now you are certain that everything we told you about our Lord Christ Jesus is true. 7You are not missing out on any blessings, as you wait for him to return. 8And until the day Christ does return, he will keep you completely innocent. 9God can be trusted, and he chose you to be partners with his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
A call for unity
Taking sides
10My dear friends, as a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, I beg you to get along with each other. Don't take sides. Always try to agree in what you think. 11Several people from Chloe's family#1.11 family: Family members and possibly slaves and others who may have lived in the house. have already reported to me that you keep arguing with each other. 12They have said that some of you claim to follow me, while others claim to follow Apollos or Peter#1.12 Peter: The Greek text has “Cephas”, which is an Aramaic name meaning “rock”. Peter is the Greek name with the same meaning. or Christ.#Ac 18.24.
13Has Christ been divided up? Was I nailed to a cross for you? Were you baptized in my name? 14I thank God#1.14 I thank God: Some manuscripts have “I thank my God”. that I didn't baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius.#Ac 18.8; Ac 19.29; Ro 16.23. 15Not one of you can say that you were baptized in my name. 16I did baptize the family#1.16 family: See the note at 1.11. of Stephanas, but I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.#1 Co 16.15. 17Christ did not send me to baptize. He sent me to tell the good news without using big words that would make the cross of Christ lose its power.
Christ is God's power and wisdom
18The message about the cross doesn't make any sense to lost people. But for those of us who are being saved, it is God's power at work. 19As God says in the Scriptures,#Is 29.14 (LXX).
“I will destroy the wisdom
of all who claim
to be wise.
I will confuse those
who think they know
so much.”
20What happened to those wise people? What happened to those experts in the Scriptures? What happened to the ones who think they have all the answers? Didn't God show that the wisdom of this world is foolish?#Job 12.17; Is 19.12; 33.18; Is 44.25. 21God was wise and decided not to let the people of this world use their wisdom to learn about him.
Instead, God chose to save only those who believe the foolish message we preach. 22Jews ask for miracles, and Greeks want something that sounds wise. 23But we preach that Christ was nailed to a cross. Most Jews have problems with this, and most Gentiles think it is foolish. 24Our message is God's power and wisdom for the Jews and the Greeks that he has chosen. 25Even when God is foolish, he is wiser than everyone else, and even when God is weak, he is stronger than everyone else.
26My dear friends, remember what you were when God chose you. The people of this world didn't think that many of you were wise. Only a few of you were in places of power, and not many of you came from important families. 27But God chose the foolish things of this world to put the wise to shame. He chose the weak things of this world to put the powerful to shame.
28What the world thinks is worthless, useless, and nothing at all is what God has used to destroy what the world considers important. 29God did all this to keep anyone from boasting to him. 30You are God's children. He sent Christ Jesus to save us and to make us wise, acceptable, and holy. 31So if you want to boast, do what the Scriptures say and boast about the Lord.#Jr 9.24.