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1 Corinthians 1

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1 PAUL, SUMMONED by the will and purpose of God to be an apostle (special messenger) of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes,
2 To the church (assembly) of God which is in Corinth, to those consecrated and purified and made holy in Christ Jesus, [who are] selected and called to be saints (God's people), together with all those who in any place call upon and give honor to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
3 Grace (favor and spiritual blessing) be to you and [heart] peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God at all times for you because of the grace (the favor and spiritual blessing) of God which was bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
5 [So] that in Him in every respect you were enriched, in full power and readiness of speech [to speak of your faith] and complete knowledge and illumination [to give you full insight into its meaning].
6 In this way [our] witnessing concerning Christ (the Messiah) was so confirmed and established and made sure in you
7 That you are not [consciously] falling behind or lacking in any special spiritual endowment or Christian grace [the reception of which is due to the power of divine grace operating in your souls by the Holy Spirit], while you wait and watch [constantly living in hope] for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and [His] being made visible to all.
8 And He will establish you to the end [keep you steadfast, give you strength, and guarantee your vindication; He will be your warrant against all accusation or indictment so that you will be] guiltless and irreproachable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
9 God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
10 But I urge and entreat you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in perfect harmony and full agreement in what you say, and that there be no dissensions or factions or divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your common understanding and in your opinions and judgments.
11 For it has been made clear to me, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions and wrangling and factions among you.
12 What I mean is this, that each one of you [either] says, I belong to Paul, or I belong to Apollos, or I belong to Cephas (Peter), or I belong to Christ.
13 Is Christ (the Messiah) divided into parts? Was Paul crucified on behalf of you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul?
14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius,
15 Lest anyone should say that I baptized in my own name.
16 [Yes] I did baptize the household of Stephanas also. More than these, I do not remember that I baptized anyone.
17 For Christ (the Messiah) sent me out not to baptize but [to evangelize by] preaching the glad tidings (the Gospel), and that not with verbal eloquence, lest the cross of Christ should be deprived of force and emptied of its power and rendered vain (fruitless, void of value, and of no effect).
18 For the story and message of the cross is sheer absurdity and folly to those who are perishing and on their way to perdition, but to us who are being saved it is the [manifestation of] the power of God.
19 For it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learning of the learned and the philosophy of the philosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify [them] and bring [them] to nothing. [Isa. 29:14.]
20 Where is the wise man (the philosopher)? Where is the scribe (the scholar)? Where is the investigator (the logician, the debater) of this present time and age? Has not God shown up the nonsense and the folly of this world's wisdom?
21 For when the world with all its earthly wisdom failed to perceive and recognize and know God by means of its own philosophy, God in His wisdom was pleased through the foolishness of preaching [salvation, procured by Christ and to be had through Him], to save those who believed (who clung to and trusted in and relied on Him).
22 For while Jews [demandingly] ask for signs and miracles and Greeks pursue philosophy and wisdom,
23 We preach Christ (the Messiah) crucified, [preaching which] to the Jews is a scandal and an offensive stumbling block [that springs a snare or trap], and to the Gentiles it is absurd and utterly unphilosophical nonsense.
24 But to those who are called, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile), Christ [is] the Power of God and the Wisdom of God.
25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men.
26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth.
27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame.
28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,
29 So that no mortal man should [have pretense for glorying and] boast in the presence of God.
30 But it is from Him that you have your life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our Wisdom from God, [revealed to us a knowledge of the divine plan of salvation previously hidden, manifesting itself as] our Righteousness [thus making us upright and putting us in right standing with God], and our Consecration [making us pure and holy], and our Redemption [providing our ransom from eternal penalty for sin].
31 So then, as it is written, Let him who boasts and proudly rejoices and glories, boast and proudly rejoice and glory in the Lord. [Jer. 9:24.]
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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.”