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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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Greeting
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.”