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From Paul, chosen by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from Sosthenes, who is also a follower.

To 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.

My prayer is that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!

I never stop thanking my God for being kind enough to give you Christ Jesus, who helps you speak and understand so well. Now you are certain that everything we told you about our Lord Christ Jesus is true. You are not missing out on any blessings, as you wait for him to return. And until the day Christ does return, he will keep you completely innocent. God can be trusted, and he chose you to be partners with his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Taking Sides

10 My 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. 11 Several people from Chloe’s family[a] have already reported to me that you keep arguing with each other. 12 They have said that some of you claim to follow me, while others claim to follow Apollos or Peter[b] or Christ.

13 Has Christ been divided up? Was I nailed to a cross for you? Were you baptized in my name? 14 I thank God[c] that I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. 15 Not one of you can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 I did baptize the family[d] of Stephanas, but I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else. 17 Christ 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

18 The 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. 19 As God says in the Scriptures,

“I will destroy the wisdom
of all who claim
    to be wise.
I will confuse those
who think they know
    so much.”

20 What 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? 21 God 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. 22 Jews ask for miracles, and Greeks want something that sounds wise. 23 But we preach that Christ was nailed to a cross. Most Jews have problems with this, and most Gentiles think it is foolish. 24 Our message is God’s power and wisdom for the Jews and the Greeks that he has chosen. 25 Even when God is foolish, he is wiser than everyone else, and even when God is weak, he is stronger than everyone else.

26 My 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. 27 But 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.

28 What the world thinks is worthless, useless, and nothing at all is what God has used to destroy what the world considers important. 29 God did all this to keep anyone from bragging to him. 30 You are God’s children. He sent Christ Jesus to save us and to make us wise, acceptable, and holy. 31 So if you want to brag, do what the Scriptures say and brag about the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. 1.11 family: Family members and possibly slaves and others who may have lived in the house.
  2. 1.12 Peter: The Greek text has “Cephas,” which is an Aramaic name meaning “rock.” Peter is the Greek name with the same meaning.
  3. 1.14 I thank God: Some manuscripts have “I thank my God.”
  4. 1.16 family: See the note at 1.11.

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