1 Corinthians 1 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
1 Greetings from Paul. I was chosen to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. God chose me because that is what he wanted. Greetings also from Sosthenes, our brother in Christ.
2 To God’s church in Corinth, you who have been made holy because you belong to Christ Jesus. You were chosen to be God’s holy people together with all people everywhere who trust in the Lord[a] Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours.
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul Gives Thanks to God
4 I always thank my God for you because of the grace that he has given you through Christ Jesus. 5 In him you have been blessed in every way. You have been blessed in all your speaking and all your knowledge. 6 This proves that what we told you about Christ is true. 7 Now you have every gift from God while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to come again. 8 He will keep you strong until the end so that on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes, you will be free from all blame. 9 God is faithful. He is the one who has chosen you to share life with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Stop Arguing With Each Other
10 Brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, I beg all of you to agree with each other. You should not be divided into different groups. Be completely joined together again with the same kind of thinking and the same purpose.
11 My brothers and sisters, some members of Chloe’s family told me that there are arguments among you. 12 This is what I mean: One of you says, “I follow Paul,” and someone else says, “I follow Apollos.” Another says, “I follow Peter,”[b] and someone else says, “I follow Christ.” 13 Christ cannot be divided into different groups. It wasn’t Paul who died on the cross for you, was it? Were you baptized in Paul’s name? 14 I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. 15 I am thankful because now no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I also baptized the family of Stephanas, but I don’t remember that I myself baptized any others.) 17 Christ did not give me the work of baptizing people. He gave me the work of telling the Good News. But he sent me to tell the Good News without using clever speech, which would take away the power that is in the cross[c] of Christ.
God’s Power and Wisdom in Christ Jesus
18 The teaching about the cross seems foolish to those who are lost. But to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise.
20 So what does this say about the philosopher, the law expert, or anyone in this world who is skilled in making clever arguments? God has made the wisdom of the world look foolish. 21 This is what God in his wisdom decided: Since the world did not find him through its own wisdom, he used the message that sounds foolish to save those who believe it.
22 The Jews ask for miraculous signs, and the Greeks want wisdom. 23 But this is the message we tell everyone: Christ was killed on a cross. This message is a problem for Jews, and to other people it is nonsense. 24 But Christ is God’s power and wisdom to the people God has chosen, both Jews and Greeks. 25 Even the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom. Even the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26 Brothers and sisters, God chose you to be his. Think about that! Not many of you were wise in the way the world judges wisdom. Not many of you had great influence, and not many of you came from important families. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. He chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 And God chose what the world thinks is not important—what the world hates and thinks is nothing. He chose these to destroy what the world thinks is important. 29 God did this so that no one can stand before him and boast about anything. 30 It is God who has made you part of Christ Jesus. And Christ has become for us wisdom from God. He is the reason we are right with God and pure enough to be in his presence. Christ is the one who set us free from sin. 31 So, as the Scriptures say, “Whoever boasts should boast only about the Lord.”[d]