1 Corinthians 1Living Bible (TLB)
1 From: Paul, chosen by God to be Jesus Christ’s missionary, and from brother Sosthenes.
2 To: The Christians in Corinth, invited by God to be his people and made acceptable to him by Christ Jesus.[a] And to: All Christians everywhere—whoever calls upon the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and theirs.
3 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you all of his blessings, and great peace of heart and mind.
4 I can never stop thanking God for all the wonderful gifts he has given you, now that you are Christ’s: 5 he has enriched your whole life. He has helped you speak out for him and has given you a full understanding of the truth; 6 what I told you Christ could do for you has happened! 7 Now you have every grace and blessing; every spiritual gift and power for doing his will are yours during this time of waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 And he guarantees right up to the end that you will be counted free from all sin and guilt on that day when he returns. 9 God will surely do this for you, for he always does just what he says, and he is the one who invited you into this wonderful friendship with his Son, even Christ our Lord.
10 But, dear brothers, I beg you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to stop arguing among yourselves. Let there be real harmony so that there won’t be splits in the church. I plead with you to be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 11 For some of those who live at Chloe’s house have told me of your arguments and quarrels, dear brothers. 12 Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul”; and others say that they are for Apollos or for Peter; and some that they alone are the true followers of Christ. 13 And so, in effect, you have broken Christ into many pieces.
But did I, Paul, die for your sins? Were any of you baptized in my name? 14 I am so thankful now that I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. 15 For now no one can think that I have been trying to start something new, beginning a “Church of Paul.” 16 Oh, yes, and I baptized the family of Stephanas. I don’t remember ever baptizing anyone else. 17 For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel; and even my preaching sounds poor, for I do not fill my sermons with profound words and high-sounding ideas, for fear of diluting the mighty power there is in the simple message of the cross of Christ.
18 I know very well how foolish it sounds to those who are lost,[b] when they hear that Jesus died to save them. But we who are saved* recognize this message as the very power of God. 19 For God says, “I will destroy all human plans of salvation no matter how wise they seem to be, and ignore the best ideas of men, even the most brilliant of them.”
20 So what about these wise men, these scholars, these brilliant debaters of this world’s great affairs? God has made them all look foolish and shown their wisdom to be useless nonsense. 21 For God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never find God through human brilliance, and then he stepped in and saved all those who believed his message, which the world calls foolish and silly. 22 It seems foolish to the Jews because they want a sign from heaven as proof that what is preached is true; and it is foolish to the Gentiles because they believe only what agrees with their philosophy and seems wise to them. 23 So when we preach about Christ dying to save them, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. 24 But God has opened the eyes of those called to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, to see that Christ is the mighty power of God to save them; Christ himself is the center of God’s wise plan for their salvation. 25 This so-called “foolish” plan of God is far wiser than the wisest plan of the wisest man, and God in his weakness—Christ dying on the cross—is far stronger than any man.
26 Notice among yourselves, dear brothers, that few of you who follow Christ have big names or power or wealth. 27 Instead, God has deliberately chosen to use ideas the world considers foolish and of little worth in order to shame those people considered by the world as wise and great. 28 He has chosen a plan despised by the world, counted as nothing at all, and used it to bring down to nothing those the world considers great, 29 so that no one anywhere can ever brag in the presence of God.
30 For it is from God alone that you have your life through Christ Jesus. He showed us God’s plan of salvation; he was the one who made us acceptable to God; he made us pure and holy[c] and gave himself to purchase our salvation.* 31 As it says in the Scriptures, “If anyone is going to boast, let him boast only of what the Lord has done.”