1 Corinthians 1
GOD’S WORD Translation
1 From Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and from Sosthenes, our brother in the Christian faith.
2 To 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.
3 Good will [a] and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are yours!
4 I always thank God for you because Christ Jesus has shown you God’s good will. 5 Through Christ Jesus you have become rich in every way—in speech and knowledge of every kind. 6 Our message about Christ has been verified among you. 7 Therefore, you don’t lack any gift as you wait eagerly for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He 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. 9 God 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
10 Brothers 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. 11 Brothers and sisters, some people from Chloe’s family have made it clear to me that you are quarreling among yourselves. 12 This is what I mean: Each of you is saying, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” [b] or “I follow Christ.” 13 Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in Paul’s name? 14 I thank God that [c] I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius 15 so that no one can say you were baptized in my name. 16 I also baptized Stephanas and his family. Beyond that, I’m not sure whether I baptized anyone else. 17 Christ 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.
18 The message about the cross is nonsense to those who are being destroyed, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved. 19 Scripture says,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise.
I will reject the intelligence of intelligent people.”
20 Where 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? 21 The 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. 22 Jews ask for miraculous signs, and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but our message is that Christ was crucified. This offends Jewish people and makes no sense to people who are not Jewish. 24 But to those Jews and Greeks who are called, he is Christ, God’s power and God’s wisdom. 25 God’s nonsense is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
26 Brothers 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. 27 But 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. 28 God 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. 29 As a result, no one can brag in God’s presence. 30 You 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. 31 As Scripture says, “Whoever brags must brag about what the Lord has done.”