For Christ did not send me [as an apostle] to baptize, but [commissioned and empowered me] to preach the good news [of salvation]—not with clever and eloquent speech [as an orator], so that the cross of Christ would not be made ineffective [deprived of its saving power].
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).
For the Messiah did not send me to immerse but to proclaim the Good News — and to do it without relying on “wisdom” that consists of mere rhetoric, so as not to rob the Messiah’s execution-stake of its power.
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 of Christ.
[L For] Christ did not send me to baptize people but to preach the ·Good News [Gospel], and not using ·words of human wisdom [or eloquent language; clever speech] so that the cross of Christ [C the message of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross] would not ·lose its power [or become meaningless; L be emptied].
Christ did not send me to baptize. He sent me to tell the Good News, and to tell it without using the language of human wisdom, in order to make sure that Christ's death on the cross is not robbed of its power.
Christ did not give me the work of baptizing people. He gave me the work of preaching the Good News, and he sent me to preach the Good News without using words of worldly wisdom. If I used worldly wisdom to tell the Good News, the cross of Christ would lose its power.
It makes me thankful that I didn’t actually baptise any of you (except Crispus and Gaius), or perhaps someone would be saying I did it in my own name. (Oh yes, I did baptise Stephanas’ family, but I can’t remember anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to see how many I could baptise, but to proclaim the Gospel. And I have not done this by the persuasiveness of clever words, for I have no desire to rob the cross of its power.
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.
God didn’t send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what he has done, collecting a following for him. And he didn’t send me to do it with a lot of fancy rhetoric of my own, lest the powerful action at the center—Christ on the Cross—be trivialized into mere words.
For Moshiach did not send me to give Moshiach’s tevilah in the mikveh mayim, but to preach the Besuras HaGeulah, not by means of the lomdes (cleverness, erudition) of the rhetoric of Bnei Adam, lest the gevurah (power) of HaEtz HaKelalat Hashem (the Tree of the Curse of G-d—Dt 21:23) of Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach be buttel (cancelled out).
For the Anointed One has sent me on a mission, not to see how many I could baptize, but to proclaim the good news. And I declare this message stripped of all philosophical arguments that empty the cross of its true power. For I trust in the all-sufficient cross of Christ alone.
The mission given to me by the Anointed One is not about baptism, but about preaching good news. The point is not to impress others by spinning an eloquent, intellectual argument; that type of rhetorical showboating would only nullify the cross of the Anointed.
Christ did not send me to baptize people, but he sent me to tell the good news. I must not tell it with the clever words of this world. That would not show what the death of Christ on a cross truly means.
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