1Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 3Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
4I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; 15Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. 16And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. 17For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
18For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
1I, Paul, am writing this letter. I have been chosen to be an apostle of Christ Jesus just as God planned. Our brother Sosthenes joins me in writing.
2We are sending this letter to you, the members of God’s church in Corinth. You have been made holy because you belong to Christ Jesus. God has chosen you to be his holy people. He has done the same for all people everywhere who pray to our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is their Lord and ours.
3May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Paul Gives Thanks
4I always thank my God for you. I thank him because of the grace he has given to you who belong to Christ Jesus. 5You have been blessed in every way because of him. You have been blessed in all your speech and knowledge. 6God has shown that what we have spoken to you about Christ is true. 7There is no gift of the Holy Spirit that you don’t have. You are full of hope as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to come again. 8God will also keep you strong in faith to the very end. Then you will be without blame on the day our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 9God is faithful. He has chosen you to share life with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Taking Sides in the Church
10Brothers and sisters, I make my appeal to you. I do this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I ask that all of you agree with one another in what you say. I ask that you don’t take sides. I ask that you are in complete agreement in all that you think. 11My brothers and sisters, I have been told you are arguing with one another. Some people from Chloe’s house have told me this. 12Here is what I mean. One of you says, “I follow Paul.” Another says, “I follow Apollos.” Another says, “I follow Peter.” And still another says, “I follow Christ.”
13Does Christ take sides? Did Paul die on the cross for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. 15No one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16It’s true that I also baptized those who live in the house of Stephanas. Besides that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else. 17Christ did not send me to baptize. He sent me to preach the good news. He commanded me not to preach with wisdom and fancy words. That would take all the power away from the cross of Christ.
Christ Is God’s Power and Wisdom
18The message of the cross seems foolish to those who are lost and dying. But it is God’s power to us who are being saved. 19It is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of those who are wise.
I will do away with the cleverness of those who think they are so smart.” (Isaiah 29:14)
20Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where are the great thinkers of our time? Hasn’t God made the wisdom of the world foolish? 21God wisely planned that the world would not know him through its own wisdom. It pleased God to use the foolish things we preach to save those who believe. 22Jews require signs. Greeks look for wisdom. 23But we preach about Christ and his death on the cross. That is very hard for Jews to accept. And everyone else thinks it’s foolish. 24But there are those God has chosen, both Jews and Greeks. To them Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom. 25The foolish things of God are wiser than human wisdom. The weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when God chose you. Not many of you were considered wise by human standards. Not many of you were powerful. Not many of you belonged to important families. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28God chose the things of this world that are common and looked down on. God chose things considered unimportant to do away with things considered important. 29So no one can boast to God. 30Because of what God has done, you belong to Christ Jesus. He has become God’s wisdom for us. He makes us right with God. He makes us holy and sets us free. 31It is written, “The one who boasts should boast about what the Lord has done.” (Jeremiah 9:24)