The Message

1 Corinthians 1

11-2 I, Paul, have been called and sent by Jesus, the Messiah, according to God’s plan, along with my friend Sosthenes. I send this letter to you in God’s church at Corinth, believers cleaned up by Jesus and set apart for a God-filled life. I include in my greeting all who call out to Jesus, wherever they live. He’s their Master as well as ours!

May all the gifts and benefits that come from God our Father, and the Master, Jesus Christ, be yours.

4-6 Every time I think of you—and I think of you often!—I thank God for your lives of free and open access to God, given by Jesus. There’s no end to what has happened in you—it’s beyond speech, beyond knowledge. The evidence of Christ has been clearly verified in your lives.

7-9 Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that.

The Cross: The Irony of God’s Wisdom

10 I have a serious concern to bring up with you, my friends, using the authority of Jesus, our Master. I’ll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common.

11-12 I bring this up because some from Chloe’s family brought a most disturbing report to my attention—that you’re fighting among yourselves! I’ll tell you exactly what I was told: You’re all picking sides, going around saying, “I’m on Paul’s side,” or “I’m for Apollos,” or “Peter is my man,” or “I’m in the Messiah group.”

13-16 I ask you, “Has the Messiah been chopped up in little pieces so we can each have a relic all our own? Was Paul crucified for you? Was a single one of you baptized in Paul’s name?” I was not involved with any of your baptisms—except for Crispus and Gaius—and on getting this report, I’m sure glad I wasn’t. At least no one can go around saying he was baptized in my name. (Come to think of it, I also baptized Stephanas’s family, but as far as I can recall, that’s it.)

17 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.

18-21 The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written,

I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots.

So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.

22-25 While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s “weakness.”

26-31 Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Simplified)

哥林多前书 1


1我是按上帝旨意蒙召做基督耶稣使徒的保罗,同所提尼弟兄, 写信给在哥林多的上帝的教会,就是在基督耶稣里得以圣洁、蒙召做圣徒的,以及各地求告我们主耶稣基督之名的人。基督是他们的主,也是我们的主。



我常常为你们感谢我的上帝,因为祂在基督耶稣里赐给了你们恩典, 使你们在基督里凡事富足,有全备的口才和知识。 这样,我为基督所做的见证就在你们身上得到了证实。 因此,你们在殷切等候我们主耶稣基督再来的期间,并不缺少任何属灵的恩赐。 我们的主耶稣基督必扶持你们到底,使你们在祂再来的日子无可指责。 上帝是信实的,祂呼召你们是要你们与祂的儿子——我们的主耶稣基督相交。


10 亲爱的弟兄姊妹,我奉主耶稣基督的名劝你们,要同心合意,不可结党纷争,要团结一致, 11 因为革来家的人把各位弟兄姊妹的事情告诉了我,说你们中间有纷争。 12 我的意思是你们有人说:“我是跟随保罗的”,有人说:“我是跟随亚波罗的”,有人说:“我是跟随彼得的”,有人说:“我是跟随基督的”。 13 难道基督是分成几派的吗?替你们钉十字架的是保罗吗?你们是奉保罗的名受洗的吗?

14 感谢上帝,除了基利司布和该犹以外,我没有为你们任何人施洗, 15 所以没有人能说是奉我的名受洗的。 16 不错,我也曾为司提法纳的家人施洗,除此以外,我不记得还为谁施洗了。 17 基督不是差遣我去为人施洗,而是去传扬福音,而且不用高言大智,免得基督十字架的能力被抹杀。


18 因为十字架之道在将要灭亡的人看来是愚昧的,但对我们这些得救的人来说却是上帝的大能, 19 正如圣经上说:“我要摧毁智者的智慧,废弃明哲的聪明。”

20 这个世代所谓的智者、学者、雄辩家在哪里?上帝岂不是把这世上的智慧都变成愚昧了吗? 21 上帝运用自己的智慧不让世人凭自己的智慧去认识祂,祂乐意采用世人看为愚昧的道理去拯救那些相信的人,这就是上帝的智慧。

22 犹太人要看神迹,希腊人寻求智慧, 23 但我们传讲被钉十字架的基督。这对犹太人来说是绊脚石,对外族人来说是愚昧的。 24 但对于蒙召的人,无论是犹太人还是希腊人,基督是上帝的能力、上帝的智慧。 25 因为上帝的“愚昧”也胜过世人的智慧,上帝的“软弱”也胜过世人的刚强。

26 弟兄姊妹,想想你们蒙召时的情形。按人的标准来衡量,你们当中称得上有智慧的不多,有能力的不多,出身名门望族的也不多。 27 但上帝拣选了世人看为愚昧的,要使智者羞愧;上帝拣选了世上软弱的,要使强者蒙羞; 28 上帝拣选了世上卑贱的、被藐视的和无足轻重的,要使世人看为举足轻重的变得无足轻重。 29 这样,谁都不能在上帝面前自夸了。

30 上帝使你们活在基督耶稣里,祂使基督耶稣成为我们的智慧、公义、圣洁和救赎。 31 所以,正如圣经上说:“要夸耀,就当夸耀主的作为。”