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)
4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， 5使你们在基督里凡事富足，有全备的口才和知识。 6这样，我为基督所做的见证就在你们身上得到了证实。 7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。 8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。 9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。
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。