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1 Greetings from Paul. I was called (chosen) to be an apostle* of Christ Jesus. I was called because that is what God wanted. Greetings also from Sosthenes, our brother [in Christ]. 2To the church of God in Corinth, to those people that have been made holy* in Christ Jesus. You were called to be God's holy people. You were called with all the people everywhere that trust in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ--their Lord and ours: 3Grace (kindness) and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul Gives Thanks to God

4I always thank my God for you because of the grace (kindness) that God has given you through Christ Jesus. 5In Jesus you have been blessed in every way. You have been blessed in all your speaking and all your knowledge. 6The truth about Christ has been proved in you. 7So you have every gift from God while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to come again. 8Jesus will keep you strong always until the end. He will keep you strong, so that there will be no wrong in you on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 9God is faithful. He is the One who has called you to share life with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Problems in the Church at Corinth

10I beg you brothers [and sisters] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I beg that all of you agree with each other, so that there will be no divisions among you. I beg that you be completely joined together by having the same kind of thinking and the same purpose. 11My brothers [and sisters], some people from Chloe's family told me about you. I heard that there are arguments among you. 12This is what I mean: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another person says, "I follow Apollos"; another person says, "I follow Cephas (Peter)"; and another person says, "I follow Christ." 13Christ cannot be divided [into different groups]! Did Paul die on the cross for you? No! Were you baptized* in the name of Paul? No! 14I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. 15I am thankful, because now no one can say that you people were baptized in my name. 16(I also baptized the family of Stephanas. But I don't remember that I myself baptized any others.) 17Christ did not give me the work of baptizing people. Christ gave me the work of telling the Good News.* But Christ sent me to tell the Good News without using words of worldly wisdom. If I used worldly wisdom to tell the Good News, then the cross* of Christ would lose its power.

God's Power and Wisdom in Christ

18The teaching about the cross seems foolish to those people that are lost. But to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19It is written [in the Scriptures*]: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise people. I will make the intelligence of the intelligent people worth nothing." Isaiah 29:14 

20Where is the wise person? Where is the educated person? Where is the philosopher* of this time? God has made the wisdom of the world foolish. 21This is what God with his wisdom wanted: The world did not know God through the world's own wisdom. So God used the message* that sounds foolish to save the people that believe it. 22The Jews ask for miracles* as proofs. The Greeks want wisdom. 23But this is the message we tell everyone: Christ was killed on a cross. This message is a big problem to the Jews. And the non-Jews think it is foolish. 24But Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God to those people that God has called (chosen)--Jews and Greeks (non-Jews). 25Even the foolishness of God is wiser than men. Even the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26Brothers [and sisters], God called (chose) you. Think about that! And not many of you were wise in the way the world judges wisdom. Not many of you had great influence. Not many of you came from important families. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to give shame to the wise people. God chose the weak things of the world to give shame to the strong people. 28And God chose what the world thinks is not important. He chose what the world hates and thinks is nothing. God chose these to destroy what the world thinks is important. 29God did this so that no man can boast before him. 30It is God that has made you part of Christ Jesus. Christ has become wisdom for us from God. Christ is the reason we are right with God and have freedom from sin; Christ is the reason we are holy.* 31So, like the Scripture*: says, "If a person boasts, that person should boast only in the Lord."*

apostle A person Jesus chose to represent him in a special way. holy A holy person is pure and belongs only to God. baptized A Greek word meaning to be immersed, dipped, or buried briefly under water. Good News, message The news that God has made a way for people to have their sins forgiven and live with him forever. cross Paul uses the cross as a picture of the gospel, the story of Christ's death to pay for people's sins. The cross (Christ's death) was God's way to save people. Scriptures Holy Writings--the Old Testament. philosopher A person who studies and talks about his own ideas and the ideas of other people. miracles Amazing works done by God's power. holy A holy person is pure and belongs only to God. "If a person ... Lord" Quote from Jer. 9:24.

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