1 Corinthians 1:1-3
(1) From Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ by God’s will, and our brother Sosthenes. (2) To church of God in the city of Corinth, to those sanctified in Jesus Christ and called to be his holy people, together with all believers everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—the Lord of us all! (3) May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ bless you with grace and peace.
Thanksgiving and Spiritual Gifts
1 Corinthians 1:4-9
(4) I always thank my God for you because of the grace given you in Jesus Christ. (5) For in him you have been enriched with spiritual blessings in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge. (6) Through these spiritual gifts, God has confirmed our message about Christ among you. (7) Therefore, you do not lack any gift of the Holy Spirit as you eagerly wait for the revelation (second coming) of our Lord Jesus Christ. (8) He will also keep you strong and secure to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day (second coming) of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) God is faithful! He has called you into fellowship (relationship) with his Son—Jesus Christ our Lord!
The Church Divisions in Corinth
1 Corinthians 1:10-17
(10) My brothers and sisters, I exhort you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say so that there will be no divisions among you, but that you might be fully united in mind and purpose.
(11) For, my brothers and sisters, some people from Chloe’s household have told me that there are divisions among you, (12) because one claims, “I follow Paul”; another claims, “I follow Apollos”; another claims, “I follow Peter”; and still another, “I follow Christ.”
(13) Christ can’t be divided! Paul did not die on the cross for you. You weren’t water-baptized in the name of Paul. (14) I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, (15) so that no one can claim that he was baptized in my name. (16) Yes, I also baptized Stephanas’ household, but beyond that I don’t remember baptizing anyone else. (17) For Christ sent me to Corinth (see Acts 18:1-7) to declare the gospel (good news) of God, not to baptize people. But I did not preach the gospel with human wisdom and eloquent speech (learned rhetorical techniques), so that the cross of Christ would not be emptied of its power.
The Message of the Cross
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
(18) For the message of the cross is foolishness (nonsense) to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (19) For as it is written in Isaiah 29:14, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise. I will reject the intelligence of the intelligent.”
(20) Where is the wise Greek philosopher? Where is the Jewish teacher of the law of Moses? Where is the wise debater of this age? God has made foolish the wisdom of this world. (21) For God, in his wisdom, has not allowed people to know him through the world’s wisdom. Instead, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached (the cross) to save those who believe. (22) Jews demand miraculous signs (miracles) and non-Jews search for human wisdom, (23) but we preach Christ crucified. The cross is a stumbling block (a scandal) to Jews and foolishness (nonsense) to non-Jews, (24) but to those whom God has called—both Jews and non-Jews—Christ alone is the power and wisdom of God. (25) For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
Jesus is the Wisdom of God
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
(26) My brothers and sisters, remember what you were when God called you. Very few of you were wise by human standards (according to the flesh); very few of you held influential positions in society; and very few of you were born into noble, important families. (27) But God chose the foolish things in this world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things in this world to shame the strong. (28) God chose the lowly and despised things in this world—even things that are considered worthless—to bring to nothing the things that are praised in this world. (29) God did this so that no one could boast in pride before him. (30) It is because of God that you are in Jesus Christ, who has become for us God’s wisdom—that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. (31) Therefore, as it is written in Jeremiah 9:24, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”