1 1 Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the purpose of God, and Sosthenes the brother, 2 To the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who have been made holy in Christ Jesus, saints by the selection of God, with all those who in every place give honour to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving for Spiritual Gifts
4 I give praise to my God for you at all times, because of the grace of God which has been given to you in Christ Jesus; 5 So that in him you have wealth in all things, in word and in knowledge of every sort; 6 Even as the witness of the Christ has been made certain among you: 7 So that having every grace you are living in the hope of the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ; 8 Who will give you strength to the end, to be free from all sin in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is true, through whom you have been given a part with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Divisions in the Church
10 Now I make request to you, my brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you will all say the same thing, and that there may be no divisions among you, so that you may be in complete agreement, in the same mind and in the same opinion. 11 Because it has come to my knowledge, through those of the house of Chloe, that there are divisions among you, my brothers. 12 That is, that some of you say, I am of Paul; some say, I am of Apollos; some say, I am of Cephas; and some say, I am Christ's. 13 Is there a division in Christ? was Paul nailed to the cross for you? or were you given baptism in the name of Paul?
14 I give praise to God that not one of you had baptism from me, but Crispus and Gaius; 15 So that no one may be able to say that you had baptism in my name. 16 And I gave baptism to the house of Stephanas; but I am not certain that any others had baptism from me.
17 For Christ sent me, not to give baptism, but to be a preacher of the good news: not with wise words, for fear that the cross of Christ might be made of no value.
Christ the Power and Wisdom of God
18 For the word of the cross seems foolish to those who are on the way to destruction; but to us who are on the way to salvation it is the power of God. 19 As it says in the holy Writings, I will put an end to the wisdom of the wise, and will put on one side the designs of those who have knowledge. 20 Where is the wise? where is he who has knowledge of the law? where is the man of this world who has a love of discussion? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For because, by the purpose of God, the world, with all its wisdom, had not the knowledge of God, it was God's pleasure, by so foolish a thing as preaching, to give salvation to those who had faith in him. 22 Seeing that the Jews make request for signs, and the Greeks are looking for knowledge: 23 But we give the good news of Christ on the cross, a hard thing to the Jews, and a foolish thing to the Gentiles; 24 But to those of God's selection, Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power and the wisdom of God. 25 Because what seems foolish in God is wiser than men; and what seems feeble in God is stronger than men. 26 For you see God's design for you, my brothers, that he has not taken a great number of the wise after the flesh, not the strong, not the noble: 27 But God made selection of the foolish things of this world so that he might put the wise to shame; and the feeble things that he might put to shame the strong; 28 And the low things of the world, and the things without honour, did God make selection of, yes, even the things which are not, so that he might make as nothing the things which are: 29 So that no flesh might have glory before God. 30 But God has given you a place in Christ Jesus, through whom God has given us wisdom and righteousness and salvation, and made us holy: 31 So that, as it is said in the holy Writings, Whoever has a desire for glory, let his glory be in the Lord.
Proclaiming Christ Crucified
2 1 And when I came to you, my brothers, I did not come with wise words of knowledge, putting before you the secret of God. 2 For I had made the decision to have knowledge of nothing among you but only of Jesus Christ on the cross. 3 And I was with you without strength, in fear and in doubt. 4 And in my preaching there were no honeyed words of wisdom, but I was dependent on the power of the Spirit to make it clear to you: 5 So that your faith might be based not on man's wisdom but on the power of God.
The Revelation by God's Spirit
6 But still we have wisdom for those who are complete in knowledge, though not the wisdom of this world, and not of the rulers of this world, who are coming to nothing: 7 But we give the news of the secret wisdom of God, which he had kept in store before the world came into existence, for our glory; 8 Of which not one of the rulers of this world had knowledge: for if they had, they would not have put the Lord of glory on the cross: 9 But as it says in the holy Writings, Things which the eye saw not, and which had not come to the ears or into the heart of man, such things as God has made ready for those who have love for him. 10 But God has given us the revelation of these things through his Spirit, for the Spirit makes search into all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who has knowledge of the things of a man but the spirit of the man which is in him? in the same way, no one has knowledge of the things of God but the Spirit of God. 12 But we have not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which comes from God, so that we may have knowledge of the things which are freely given to us by God. 13 And these are the things which we say, not in the language of man's wisdom, but in words given to us by the Spirit, judging the things of the spirit by the help of the Spirit. 14 For the natural man is not able to take in the things of the Spirit of God: for they seem foolish to him, and he is not able to have knowledge of them, because such knowledge comes only through the Spirit. 15 But he who has the Spirit, though judging all things, is himself judged by no one. 16 For who has knowledge of the mind of the Lord, so as to be his teacher? But we have the mind of Christ.
Laborers Together with God
3 1 And the teaching I gave you, my brothers, was such as I was able to give, not to those who have the Spirit, but to those who are still in the flesh, even to children in Christ. 2 I gave you milk and not meat, because you were, then, unable to take it, and even now you are not able; 3 Because you are still in the flesh: for when there is envy and division among you, are you not still walking after the way of the flesh, even as natural men? 4 For when one says, I am of Paul; and another says, I am of Apollos; are you not talking like natural men?
5 What then is Apollos? and what is Paul? They are but servants who gave you the good news as God gave it to them. 6 I did the planting, Apollos did the watering, but God gave the increase. 7 So then the planter is nothing, and the waterer is nothing; but God who gives the increase. 8 Now the planter and the waterer are working for the same end: but they will have their separate rewards in the measure of their work. 9 For we are workers with God: you are God's planting, God's building. 10 In the measure of the grace given to me, I, as a wise master-builder, have put the base in position, and another goes on building on it. But let every man take care what he puts on it.
11 For there is no other base for the building but that which has been put down, which is Jesus Christ. 12 But on the base a man may put gold, silver, stones of great price, wood, dry grass, cut stems; 13 Every man's work will be made clear in that day, because it will be tested by fire; and the fire itself will make clear the quality of every man's work. 14 If any man's work comes through the test, he will have a reward. 15 If the fire puts an end to any man's work, it will be his loss: but he will get salvation himself, though as by fire.
16 Do you not see that you are God's holy house, and that the Spirit of God has his place in you? 17 If anyone makes the house of God unclean, God will put an end to him; for the house of God is holy, and you are his house.
18 Let no man have a false idea. If any man seems to himself to be wise among you, let him become foolish, so that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolish before God. As it is said in the holy Writings, He who takes the wise in their secret designs: 20 And again, The Lord has knowledge of the reasonings of the wise, that they are nothing.
21 So let no one take pride in men. For all things are yours; 22 Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23 And you are Christ's; and Christ is God's.
The Ministry of the Apostles
4 1 Let us be judged as servants of Christ, and as those who are responsible for the secret things of God. 2 And it is right for such servants to be safe persons. 3 But it is a small thing to me that I am judged by you or by man's judging; I am not even a judge of myself. 4 For I am not conscious of any wrong in myself; but this does not make me clear, for it is the Lord who is my judge. 5 For this reason let there be no judging before the time, till the Lord comes, who will make clear the secret things of the dark, and the designs of the heart; and then will every man have his praise from God. 6 My brothers, it is because of you that I have taken Apollos and myself as examples of these things, so that in us you might see that it is not wise to go farther than what is in the holy Writings, so that no one of you may be lifted up against his brother.
7 For who made you better than your brother? or what have you that has not been given to you? but if it has been given to you, what cause have you for pride, as if it had not been given to you? 8 For even now you are full, even now you have wealth, you have been made kings without us: truly, I would be glad if you were kings, so that we might be kings with you. 9 For it seems to me that God has put us the Apostles last of all, as men whose fate is death: for we are put on view to the world, and to angels, and to men. 10 We are made to seem foolish for Christ, but you are wise in Christ; we are feeble, but you are strong; you have glory, but we have shame. 11 Even to this hour we are without food, drink, and clothing, we are given blows and have no certain resting-place; 12 And with our hands we do the hardest work: when they give us curses we give blessings, when we undergo punishment we take it quietly; 13 When evil things are said about us we give gentle answers: we are made as the unclean things of the world, as that for which no one has any use, even till now.
14 I am not saying these things to put you to shame, but so that, as my dear children, you may see what is right. 15 For even if you had ten thousand teachers in Christ, you have not more than one father: for in Christ Jesus I have given birth to you through the good news. 16 So my desire is that you take me as your example.
17 For this cause I have sent Timothy to you, who is my dear and true child in the Lord; he will make clear to you my ways in Christ, even as I am teaching everywhere in every church. 18 Now some are full of pride, as if I was not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you in a short time, if it is pleasing to the Lord, and I will take note, not of the word of those who are full of pride, but of the power. 20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power. 21 What is your desire? is my coming to be with punishment, or is it to be in love and a gentle spirit?