Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,
To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ--their Lord and ours:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.
For in him you have been enriched in every way--in all your speaking and in all your knowledge--
because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.
Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.
He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.
What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas "; still another, "I follow Christ."
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?
I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius,
so no one can say that you were baptized into my name.
(Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.)
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel--not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are,
so that no one may boast before him.
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power,
so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.
None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"--
but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:
"For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly--mere infants in Christ.
I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?
For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men?
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe--as the Lord has assigned to each his task.
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.
For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,
his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work.
If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.
If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?
If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness";
and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile."
So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours,
whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future--all are yours,
and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.