1 Corinthians 1; 1 Corinthians 2; 1 Corinthians 3; 1 Corinthians 4

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1 Corinthians 1

1 From Paul. God called me to be an apostle of Christ Jesus because that is what God wanted. Also from Sosthenes, ourbrother in Christ.
2 To the church of God in Corinth, to you who have been made holy in Christ Jesus. You were called to be God's holy people with all people everywhere who pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ -- their Lord and ours:
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I always thank my God for you because of the grace God has given you in Christ Jesus.
5 I thank God because in Christ you have been made rich in every way, in all your speaking and in all your knowledge.
6 Just as our witness about Christ has been guaranteed to you,
7 so you have every gift from God while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to come again.
8 Jesus will keep you strong until the end so that there will be no wrong in you on the day our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.
9 God, who has called you to share everything with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
10 I beg you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that all of you agree with each other and not be split into groups. I beg that you be completely joined together by having the same kind of thinking and the same purpose.
11 My brothers and sisters, some people from Chloe's family have told me quite plainly that there are quarrels among you.
12 This is what I mean: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another says, "I follow Apollos"; another says, "I follow Peter"; and another says, "I follow Christ."
13 Christ has been divided up into different groups! Did Paul die on the cross for you? No! Were you baptized in the name of Paul? No!
14 I thank God I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius
15 so that now no one can say you were baptized in my name.
16 (I also baptized the family of Stephanas, but I do not remember that I baptized anyone else.)
17 Christ did not send me to baptize people but to preach the Good News. And he sent me to preach the Good News without using words of human wisdom so that the crossn of Christ would not lose its power.
18 The teaching about the cross is foolishness to those who are being lost, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19 It is written in the Scriptures: "I will cause the wise men to lose their wisdom; I will make the wise men unable to understand."
20 Where is the wise person? Where is the educated person? Where is the skilled talker of this world? God has made the wisdom of the world foolish.
21 In the wisdom of God the world did not know God through its own wisdom. So God chose to use the message that sounds foolish to save those who believe.
22 The Jews ask for miracles, and the Greeks want wisdom.
23 But we preach a crucified Christ. This is a big problem to the Jews, and it is foolishness to those who are not Jews.
24 But Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God to those people God has called -- Jews and Greeks.
25 Even the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26 Brothers and sisters, look at what you were when God called you. 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.
27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and he chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
28 He chose what the world thinks is unimportant and what the world looks down on and thinks is nothing in order to destroy what the world thinks is important.
29 God did this so that no one can brag in his presence.
30 Because of God you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God. In Christ we are put right with God, and have been made holy, and have been set free from sin.
31 So, as the Scripture says, "If someone wants to brag, he should brag only about the Lord."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Corinthians 2

1 Dear brothers and sisters, when I came to you, I did not come preach- ing God's secret with fancy words or a show of human wisdom.
2 I decided that while I was with you I would forget about everything except Jesus Christ and his death on the cross.
3 So when I came to you, I was weak and fearful and trembling.
4 My teaching and preaching were not with words of human wisdom that persuade people but with proof of the power that the Spirit gives.
5 This was so that your faith would be in God's power and not in human wisdom.
6 However, I speak a wisdom to those who are mature. But this wisdom is not from this world or from the rulers of this world, who are losing their power.
7 I speak God's secret wisdom, which he has kept hidden. Before the world began, God planned this wisdom for our glory.
8 None of the rulers of this world understood it. If they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written in the Scriptures: "No one has ever seen this, and no one has ever heard about it. No one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love him."
10 But God has shown us these things through the Spirit. The Spirit searches out all things, even the deep secrets of God.
11 Who knows the thoughts that another person has? Only a person's spirit that lives within him knows his thoughts. It is the same with God. No one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
12 Now we did not receive the spirit of the world, but we received the Spirit that is from God so that we can know all that God has given us.
13 And we speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom but with words taught us by the Spirit. And so we explain spiritual truths to spiritual people.
14 A person who does not have the Spirit does not accept the truths that come from the Spirit of God. That person thinks they are foolish and cannot understand them, because they can only be judged to be true by the Spirit.
15 The spiritual person is able to judge all things, but no one can judge him. The Scripture says:
16 "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Who has been able to teach him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Corinthians 3

1 Brothers and sisters, in the past I could not talk to you as I talk to spir- itual people. I had to talk to you as I would to people without the Spirit -- babies in Christ.
2 The teaching I gave you was like milk, not solid food, because you were not able to take solid food. And even now you are not ready.
3 You are still not spiritual, because there is jealousy and quarreling among you, and this shows that you are not spiritual. You are acting like people of the world.
4 One of you says, "I belong to Paul," and another says, "I belong to Apollos." When you say things like this, you are acting like people of the world.
5 Is Apollos important? No! Is Paul important? No! We are only servants of God who helped you believe. Each one of us did the work God gave us to do.
6 I planted the seed, and Apollos watered it. But God is the One who made it grow.
7 So the one who plants is not important, and the one who waters is not important. Only God, who makes things grow, is important.
8 The one who plants and the one who waters have the same purpose, and each will be rewarded for his own work.
9 We are God's workers, working together; you are like God's farm, God's house.
10 Using the gift God gave me, I laid the foundation of that house like an expert builder. Others are building on that foundation, but all peo- ple should be careful how they build on it.
11 The foundation that has already been laid is Jesus Christ, and no one can lay down any other foundation.
12 But if people build on that foundation, using gold, silver, jewels, wood, grass, or straw,
13 their work will be clearly seen, because the Day of Judgmentn will make it visible. That Day will appear with fire, and the fire will test everyone's work to show what sort of work it was.
14 If the building that has been put on the foundation still stands, the builder will get a reward.
15 But if the building is burned up, the builder will suffer loss. The builder will be saved, but it will be as one who escaped from a fire.
16 Don't you know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?
17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person, because God's temple is holy and you are that temple.
18 Do not fool yourselves. If you think you are wise in this world, you should become a fool so that you can become truly wise,
19 because the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. It is written in the Scriptures, "He catches those who are wise in their own clever traps."
20 It is also written in the Scriptures, "The Lord knows what wise people think. He knows their thoughts are just a puff of wind."
21 So you should not brag about human leaders. All things belong to you:
22 Paul, Apollos, and Peter; the world, life, death, the present, and the future -- all these belong to you.
23 And you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Corinthians 4

1 People should think of us as servants of Christ, the ones God has trusted with his secrets.
2 Now in this way those who are trusted with something valuable must show they are worthy of that trust.
3 As for myself, I do not care if I am judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself.
4 I know of no wrong I have done, but this does not make me right before the Lord. The Lord is the One who judges me.
5 So do not judge before the right time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light things that are now hidden in darkness, and will make known the secret purposes of people's hearts. Then God will praise each one of them.
6 Brothers and sisters, I have used Apollos and myself as examples so you could learn through us the meaning of the saying, "Follow only what is written in the Scriptures." Then you will not be more proud of one person than another.
7 Who says you are better than others? What do you have that was not given to you? And if it was given to you, why do you brag as if you did not receive it as a gift?
8 You think you already have everything you need. You think you are rich. You think you have become kings without us. I wish you really were kings so we could be kings together with you.
9 But it seems to me that God has put us apostles in last place, like those sentenced to die. We are like a show for the whole world to see -- angels and people.
10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are very wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You receive honor, but we are shamed.
11 Even to this very hour we do not have enough to eat or drink or to wear. We are often beaten, and we have no homes in which to live.
12 We work hard with our own hands for our food. When people curse us, we bless them. When they hurt us, we put up with it.
13 When they tell evil lies about us, we speak nice words about them. Even today, we are treated as though we were the garbage of the world -- the filth of the earth.
14 I am not trying to make you feel ashamed. I am writing this to give you a warning as my own dear children.
15 For though you may have ten thousand teachers in Christ, you do not have many fathers. Through the Good News I became your father in Christ Jesus,
16 so I beg you, please follow my example.
17 That is why I am sending to you Timothy, my son in the Lord. I love Timothy, and he is faithful. He will help you remember my way of life in Christ Jesus, just as I teach it in all the churches everywhere.
18 Some of you have become proud, thinking that I will not come to you again.
19 But I will come to you very soon if the Lord wishes. Then I will know what the proud ones do, not what they say,
20 because the kingdom of God is present not in talk but in power.
21 Which do you want: that I come to you with punishment or with love and gentleness?
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.