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

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1 Corinthians 1

1 I, Paul, am writing this letter. I have been chosen to be an apostle of Christ Jesus just as God planned. Our brother Sosthenes joins me in writing.
2 We are sending this letter to you, the members of God's church in Corinth. You have been made holy because you belong to Christ Jesus. God has chosen you to be his holy people. He has done the same for all those everywhere who pray to our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is their Lord and ours.
3 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
4 I always thank God for you. I thank him because of the grace he has given to you who belong to Christ Jesus.
5 You have been blessed in every way because of him. All your teaching of the truth is better. Your understanding of it is more complete.
6 Our witness about Christ has been proved to be true in you.
7 There is no gift of the Holy Spirit that you don't have. You are full of hope as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to come again.
8 God will keep you strong to the very end. Then you will be without blame on the day our Lord Jesus Christ returns.
9 God is faithful. He has chosen you to share life with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
10 Brothers and sisters, I ask all of you to agree with one another. I make my appeal in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then you won't take sides. You will be in complete agreement in all that you think.
11 My brothers and sisters, some people who live in Chloe's house have told me you are arguing with each other.
12 Here is what I mean. One of you says, "I follow Paul." Another says, "I follow Apollos." Another says, "I follow Peter." And still another says, "I follow Christ."
13 Does Christ take sides? Did Paul die on the cross for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?
14 I'm thankful that I didn't baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius.
15 No one can say that you were baptized in my name.
16 It's true that I also baptized those who live in the house of Stephanas. Besides that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.
17 Christ did not send me to baptize. He sent me to preach the good news. He commanded me not to use the kind of wisdom that people commonly use. That would take all the power away from the cross of Christ.
18 The message of the cross seems foolish to those who are lost and dying. But it is God's power to us who are being saved.
19 It is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of those who are wise. I will do away with the cleverness of those who think they are so smart." (Isaiah 29:14)
20 Where is the wise person? Where is the educated person? Where are the great thinkers of this world? Hasn't God made the wisdom of the world foolish?
21 God wisely planned that the world would not know him through its own wisdom. It pleased God to use the foolish things we preach to save those who believe.
22 Jews require miraculous signs. Greeks look for wisdom.
23 But we preach about Christ and his death on the cross. That is very hard for Jews to accept. And everyone else thinks it's foolish.
24 But there are those God has chosen, both Jews and others. To them Christ is God's power and God's wisdom.
25 The foolish things of God are wiser than human wisdom. The weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when God chose you. Not many of you were considered wise by human standards. Not many of you were powerful. Not many of you belonged to important families.
27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. He chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
28 God chose the things of this world that are common and looked down on. He chose what is not considered to be important to do away with what is considered to be important.
29 So no one can brag to God.
30 Because of what God has done, you belong to Christ Jesus. He has become God's wisdom for us. He makes us right with God. He makes us holy and sets us free.
31 It is written, "The one who brags should brag about what the Lord has done."(Jeremiah 9:24)
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

1 Corinthians 2

1 Brothers and sisters, when I came to you I didn't come with fancy words or great wisdom. I preached to you the truth about God's love.
2 I made up my mind to pay attention to only one thing while I was with you. That one thing was Jesus Christ and his death on the cross.
3 When I came to you, I was weak and afraid and trembling all over.
4 I didn't preach my message with clever and compelling words. As I preached, the Holy Spirit showed his power.
5 That was so you would believe not because of human wisdom but because of God's power.
6 The words we speak to those who have grown in the faith are wise. Our words are different from the words of the wise people or rulers of this world. People like that aren't going anywhere.
7 No, we speak about God's secret wisdom. His wisdom has been hidden. But before time began, God planned that his wisdom would bring us heavenly glory.
8 None of the rulers of this world understood God's wisdom. If they had, they would not have nailed the Lord of glory to the cross.
9 It is written, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has known what God has prepared for those who love him." (Isaiah 64:4)
10 But God has shown it to us through his Spirit. The Spirit understands all things. He understands even the deep things of God.
11 Who can know the thoughts of another person? Only a person's own spirit can know them. In the same way, only the Spirit of God knows God's thoughts.
12 We have not received the spirit of the world. We have received the Spirit who is from God. The Spirit helps us understand what God has freely given us.
13 That is what we speak about. We don't use words taught to us by people. We use words taught to us by the Holy Spirit. We use the words of the Spirit to teach the truths of the Spirit.
14 Some people don't have the Holy Spirit. They don't accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. Things like that are foolish to them. They can't understand them. In fact, such things can't be understood without the Spirit's help.
15 Everyone who has the Spirit can judge all things. But no one can judge those who have the Spirit. It is written,
16 "Who can ever know what is in the Lord's mind? Can anyone ever teach him?" (Isaiah 40:13) But we have the mind of Christ.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

1 Corinthians 3

1 Brothers and sisters, I couldn't speak to you as if you were guided by the Holy Spirit. I had to speak to you as if you were following the ways of the world. You aren't growing as Christ wants you to. You are still like babies.
2 The words I spoke to you were like milk, not like solid food. You weren't ready for solid food yet. And you still aren't ready for it.
3 You are still following the ways of the world. Some of you are jealous. Some of you argue. So aren't you following the ways of the world? Aren't you acting like ordinary human beings?
4 One of you says, "I follow Paul." Another says, "I follow Apollos." Aren't you acting like ordinary human beings?
5 After all, what is Apollos? And what is Paul? We are only people who serve. We helped you to believe. The Lord has given each of us our own work to do.
6 I planted the seed. Apollos watered it. But God made it grow.
7 So the one who plants is not important. The one who waters is not important. It is God who makes things grow. He is the One who is important.
8 The one who plants and the one who waters have the same purpose. The Lord will give each of us a reward for our work.
9 We work together with God. You are like God's field. You are like his building.
10 God has given me the grace to lay a foundation as a master builder. Now someone else is building on it. But each one should build carefully.
11 No one can lay any other foundation than the one that has already been laid. That foundation is Jesus Christ.
12 A person may build on it using gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay or straw.
13 But each person's work will be shown for what it is. On judgment day it will be brought to light. It will be put through fire. The fire will test how good everyone's work is.
14 If the building doesn't burn up, God will give the builder a reward for his work.
15 If the building burns up, the builder will lose everything. The builder will be saved, but only like one escaping through the flames.
16 Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple? God's Spirit lives in you.
17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. God's temple is holy. And you are that temple.
18 Don't fool yourselves. Suppose some of you think you are wise by the standards of the world. Then you should become a "fool" so that you can become wise.
19 The wisdom of this world is foolish in God's eyes. It is written, "God catches wise people in their own tricks."(Job 5:13)
20 It is also written, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise don't amount to anything."(Psalm 94:11)
21 So no more bragging about human beings! All things are yours.
22 That means Paul or Apollos or Peter or the world or life or death or the present or the future. All are yours.
23 You are joined to Christ and belong to him. And Christ is joined to God.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

1 Corinthians 4

1 Here is how you should think of us. We serve Christ. We are trusted with God's secret truth.
2 Those who have been given a trust must prove that they are faithful.
3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court. I don't even judge myself.
4 I don't feel I have done anything wrong. But that doesn't mean I'm not guilty. The Lord judges me.
5 So don't judge anything before the appointed time. Wait until the Lord returns. He will bring to light what is hidden in the dark. He will show the real reasons why people do what they do. At that time each person will receive praise from God.
6 Brothers and sisters, I have used myself and Apollos as examples to help you. You can learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Don't go beyond what is written." Then you won't be proud that you follow one person instead of another.
7 Who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you brag as though you did not?
8 You already have everything you want, don't you? Have you already become rich? Have you begun to rule as kings? And did you do that without us? I wish that you really had begun to rule. Then we could rule with you!
9 It seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of a parade. We are like men sentenced to die in front of a crowd. We have been made a show for the whole creation to see. Angels and people are staring at us.
10 We are fools for Christ. But you are so wise in Christ! We are weak. But you are so strong! You are honored. But we are looked down on!
11 Up to this very hour we are hungry and thirsty. We are dressed in rags. We are being treated badly. We have no homes.
12 We work hard with our own hands. When others call down a curse on us, we bless them. When we are attacked, we put up with it.
13 When others say bad things about us, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the world's garbage. We are everybody's trash.
14 I am not writing this to shame you. You are my dear children, and I want to warn you.
15 You may have 10,000 believers in Christ watching over you. But you don't have many fathers. I became your father by serving Christ Jesus and telling you the good news.
16 So I'm asking you to follow my example.
17 That's the reason I'm sending Timothy to you. He is like a son to me, and I love him. He is faithful in serving the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in serving Christ Jesus. And that agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.
18 Some of you have become proud. You act as if I weren't coming to you.
19 But I will come very soon, if that's what the Lord wants. Then I will find out how those proud people are talking. I will also find out what power they have.
20 The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk. It is a matter of power.
21 Which do you want? Should I come to you with a whip? Or should I come in love and with a gentle spirit?
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.