1 Corinthians 1:18–2:16; 1 Corinthians 3:18–23

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

18 For the word of the cross is bfolly to cthose who are perishing, but to us dwho are being saved it is ethe power of God. 19 For it is written,

fI will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.

20 gWhere is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? hHas not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach1 to save those who believe. 22 For iJews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ jcrucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ kthe power of God and lthe wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For consider your calling, brothers: mnot many of you were wise according to worldly standards,2 not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But nGod chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; oGod chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even pthings that are not, to qbring to nothing things that are, 29 so rthat no human being3 might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him4 you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us swisdom from God, trighteousness and usanctification and vredemption, 31 so that, as it is written, wLet the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.

Proclaiming Christ Crucified

And I, when I came to you, brothers,5 xdid not come proclaiming to you ythe testimony6 of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except zJesus Christ and him crucified. And aI was with you bin weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of cthe Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men7 but din the power of God.

Wisdom from the Spirit

Yet among ethe mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not fa wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, gwho are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, hwhich God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of ithe rulers of this age understood this, for jif they had, they would not have crucified kthe Lord of glory. But, as it is written,

lWhat no eye has seen, nor ear heard,

nor the heart of man imagined,

what God has mprepared nfor those who love him

10 these things oGod has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even pthe depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts qexcept the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now rwe have received not sthe spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this tin words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, uinterpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.8

14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are vfolly to him, and whe is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The xspiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 yFor who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But zwe have the mind of Christ.


18 eLet no one deceive himself. fIf anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For gthe wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, hHe catches the wise in their craftiness, 20 and again, iThe Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile. 21 So jlet no one boast in men. For kall things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the futureall are yours, 23 and lyou are Christ’s, and mChrist is God’s.