1 Corinthians 3

1 Corinthians Illustration

1 Corinthians

Greeting

Paul, acalled bby the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes,

To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those csanctified in Christ Jesus, dcalled to be saints together with all those who in every place ecall upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

dGrace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving

I fgive thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way gyou were enriched in him in all hspeech and all knowledge even as ithe testimony about Christ was confirmed among you so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you jwait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, kwho will sustain you to the end, lguiltless min the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. nGod is faithful, by whom you were called into the ofellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Divisions in the Church

10 I appeal to you, brothers,1 by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no pdivisions among you, but that you be united qin the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is rquarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that seach one of you says, I follow Paul, or I follow tApollos, or I follow uCephas, or I follow Christ. 13 vIs Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you wbaptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except xCrispus and yGaius, 15 so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also zthe household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and anot with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

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 preach2 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,3 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 being4 might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him5 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,1 xdid not come proclaiming to you ythe testimony2 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 men3 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.4

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.

Divisions in the Church

But I, brothers,1 could not address you as aspiritual people, but as bpeople of the flesh, as cinfants in Christ. dI fed you with milk, not solid food, for eyou were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is fjealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For gwhen one says, I follow Paul, and another, I follow Apollos, hare you not being merely human?

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? iServants through whom you believed, jas the Lord assigned to each. kI planted, lApollos watered, mbut God gave the growth. So nneither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each owill receive his wages according to his labor. For we are pGod's fellow workers. You are God's field, qGod's building.

10 rAccording to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled2 master builder I laid a sfoundation, and tsomeone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a ufoundation other vthan that which is laid, wwhich is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw 13 xeach one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed yby fire, and zthe fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, ahe will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, bbut only as through fire.

16 cDo you not know that you3 are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For dGod's temple is holy, and you are that temple.

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.

The Ministry of Apostles

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and nstewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. oFor I am not aware of anything against myself, pbut I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore qdo not pronounce judgment before the time, rbefore the Lord comes, swho will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. tThen each one will receive his commendation from God.

I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers,1 that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may ube puffed up in favor of one against another. For who sees anything different in you? vWhat do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, wlike men sentenced to death, because we xhave become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. 10 yWe are fools for Christ's sake, but zyou are wise in Christ. aWe are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. 11 To the present hour bwe hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and cbuffeted and dhomeless, 12 and we elabor, working with our own hands. fWhen reviled, we bless; gwhen persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat. hWe have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, ithe refuse of all things.

14 I do not write these things jto make you ashamed, but to admonish you kas my beloved children. 15 For lthough you have countless2 guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For mI became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 I urge you, then, nbe imitators of me. 17 That is why oI sent3 you Timothy, pmy beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ,4 qas I teach them everywhere in every church. 18 Some are rarrogant, sas though I were not coming to you. 19 But tI will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. 20 For uthe kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. 21 What do you wish? vShall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?

Sexual Immorality Defiles the Church

It is actually reported that there is wsexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, xfor a man has his father's wife. And yyou are arrogant! Ought you znot rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

For though aabsent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled bin the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are cto deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so dthat his spirit may be saved ein the day of the Lord.1

fYour boasting is not good. Do you not know that ga little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, hnot with the old leaven, ithe leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

I wrote to you in my letter jnot to associate with sexually immoral people 10 knot at all meaning lthe sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, msince then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone nwho bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindlernot even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging ooutsiders? pIs it not those inside the church2 whom you are to judge? 13 God judges3 those outside. qPurge the evil person from among you.