Acts 19:1–20; 1 Corinthians 1–3

Paul in Ephesus

19 And it happened that while tApollos was at Corinth, Paul passed uthrough the inland1 country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, vDid you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? And they said, No, wwe have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit. And he said, xInto what then were you baptized? They said, Into yJohn’s baptism. And Paul said, yJohn baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people zto believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus. On hearing this, athey were baptized in2 the name of the Lord Jesus. And bwhen Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and cthey began speaking in tongues and dprophesying. There were about twelve men in all.

And ehe entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them fabout the kingdom of God. gBut when some became stubborn and hcontinued in unbelief, speaking evil of ithe Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus.3 10 This continued for jtwo years, so that kall the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

The Sons of Sceva

11 And lGod was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 lso that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and mthe evil spirits came out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish nexorcists oundertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, pI adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims. 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, qJesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you? 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all4 of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and rthe name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18 Also many of those who were now believers came, sconfessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord tcontinued to increase and prevail mightily.


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,6 xdid not come proclaiming to you ythe testimony7 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 men8 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.9

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,10 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 skilled11 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 you12 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.