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The New International Version

1 Corinthians 3:1–23

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The Church and Its Leaders

3 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirito but as people who are still worldlyp—mere infantsq in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food,r for you were not yet ready for it.s Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelingt among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,”u are you not mere human beings?

What, after all, is Apollos?v And what is Paul? Only servants,w through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed,x Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.y For we are co-workers in God’s service;z you are God’s field,a God’s building.b

10 By the grace God has given me,c I laid a foundationd as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.e 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is,f because the Dayg will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.h 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward.i 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.j

16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s templek and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?l 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.

18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wisem by the standards of this age,n you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishnesso in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”a;p 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”b q 21 So then, no more boasting about human leaders!r All things are yours,s 22 whether Paul or Apollost or Cephasc u or the world or life or death or the present or the futurev—all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ,w and Christ is of God.

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1 Corinthians 1:1–16:24

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1 Paul, called to be an apostlea of Christ Jesus by the will of God,b and our brother Sosthenes,c

To the church of Godd in Corinth,e to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and calledf to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the nameg of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:

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

Thanksgiving

I always thank my God for youi because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enrichedj in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledgekGod thus confirming our testimonyl about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual giftm as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.n He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blamelesso on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.p God is faithful,q who has called your into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.s

A Church Divided Over Leaders

10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,a t in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you,u but that you be perfectly unitedv in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s householdw have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”;x another, “I follow Apollos”;y another, “I follow Cephasb”;z still another, “I follow Christ.”

13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?a 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispusb and Gaius,c 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the householdd of Stephanas;e beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize,f but to preach the gospel—not with wisdomg and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom

18 For the message of the cross is foolishnessh to those who are perishing,i but to us who are being savedj it is the power of God.k 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”c l

20 Where is the wise person?m Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age?n Has not God made foolisho the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the worldp through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to saveq those who believe.r 22 Jews demand signss and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified:t a stumbling blocku to Jews and foolishnessv to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called,w both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of Godx and the wisdom of God.y 25 For the foolishnessz of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weaknessa of God is stronger than human strength.

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called.b Not many of you were wisec by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chosed the foolishe things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are notf—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.g 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus,h who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness,i holinessj and redemption.k 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”d l

2 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdomm as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.a For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.n I came to youo in weaknessp with great fear and trembling.q My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words,r but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,s so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.t

God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature,u but not the wisdom of this agev or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.w No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mysteryx that has been hiddeny and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this agez understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.a However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,

what no ear has heard,

and what no human mind has conceived”b

the things God has prepared for those who love him—b

10 these are the things God has revealedc to us by his Spirit.d

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughtse except their own spiritf within them? In the same way no one knows the …

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The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verses 11 and 26; and in 2:1; 3:1; 4:6; 6:8; 7:24, 29; 10:1; 11:33; 12:1; 14:6, 20, 26, 39; 15:1, 6, 50, 58; 16:15, 20.

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That is, Peter

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Some manuscripts proclaimed to you God’s mystery

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