1 Corinthians 1
1. Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our
brother, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every
place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: grace to ;you and peace
from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4. I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ
Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as
the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting
for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may
be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God is faithful, by whom you were called
into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

10. Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the
same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together
in the same mind and in the same judgment.  For it has been declared to me concerning you,
my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you.  Now I say
this, that each of you says, "I am of Paul," or "I am of Apollos," or "I am of Cephas," or "I am of
Christ."  Is Christ divided?  Was Paul crucified for you?  Or were you baptized in the name of
Paul?  I thank God that I baptized in my own name.  Yes, I also baptized the household of
Stephanas.  Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other.  For Christ did not send me
to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should
be made of no effect.

18. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are
being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and
bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."  Where is the wise?  Where is the scribe?  
Where is the disputer of this age?  Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  For
since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God
though the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.  For Jews
request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a
stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness; but to those who are called, both Jews and
Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  Because the foolishness of God is
wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26. For ;you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many
mighty, not many noble, are called.  But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put
to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the
things which are mighty: and the base things of the world and the things which are despised
God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no
flesh should glory in His presence.  But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us
wisdom from God -- and righteousness and sanctification and redemption -- that, as it is
written, "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord."

1. Paul, formerly Saul of Tarsus, who saw the resurrected Christ on the way to
Damascus to persecute the church, and was called by that vision to be the apostle to the
Gentiles along with Sosthenes, his and their brother in Christ, addresses the congregation
of God's people located at Corinth, Greece.  These are those who are sanctified, or set
apart for the service of God, made holy in Christ and called saints, as are all Christians
who call upon the name of Jesus, the Messiah, the Anointed One of God, the Lord of us
all.  Paul and Sosthenes wish them grace and peace from God and His Son.

4. Paul is thankful to God for the fact that the church of God at Corinth has accepted the
grace of God in Christ Jesus.  And that they have received with that grace, the blessings
of God in Jesus of speech (most likely a reference to speaking in other languages,
generally referred to as "tongues") and knowledge (most likely a reference to the
supernatural revelation of prophecy).  Their gifts were similar to those Paul and his
companions had shown them to verify the story and claims of Christ.  Therefore, the
church was not behind, or short on "the gifts of the Spirit," while they were waiting for
the second coming of the Lord Jesus; who, when He returns, will grant them the end of
their faith, even the salvation of their souls, as they are found blameless in that day.  God
always does what He promises.  And it is He who has called them into the fellowship of
His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

10. Now Paul pleads with those who are sanctified, called to be saints, who are in the
fellowship of God's Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, by the authority (name) of our Lord Jesus
Christ, that they speak the same thing.  There is but one message, one word, one gospel,
one faith.  This is what they are to speak.  There are to be perfectly joined together with
the same mind and the same judgment.  Speaking the same thing, they are to have the
same thoughts in their minds, and arrive at the same judgments or conclusions.  If they
will stay with the one faith, the one gospel, the one word, there will be no differences
between them.  Those of the household of Chloe have told Paul that there are already
divisions, differences, and arguments among them.  Those of the household of Chloe have
told Paul that there are already divisions, differences, and arguments among them.  Now
Paul asks a series of questions, after he defines why they need to answer them.  They
were saying they were disciples of Paul, Apollos, Cephas and/or Christ.  They were saying
they were different brands of Christians.  Perhaps they felt they were elevated in
importance because of the person who was instrumental in converting them, or baptizing
them.  Perhaps they felt that one person who preached was better than another, either in
life or doctrine.  Why they made this claim is not said.  However, whatever the reason for
their claim was, there was no doubting the response that Paul had for those who made the
claim of being a different brand of Christian, or follower in some way of someone other
than Christ.  Is Christ divided into different parts, or is He one person?  Was Paul (or any
other person you may refer to yourself as being instructed, baptized or influenced by)
crucified upon the cross for the remission of your sins?  Or were you baptized in the
name of (or by the authority of, or in obedience to) Paul (or any other person other than
Christ)?  The obvious answer to any and all of these questions is NO!

Paul gives three definitions for what Christians are going to call themselves: 1) If it divides
the body of Christ into different and differing parts, it is wrong.  2) If it is after any
person, or personage other than the one who was crucified for our sins, it is wrong.  3) If
it is after any person, or personage other than the one whom we were baptized into and by
whose authority we are born again into the kingdom of God, or admitted into the church
of Christ, it is wrong.

The question I would ask of men today is: Does the name which you wear religiously,
pass the test of these three questions?  If it is anything other than a saint, a disciple of
Christ, or a Christian, it does not.

14. Paul is thankful that he is not directly connected in the baptism of anyone at Corinth
other than Crispus and Gaius, because they were liable to say that Paul had baptized people
in his name rather than in the name of Christ.  Besides, he did not know whether he
baptized any other.  Yes, Paul had also baptized the household of Stephanus, but not any
others he could remember; because, he was commissioned by Christ not to baptize people,
but to proclaim the good news of grace and mercy through Jesus Christ, by the inspiration
of the Holy Spirit, not by eloquent speeches devised by men, lest the power by thought to
be in the words of men rather than in the cross of Christ.

The important thing was people believing the gospel, not who baptized them.  Some have
mistakenly taken Paul's statement here to minimize the importance of baptism in the gospel
scheme of things.  However, remember what Paul is addressing: people following the one
who immersed them, rather than the One who died for them.  If they believed the gospel,
they would be baptized; but, if they did not believe the gospel, and followed the one who
immersed them rather than the One who died for them, it would make no difference
whether they were baptized or not, or who baptized them.  Christ was the One who was
important.  It was faith in Him that was paramount in any and all actions connected with
Christianity.

18. The message of the blood atonement, of the dying of the Son of God for the sins of
the world, to those who are unbelievers seems ridiculous; but, to the church the gospel is
the power of God unto salvation to all men, whether Jew or Gentile, male or female, no
matter what race, what class or what nationality.  From the Old Testament Paul quotes
that it is not the wisdom of the wise of the world, nor the understanding of knowledgeable
that will establish the righteous; for God will destroy their wisdom and knowledge.  Where
in the church are the wise of the world?  They are not to be found.  Where are the greatly
educated in the philosophies and concepts of the world?  They are not to be found.  
Where is the advocate of the things of the world?  They are not to be found.  Hasn't God
made all that they proclaim and stand for ridiculous to the church?  Since they refused to
know God and retain His knowledge in their wisdom, God through a message they will not
accept and in a manner they cannot fathom has saved those who will believe and obey
Him.  The Jews look for a sign (unwilling to accept the sign given in the resurrection, not
to mention the signs and wonders performed by both Jesus and the apostles), and the
Greeks look for what is determined by the mind of man (being unwilling and unable to
accept the divine revelation through the Holy Spirit), but Paul (and the other apostles and
disciples) preached the crucified Christ, to the Jews unacceptable and to the Greeks
ridiculous.  However, there are Jews and Greeks, those who will listen to the word of
God, the gospel, who realize that the message of the death of the Christ is both the power
and wisdom of God.  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the
weakness of God is stronger than men.  There is no way to say it better, or clearer.

26. Paul has said all of this that the church at Corinth might see what has brought them to
be Christians: the gospel.  That means, not many of the mighty of the world, not many
royalty, not many of the educated or sophisticated according to the world, are called to be
Christians.  God has chosen the things that seem ridiculous to the world to share their
knowledge, and the things that seem weak to shame their power.  God has chosen the
things that seem worthless, and the things which the world does not care for, and the
things that are meaningless and nonexistent, to make the things that appear to have
meaning and importance nothing.  This is so no person, or personage, should boast or
think himself something in the sight of God.  It is in Christ Jesus, who is the wisdom of
God that we are before God -- righteous, sanctified, justified, redeemed, saved, blameless,
forgiven -- so that, as it is written, we may glory in the Lord, because it is because of His
grace, His mercy, His sacrifice, His work, that we are what we are.  It is not the result of
any one other than Christ.

Therefore, do not glory in who taught you, or who baptized you.  Glory in who died for
you, and who cleansed you with His blood as you were baptized in His name.
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