Bible: 1 Corinthians 1-3; 12-14
1:1 From Paul, 1 called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus 2 by the will of God, and Sosthenes, our brother, 1:2 to the church of God that is in Corinth, 3 to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, and called to be saints, with all those in every place who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. 4 1:3 Grace and peace to you 5 from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
1:4 I always thank my God for you because of the grace of God that was given to you in Christ Jesus. 1:5 For you were made rich 6 in every way in him, in all your speech and in every kind of knowledge 7 – 1:6 just as the testimony about Christ has been confirmed among you – 1:7 so that you do not lack any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation 8 of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1:8 He 9 will also strengthen you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1:9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into fellowship with his son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Divisions in the Church
1:10 I urge you, brothers and sisters, 10 by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree together, 11 to end your divisions, 12 and to be united by the same mind and purpose. 13 1:11 For members of Chloe’s household have made it clear to me, my brothers and sisters, 14 that there are quarrels 15 among you. 1:12 Now I mean this, that 16 each of you is saying, “I am with Paul,” or “I am with Apollos,” or “I am with Cephas,” or “I am with Christ.” 1:13 Is Christ divided? Paul wasn’t crucified for you, was he? 17 Or were you in fact baptized in the name of Paul? 18 1:14 I thank God 19 that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 1:15 so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name! 1:16 (I also baptized the household of Stephanus. Otherwise, I do not remember whether I baptized anyone else.) 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel – and not with clever speech, so that the cross of Christ would not become useless. 20
The Message of the Cross
1:18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1:19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will thwart the cleverness of the intelligent.” 21 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the expert in the Mosaic law? 22 Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made the wisdom of the world foolish? 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world by its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased to save those who believe by the foolishness of preaching. 1:22 For Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks ask for wisdom, 1:23 but we preach about a crucified Christ, 23 a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. 1:24 But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, 24 and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 25
1:26 Think about the circumstances of your call, 26 brothers and sisters. 27 Not many were wise by human standards, 28 not many were powerful, not many were born to a privileged position. 29 1:27 But God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong. 1:28 God chose 30 what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, to set aside what is regarded as something, 1:29 so that no one can boast in his presence. 1:30 He is the reason you have a relationship with Christ Jesus, 31 who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 1:31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 32
2:1 When I came 33 to you, brothers and sisters, 34 I did not come with superior eloquence or wisdom as I proclaimed the testimony 35 of God. 2:2 For I decided to be concerned about nothing 36 among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 2:3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and with much trembling. 2:4 My conversation and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 2:5 so that your faith would not be based on human wisdom but on the power of God.
Wisdom from God
2:6 Now we do speak wisdom among the mature, 37 but not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are perishing. 2:7 Instead we speak the wisdom of God, hidden in a mystery, that God determined before the ages for our glory. 2:8 None of the rulers of this age understood it. If they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 2:9 But just as it is written, “Things that no eye has seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, 38 are the things God has prepared for those who love him.” 39 2:10 God has revealed these to us by the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 2:11 For who among men knows the things of a man except the man’s spirit within him? So too, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 2:12 Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things that are freely given to us by God. 2:13 And we speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom, but with those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. 40 2:14 The unbeliever 41 does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 2:15 The one who is spiritual discerns 42 all things, yet he himself is understood 43 by no one. 2:16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to advise him? 44 But we have the mind of Christ.
Immaturity and Self-deception
3:1 So, brothers and sisters, 45 I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but instead as people of the flesh, 46 as infants in Christ. 3:2 I fed you milk, 47 not solid food, for you were not yet ready. In fact, you are still not ready, 3:3 for you are still influenced by the flesh. 48 For since there is still jealousy and dissension among you, are you not influenced by the flesh and behaving like unregenerate people? 49 3:4 For whenever someone says, “I am with Paul,” or “I am with Apollos,” are you not merely human? 50
3:5 What is Apollos, really? Or what is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, and each of us in the ministry the Lord gave us. 51 3:6 I planted, 52 Apollos watered, but God caused it to grow. 3:7 So neither the one who plants counts for anything, 53 nor the one who waters, but God who causes the growth. 3:8 The one who plants and the one who waters work as one, 54 but each will receive his reward according to his work. 3:9 We are coworkers belonging to God. 55 You are God’s field, God’s building. 3:10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master-builder I laid a foundation, but someone else builds on it. And each one must be careful how he builds. 3:11 For no one can lay any foundation other than what is being laid, which is Jesus Christ. 3:12 If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, 56 3:13 each builder’s 57 work will be plainly seen, for the Day 58 will make it clear, because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire 59 will test what kind of work each has done. 3:14 If what someone has built survives, he will receive a reward. 3:15 If someone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss. 60 He himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
3:16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple 61 and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 3:17 If someone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, which is what you are.
3:18 Guard against self-deception, each of you. 62 If someone among you thinks he is wise in this age, let him become foolish so that he can become wise. 3:19 For the wisdom of this age is foolishness with God. As it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness.” 63 3:20 And again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 64 3:21 So then, no more boasting about mere mortals! 65 For everything belongs to you, 3:22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future. Everything belongs to you, 3:23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
The Obedience of Abram
“Go out 3 from your country, your relatives, and your father’s household
to the land that I will show you. 4
and I will make your name great, 7
so that you will exemplify divine blessing. 8
12:3 I will bless those who bless you, 9
but the one who treats you lightly 10 I must curse,
and all the families of the earth will bless one another 11 by your name.”
12:4 So Abram left, 12 just as the
12:6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the oak tree 19 of Moreh 20 at Shechem. 21 (At that time the Canaanites were in the land.) 22 12:7 The
12:8 Then he moved from there to the hill country east of Bethel 25 and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the
The Promised Blessing Jeopardized
12:10 There was a famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt 29 to stay for a while 30 because the famine was severe. 31 12:11 As he approached 32 Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “Look, 33 I know that you are a beautiful woman. 34 12:12 When the Egyptians see you they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will keep you alive. 35 12:13 So tell them 36 you are my sister 37 so that it may go well 38 for me because of you and my life will be spared 39 on account of you.”
12:14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 12:15 When Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. So Abram’s wife 40 was taken 41 into the household of Pharaoh, 42 12:16 and he did treat Abram well 43 on account of her. Abram received 44 sheep and cattle, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
12:17 But the
Abram’s Solution to the Strife
13:3 And he journeyed from place to place 56 from the Negev as far as Bethel. 57 He returned 58 to the place where he had pitched his tent 59 at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai. 13:4 This was the place where he had first built the altar, 60 and there Abram worshiped the
13:5 Now Lot, who was traveling 62 with Abram, also had 63 flocks, herds, and tents. 13:6 But the land could 64 not support them while they were living side by side. 65 Because their possessions were so great, they were not able to live 66 alongside one another. 13:7 So there were quarrels 67 between Abram’s herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen. 68 (Now the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the land at that time.) 69
13:8 Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no quarreling between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are close relatives. 70 13:9 Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself now from me. If you go 71 to the left, then I’ll go to the right, but if you go to the right, then I’ll go to the left.”
13:10 Lot looked up and saw 72 the whole region 73 of the Jordan. He noticed 74 that all of it was well-watered (before the
So the relatives separated from each other. 79 13:12 Abram settled in the land of Canaan, but Lot settled among the cities of the Jordan plain 80 and pitched his tents next to Sodom. 13:13 (Now 81 the people 82 of Sodom were extremely wicked rebels against the
13:14 After Lot had departed, the
The Blessing of Victory for God’s People
14:1 At that time 93 Amraphel king of Shinar, 94 Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations 95 14:2 went to war 96 against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). 97 14:3 These last five kings 98 joined forces 99 in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). 100 14:4 For twelve years 101 they had served Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year 102 they rebelled. 103 14:5 In the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings who were his allies came and defeated 104 the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim, 14:6 and the Horites in their hill country of Seir, as far as El Paran, which is near the desert. 105 14:7 Then they attacked En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh) again, 106 and they conquered all the territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who were living in Hazazon Tamar.
14:8 Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out and prepared for battle. In the Valley of Siddim they met 107 14:9 Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of nations, 108 Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar. Four kings fought against 109 five. 14:10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits. 110 When the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, they fell into them, 111 but some survivors 112 fled to the hills. 113 14:11 The four victorious kings 114 took all the possessions and food of Sodom and Gomorrah and left. 14:12 They also took Abram’s nephew 115 Lot and his possessions when 116 they left, for Lot 117 was living in Sodom. 118
14:13 A fugitive 119 came and told Abram the Hebrew. 120 Now Abram was living by the oaks 121 of Mamre the Amorite, the brother 122 of Eshcol and Aner. (All these were allied by treaty 123 with Abram.) 124 14:14 When Abram heard that his nephew 125 had been taken captive, he mobilized 126 his 318 trained men who had been born in his household, and he pursued the invaders 127 as far as Dan. 128 14:15 Then, during the night, 129 Abram 130 divided his forces 131 against them and defeated them. He chased them as far as Hobah, which is north 132 of Damascus. 14:16 He retrieved all the stolen property. 133 He also brought back his nephew Lot and his possessions, as well as the women and the rest of 134 the people.
14:17 After Abram 135 returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet Abram 136 in the Valley of Shaveh (known as the King’s Valley). 137 14:18 Melchizedek king of Salem 138 brought out bread and wine. (Now he was the priest of the Most High God.) 139 14:19 He blessed Abram, saying,
“Blessed be Abram by 140 the Most High God,
14:20 Worthy of praise is 143 the Most High God,
who delivered 144 your enemies into your hand.”
Abram gave Melchizedek 145 a tenth of everything.
14:21 Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and take the possessions for yourself.” 14:22 But Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I raise my hand 146 to the