Bible: 1 Corinthians 1:18-3:23
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.” 1 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the expert in the Mosaic law? 2 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, 3 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, 4 and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 5
1:26 Think about the circumstances of your call, 6 brothers and sisters. 7 Not many were wise by human standards, 8 not many were powerful, not many were born to a privileged position. 9 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 10 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, 11 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.” 12
2:1 When I came 13 to you, brothers and sisters, 14 I did not come with superior eloquence or wisdom as I proclaimed the testimony 15 of God. 2:2 For I decided to be concerned about nothing 16 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, 17 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, 18 are the things God has prepared for those who love him.” 19 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. 20 2:14 The unbeliever 21 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 22 all things, yet he himself is understood 23 by no one. 2:16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to advise him? 24 But we have the mind of Christ.
Immaturity and Self-deception
3:1 So, brothers and sisters, 25 I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but instead as people of the flesh, 26 as infants in Christ. 3:2 I fed you milk, 27 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. 28 For since there is still jealousy and dissension among you, are you not influenced by the flesh and behaving like unregenerate people? 29 3:4 For whenever someone says, “I am with Paul,” or “I am with Apollos,” are you not merely human? 30
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. 31 3:6 I planted, 32 Apollos watered, but God caused it to grow. 3:7 So neither the one who plants counts for anything, 33 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, 34 but each will receive his reward according to his work. 3:9 We are coworkers belonging to God. 35 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, 36 3:13 each builder’s 37 work will be plainly seen, for the Day 38 will make it clear, because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire 39 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. 40 He himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
3:16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple 41 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. 42 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.” 43 3:20 And again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 44 3:21 So then, no more boasting about mere mortals! 45 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.