1Corinthians  ◦   Chapter 1

1Paul, commissioned as an ambassador of the celestial government of Jesus Christ and confirmed by God, and our brother Sosthenes,

2To the residents of Corinth who love and trust God; to those who have partaken of the healing Remedy procured by Christ Jesus and are called to be his representatives, along with everyone everywhere who has accepted the truth about God as revealed by Jesus, and trusts our Lord Jesus Christ:

3Grace and peace are poured out on you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

4Whenever I talk with God, I thank him for his gracious Remedy poured out on you in Christ Jesus.5For as you have partaken of the healing Remedy brought by Jesus, you have become healthier in every way: your minds are sharper, your understanding and wisdom–deeper, and your characters–more Christlike.6Your transformed lives testify to the healing power of the Remedy brought to us by Christ — and which we shared with you — 7and you have received every blessing heaven has to give as you eagerly anticipate the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.8He will fill you with confidence and remove your fear — right up to the very end — so that your minds will be fully healed, selfishness will be removed from your characters, and you will be ready to see him on the day our Lord Jesus Christ appears.9God is absolutely trustworthy, and he is the one who wants you free from selfishness and restored to complete unity with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 10Brothers and sisters, as an ambassador of our Lord Jesus Christ, I call on you to come into agreement with each other on the truth about God as revealed by Jesus, and be fully united in mind, heart, attitude and motive around the beautiful character and methods of God.11My brothers and sisters, I have heard from some of Chloe's household that disagreements and arguments have developed among you.12Evidently, some of you have lost the main focus of the truth about God as revealed by Jesus, for one of you says, "I am Paul's disciple;" another, "I adhere to the teachings of Apollos;" yet another, "I belong to the order of Peter;" and still others, "I follow Christ." 13What are you thinking? Is there more than one Christ? Do you think Christ has multiple personalities, or is two-faced? Were your minds immersed in the truth about Paul or in the truth about God as revealed by Christ?14I am thankful that–after your minds were immersed in the truth about God as revealed by Christ–I didn't assist any of you in the symbolic water immersion, except for Crispus and Gaius,15so none of you would get confused and think you were immersing your hearts in loyalty to me.16(Oh yes, I also assisted the household of Stephanas in the symbolic water immersion, but other than that, I don't remember assisting anyone else with this ritual.)17For God did not send me to perform rituals, but to present the good news about him, about his methods, principles and character as revealed by Christ–not some human theory of appeasement–lest the death of Christ be seen as some payment to an offended god, and therefore lose its power to free the mind from fear and mistrust of God. 18For the truth about God–his character of absolute love, as revealed by Christ at the cross–makes no sense whatsoever to those who are dying through practicing the world's method of survival-of-the-fittest; but to those of us who are being healed and restored, it is the true power of God, the secret of eternal life.

19For the Scriptures reveal that God's method of self-sacrificing love will destroy the world's wisdom of promoting self first, but the apparent logic of working for self-exaltation, fame, personal advancement or financial wealth–rather than bringing healing and restoration, will be shown to actually accelerate the damage to one's mind and character.20So then, what value is there in the wisdom of the selfish person? Or the agnostic professor? Or the atheistic scientist? Or the psychologist of the New Age? God has shown that all "wisdom" based on the principles of this world is in reality foolishness, silliness, nonsense!21For after those who value the methods of the world rejected God and denied his existence, God joyfully revealed his wisdom by actually healing and transforming all those who trust him on the basis of the simple message of God's selfless love revealed by Jesus.22The Jews, and many like them, demand supernatural signs and wonders, which (they fail to realize) can be counterfeited; and the Greeks look only for intellectual explanations,23but we preach God's self-sacrificing character of love revealed by Christ crucified. It's a roadblock to the egocentric Jews, and utter nonsense to the self-seeking Gentiles,24but to all those who respond to God's call — whether Jew or Gentile — Christ is the embodiment of the character, wisdom and power of God!25For the simple love of God is wiser than all humankind's self-centered scheming: God's love literally heals and restores. And this love of God, which appears weak to the world, is stronger than all the strength of selfish humanity.

26Brothers and sisters, remember where you were, and what you were like before you responded to God's call. From the world's perspective, not many of you were successful or wise, or powerful, or high on the social scale.27But God has purposely chosen what appears to be the worst cases–the ignorant and foolish–to reveal the tremendous transforming power of his Remedy and thus expose the futility of the world's wisdom. God has purposely chosen what the selfish world considers weak to reveal how impotent the world's power really is.28He has chosen what the selfish world criticizes and looks down on, and mocks, ridicules, and considers as nothing, in order that his love may eradicate selfishness from the world–29for then, no one will ever be able to take credit to themselves for the healing and transformation that comes from God alone.30It is because God is always on our side and working for our good that our minds have been set right, and we are in unity with Jesus Christ. We recognize Jesus as the wisdom of God in human form–the source of our healing, righteousness, and re-creation into Godlikeness.31Therefore, just as it has been written: "If you want to brag and promote something, then brag about the Lord and promote the truth about him."