1Corinthians Chapter One

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In chapter one Paul starts admonishing their attitudes and behavior. There were divisions and factions of every kind in the life of the church. Verses 1 -10 speak of Paul’s delight that the Corinthians have received a revelation of the love and goodness of God through Jesus. They have believed that Jesus was God and has joined them to the Father through his Spirit. They are set for the journey of a God filled life through The Holy Spirit and have tasted the supernatural power of the Spirit.
There was testimony to the fact that supernatural gifts of the Spirit were operating in the church, and Paul encourages them that they can look forward to more experiences of the supernatural intervention of God in their lives perhaps even including the finale of Christ’s return. So he has just encouraged them concerning the fact that there were many extraordinary displays of the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit operating among them, but this actually became a huge problem in the church because of the competition that the operation of these gifts bred among them. 

The relational problem of division that comes to light in the first chapter is the one of the different groupings that people aligned themselves with according to the Apostle or teacher that they preferred. Paul tells them that he is totally opposed to anyone claiming to be a follower of himself. He states that he is glad that he baptized only a few of them, and he makes a point of even being a little forgetful of who they were. His behavior is very dismissive because he does not want to give any individuals or group any claim to some kind of identity because of the circumstances of their baptism. 

Paul then brings Jesus into the centre of everything. Christ has brought humanity into himself, and anyone who believes that they are IN Christ can only identify their relationship with other people who believe that they are also IN Christ by having an attitude of unity with them. This may not necessarily mean a position of agreement with what every other person says or does, but it calls for attitudes of intercession and order rather than enmity and disorder.  Paul states this by asking the question “Is Christ divided?” The obvious answer is “No”. Paul demonstrates this by comparing the wisdom of the world, which is about competitiveness and self advantage, with the wisdom of the cross of Jesus, which is dying to self and living a shared life with Jesus, in his love and power. He tells them that this message of the cross seems foolish to the world. It looks silly to the Greek philosophical mind, and it looks weak to the Jewish religious mind, which will only be impressed with outward displays of God’s miraculous power.


1. From our brother Sosthenes and me, Paul, commissioned and delegated by Jesus Christ through the determined plan of God.

2. We write to you as the Christian community of God at Corinth, to those who have devoted their lives to Jesus Christ, invited to belong to him, along with all other Christians everywhere that come under the banner of the name of Jesus Christ, whom we declare to be our Lord and master.

3. May your lives be blessed by the peace that flows from the life of God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

4. I continue to thank God for the gift of his life that was given to you through Jesus.

5. Your lives have been abundantly enriched by him. It comes through in the things you proclaim about God and in the precious knowledge you have been given of him.

6. It is clear to all that you know whom it is that you are talking about.

7. Resulting in your being equipped with all the spiritual gifts, as you wait, prepared for Jesus to return to the earth.

8. And he will consolidate all of this in you so that no one will be able to accuse you of anything when he does return.

9. God will never fail you in this. It was he who first invited you into this partnership with his son Jesus.

10. However there is something I have to ask of you that is very important, and I ask it in the name of Jesus to emphasize the point. And that is, that you all live in harmony with one another, and speak and act and think as if you were in agreement with God in all that you do.

11. Because I have heard reports about you from the group that meet at Chloe’s place that you are fighting amongst yourselves.

12. The disputes have arisen because of the competitive way you have chosen to follow different leaders. Some say they follow me, Paul, and others say they prefer Apollos, while others prefer Peter, and yet others even say they will only listen to Christ.

13. Aren’t all these leaders speaking from Christ, or is he telling them conflicting things to say to you? Is Paul the one who died for you and into whose name you were baptized?

14 I’m only grateful that I didn’t baptize any of you, except for Crispus and Gaius.

15. Otherwise you might start saying you were baptized into my name.

16. And yes, I baptized the group at Staphanus’ house, but I honestly can’t think of whoever else I baptized.

17. Christ didn’t commission me to only baptize people, but to tell them of the message of his wonderful plan. And not with sophisticated rhetoric either, just in case that might minimize the powerful work that Jesus achieved in his death for us.

18. The simple message of his sacrifice on the cross sounds silly to those who are destroying their lives, but it is God’ power to those who want their lives joined to his.

19. The Scripture says, ‘I will destroy the elevated opinions of the philosophers of this world and invalidate them.

20. So show me the philosophers and the famous authors, and the ones who are eloquent in public debate. Hasn’t God made all their arguments look stupid?

21. For God in his wisdom allowed the world in its wisdom to totally misread the reality of God, so that he could use the simplicity of the message of his eternal plan to save people by just believing it.

22. But the Jewish religious mind still wants some miraculous supernatural evidence and the Greek philosophical mind wants watertight intellectual arguments. 

23. But we are going to keep right on proclaiming what Jesus’ life death and resurrection has done for us. This infuriates the Jewish mindset and seems dumb to the Greek way of thinking.

24. But for those who have responded to God’s invitation, whether they have a Jewish or a Greek mindset, our message is both the supernatural power of God, and the ultimate wisdom of God.

25. For what appears to be the absurdity of God is wiser than anything of human intelligence or understanding, and what seems like the inadequacy of God is mightier than anything man could do.

26. Take yourselves for instance. There aren’t many philosophers of great repute, or many powerful or of great influence, that have responded to our message. 

27. But God has chosen the seemingly illogical things of this world to amaze the clever, and God has chosen the mundane to outshine the spectacular.

28. And the ordinary and pathetic things, and things that seem useless to show how useless are the things that man says are amazing

29. This is so that no person can compare their glory or excellence with God.

30. But it is through God that we share the life of Jesus, which means that we share his wisdom, and his high standing with God, given a new life purpose in place of our old one.

31. As the Scripture says, ‘If you are going to put anything in your life on display, put God on display.’