Christian Basics Bible Sampler - Page 14

1 Corinthians 2 • page 1304
anyone else.) 17 For Christ didn’t send me to
baptize, but to preach the Good News—and
not with clever speech, for fear that the
cross of Christ would lose its power.
The Wisdom of God
The message of the cross is foolish to those
who are headed for destruction! But we who
are being saved know it is the very power of
God. 19 As the Scriptures say,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
and discard the intelligence of the
So where does this leave the philoso­
phers, the scholars, and the world’s bril­
liant debaters? God has made the wisdom
of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his
wisdom saw to it that the world would never
know him through human wisdom, he has
used our foolish preaching to save those
who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who
ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish
to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom.
So when we preach that Christ was cruci­
fied, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles
say it’s all nonsense.
But to those called by God to salvation,
both Jews and Gentiles,* Christ is the power
of God and the wisdom of God. 25This foolish
plan of God is wiser than the wisest of
human plans, and God’s weakness is stron­
ger than the greatest of human strength.
Remember, dear brothers and sisters,
that few of you were wise in the world’s
eyes or powerful or wealthy* when God
called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the
world considers foolish in order to shame
those who think they are wise. And he
chose things that are powerless to shame
those who are powerful. 28 God chose things
despised by the world,* things counted as
nothing at all, and used them to bring to
nothing what the world considers impor­
tant. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in
the presence of God.
God has united you with Christ ­Jesus.
For our benefit God made him to be wisdom
itself. Christ made us right with God; he
made us pure and holy, and he freed us
from sin. 31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say,
“If you want to boast, boast only about the
Paul’s Message of Wisdom
When I first came to you, dear brothers
and sisters,* I didn’t use lofty words and
impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret
plan.* 2 For I decided that while I was with
you I would forget every­thing except J­esus
Christ, the one who was crucified. 3 I came
to you in weakness—timid and trembling.
And my message and my preaching were
very plain. Rather than using clever and
persuasive speeches, I relied only on the
power of the Holy Spirit. 5 I did this so you
Corinth, a city of 650,000 people (two-thirds of them slaves) stood on the narrow
strip of land connecting the Greek mainland and the Peloponnesian peninsula.
It had two ports, one a mile-and-a-half to the west on the Mediterranean Sea
and the other six miles to the east on the Aegean Sea. They were joined by a
rolling roadway across which goods or even small ships could be dragged. It was
therefore a major commercial city, with all the immorality that sailors and travelers
brought. Immorality also played a part in religion, for among the twelve temples
in Corinth was one to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, where religious prostitution
was practiced. Corinth was so notorious for immorality that a word was created
based on it—“to Corinthianize,” meaning to practice sexual immorality. Religion
was closely linked with civic and business affairs, and sacrifices to seal business
deals were common. All this explains why Paul devotes much of this letter, written
to a church that he himself had founded (Acts 18), to the dangers of idolatry and
immorality, which were the atmosphere in which they lived.
See also Idols, page 836; Worldliness, page 1306; Paul’s Missionary Journeys map, Visual Overview Z15.

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