ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 140



128
IMMERSE

MESSIAH
1:13–2:4
Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you?
Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not! I thank God
that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, for now no
one can say they were baptized in my name. (Oh yes, I also baptized the
household of Stephanas, but I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.)
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 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. As the
Scriptures say,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”
So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s
brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.
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. 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 crucified, 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. This foolish plan of God is
wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger 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. 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. God chose things despised by the world, things counted
as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 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. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want
to boast, boast only about the Lord.”
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. For I decided
that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ,
the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than





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