The 1st letter Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth
This page tells a bit more about Paul’s letter to the Christians at Corinth
Corinth was a big city in the country we now call Greece, where the Greek people come from. Corinth had 2 harbours for ships, and those ships brought a lot of things to Corinth. A lot of people bought things and sold those things to get money for themselves. There were also a lot of people there that did bad things to get money.
Paul was from the tribe called the Jews. He went to Corinth to tell the people about Jesus, and he stayed there teaching them for about a year and a half (see Acts 18:1-18.) Some of the Corinth people believed Paul’s message and became Christians.
Then Paul went to other places. But then he heard some news about the Christians at Corinth. They were having some big problems. So they wrote a letter to Paul and asked him some questions. Then Paul wrote this letter to answer those questions, and he also told them the right way for Christians to live.
Paul wrote this letter about 20 years after Jesus went back to heaven. It teaches all of us Christians the right way to live.
1 I am Paul, and this letter is from me. God wanted me to go and tell people about Jesus Christ, so he picked me to be his special messenger. And our Christian friend is here. He is helping me write this letter. His name is Sosthenes.
2 I’m sending this letter to you Christians there in the city called Corinth. God picked you to be his own special people and he joined you to Jesus Christ. You are in God’s family now, along with everyone that says to Jesus, “You are my leader.” He is their leader, and he is our leader too.
3 I’m asking God our father, and Jesus Christ our leader, to be good to you, and to make you feel happy and quiet inside yourselves.
God gives his people lots of good things
4 I always thank God for you mob. You belong to Jesus Christ now, and God is really good to you.
5 Yes, Jesus Christ has made you really rich people in every way. He lets you know a lot of things and he gives you the power to tell God’s message to people.
6 This shows that the message we told you about Jesus Christ is true.
7 You really want our leader, Jesus Christ, to come back from heaven, and while you are waiting for him you have all the spiritual power that he gives us to do his work.
8 God will keep you believing properly in our leader Jesus Christ, and you will stay strong for him until the day when he will come back from heaven. At that time nobody will be able to say that you did anything wrong.
9 God picked you to be a friend of his son, our leader Jesus Christ. And you can trust God, he will keep you strong for Jesus.
Don’t split up to follow different Christian leaders
10 My friends, our leader Jesus Christ wants me to say this to you. I really want all you Christians to agree with each other and stay together. Don’t split up. I want you to think the same way as each other, and agree together about the right way to follow Jesus.
11 You see, my friends, some of Chloe’s mob told me what is going on there in Corinth. They reckon that you are arguing too much with each other and you are splitting up into different groups.
12 They reckon some of you say, “Paul is our leader,” and others say, “That other man called Apollos, he is our leader,” and others say, “No, not them. Our leader is Peter,” and others says, “Jesus Christ is our leader.”
13 Listen, that’s not right. Don’t split up into groups like that. If you do that it’s like you are splitting Jesus Christ up. Stop and think about it. Did I, Paul, die for you on a cross? No way. When Christian leaders baptised you, did they baptise you to show that you belonged to me, Paul? No way.
14-15 I thank God that I only baptised a few of you, so, none of you can say, “Paul baptised me, so he is my leader.” I only baptised Crispus and Gaius.
16 Oh yes, I just remembered, I baptised Stephanas and his family too. But I can’t remember baptising anyone else.
17 You see, Jesus Christ didn’t send me to baptise people. He sent me to tell the good news to people. He didn’t want me to talk with clever words like smart people talk. That kind of talk is useless. People might just think about my smart words, and not listen to God. But I told them the good news, that Jesus died for them on the cross to save them. That message is powerful.
This is God’s power, “Jesus died on the cross”
18 We tell everybody the message that Jesus died on a cross to save them. Some people hear this message and think it is stupid. Those people are lost. They are on their way to hell. But other people hear this message and think it is good. You are like that mob, and so are we. We know this message is from God. It tells us he is using his power to save us.
19 It is like we read in God’s book,
“People might think they are smart, and they reckon they know everything,
but God will block what they are planning.”
20 So what does this tell us about the smart people in this world? And what about those that reckon they properly know the Jewish law? And what about those that can talk really good and win arguments? None of them get to know God. They leave God out. They don’t think about him, and in the end God shows us that they are all stupid.
21 You see, God is properly wise. He knows that most of the people in this world want to be smart and think up their own ideas about God, but he decided to block them, so they will never get to know him that way. Instead, God is happy to save everybody that believes his message. We tell you this message, even though other people think we are stupid.
22 You see, the Jewish people want to see God do something powerful, and then they reckon they will believe him. And other people that are not Jews, they just want to hear about smart ideas.
23 But we are not like those people. We tell people about Jesus Christ, and we say he died for us on the cross. The Jewish people can’t understand this. It isn’t what they want, so they don’t believe it. And the other people that are not Jews, they reckon it is stupid, so they don’t believe it.
24 But we are different. God has picked us to save us. Some of us are Jews and some of us are not Jews, but when we listen to that message about Jesus Christ it is a powerful message for us. We believe it and God saves us. And we know that God was really wise to send Jesus to save us.
25 People might reckon that is a stupid thing for God to do, but God’s way is better than the best idea any human has ever had. And people might reckon that God is weak. He just let his son die. But those people are wrong. God did that to show us that he is stronger than anyone else.
26 My friends, remember what you were like before God picked you. Most of you were not the smart kind of people. Most of you were not powerful people. Most of you didn’t belong to important families.
27 You see, people in this world reckon you are stupid, but God picked you anyway. He did this so that those smart people will be ashamed. Yes, God picked the weak people in this world so that the powerful people will be ashamed.
28 And God picked people from this world that are not great, and people that are like nothing, so that in the end, those other people that reckon they are great, they will become like nothing.
29 God does this so that nobody can ever get up in front of God and tell him, “I’m really good. I’m better than other people.”
30 But as for you, God joined you to Jesus Christ. And Jesus helps us to be wise, like God. And Jesus makes us friends with God, so God will tell us we are all right. And Jesus makes us God’s own special people too. Jesus died to pay for us and set us free from everything that is wrong.
31 So we have to talk the way we read in God’s Book,
“If you want to talk about great things, don’t talk about yourself,
but talk about God, and tell everyone about the great things that he does.”