1 Corinthians 1
Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2 to the church of God which is at Corinth, those that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints, with all that call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, their Lord and ours.
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God always concerning you, for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus. 5 That in everything you were enriched in him, in all utterance and all knowledge. 6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, 7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 Who shall also confirm you to the end, unreproveable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
An appeal for unity
10 Now I urge you brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me concerning you, my brothers, by those of the household of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 By this I mean, that each one of you is saying: I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, except Crispus and Gaius. 15 Lest any of you should say you were baptized into my name. 16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas. Besides these, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ sent me not so much as to baptize, but to preach the gospel; not in the wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no power.
God uses the weak things
18 For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us who are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning will I bring to nothing. 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know God, it was God's good pleasure through the apparent foolishness of the message preached to save them that believe- 22 seeing that Jews ask for signs and Greeks seek after wisdom. 23 But we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness. 24 But to them that are called, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 Consider your calling, brothers; not many of you had worldly wisdom, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world, that He might put to shame those that are wise; and God chose the weak things of the world, that He might put to shame the things that are strong. 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are. 29 So that no flesh should boast before God. 30 But of Him are you in Christ Jesus, who was made to us by God to be our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. 31 That, according to what is written: He that boasts, let him boast in the Lord.
1:4 To always be thanking God for what He has done for others is an indication of a very selfless spirit.
1:7 The purpose of the Holy Spirit gifts in the first century was to "confirm" the new believers (v. 6). Once the New Testament was completed, this was no longer required.
1:10,11 There were many serious moral and doctrinal problems in the church at Corinth. But Paul begins with the problem of their being divided. Division amongst believers is an awful sin which must be avoided at all costs.
1:14,15 Who physically baptizes us has no spiritual significance.
1:17 Paul doesn't mean that baptism is unimportant- he has just said he did baptize some people, and the Acts record gives other examples. He means that the focus of the work the Lord had given him was to above all spread the Gospel; perhaps he left the follow up and baptizing of people to others.
1:28 God has chosen us; so we are in some way the low and despised in this world and the societies in which we live.