1 Cor 1:1-9
Paul, called to be a missionary of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Sosthénis, our brother. To the community of the people of God in Korinthos, called and set apart to do the work of God in Christ Jesus, with all those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ everywhere, their Lord and ours. Grace to you and peace from our God Father and Lord Jesus Christ.
I always thank my God for you because of God’s grace given to you in Christ Jesus, because in every way you have been enriched in Him, in every word and in all knowledge, just as the testimony of the Christ is established in you. Therefore, you do not lack in any spiritual gift as you await the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. And He will strengthen you to the end, blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bestows the energy of salvation and He calls you into community with His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Cor 1:18-31
The meaning of the Cross to those whose souls are being destroyed is foolishness, but to those being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will nullify the intelligence of the intelligent.”
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the man of reason of this age? Did God not render the world’s wisdom foolish? Since, by God’s wisdom, the world did not know God by its own wisdom, God determined to save those with the energy of salvation through the foolishness of the proclamation. And since Jews ask for signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we proclaim crucified Christ as the Crosspoint, it is a trap for Jews, foolishness to other nations, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom, because God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
Just look at yourselves at the moment of your calling, brothers: not many wise by human standards, not many powerful, not many socially prominent by birth. But God chose the world’s fools to shame the wise, and God chose the world’s weak to shame the strong, and God chose the socially unimportant by physical birth in this world and those looked down on, the have-nots, so that He may render the power of the haves useless so that no mere human may boast before God. It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus Who became for us wisdom from God, our right relationship with God, our setting apart for the work of God, and our release from the captive condition, so that it is as written: “May he who boasts boast in the Lord.”
1 Cor 2:1-16
And I too came to you, brothers, not with eloquent words or superior wisdom, but proclaiming to you the mystery of God. For I did not determine to see anything in you except Jesus Christ, and Christ crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and with much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of Spirit and power, so that your energy of salvation may not consist in human wisdom but in God’s power.
Hence we are talking about wisdom among the mature, but not wisdom of this age nor of the rulers of this age who are coming to nothing. Instead we are talking about God’s wisdom in the hidden mystery which God set up before time began for our transformation, which none of the rulers of this age have known; for if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of transformation. But as it is written, “The eye did not see and the ear did not hear and the human heart did not receive what God prepared for those whose energy of salvation is in Him.”
But God revealed it to us through the Spirit: for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who among men has known the thoughts of the man if not the man’s spirit within him? Likewise, no one has known the thoughts of God except God’s Spirit.
Hence we did not receive the spirit from the world, but the Spirit that is from God so that we may understand the things that God has endowed us with. And we are talking about things not by learned words of human wisdom, but by teachings of the Spirit, spiritually interpreting by spiritual teachings. But the physical man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot recognize them because they are spiritually discerned. But the spiritual man examines everything, though he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment. For who knew God’s mind Who will unite him? But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Cor 3:1-23
And I too, brothers, could not speak to you as spiritually mature men, but as to physical organisms, as immature in Christ. I fed you milk, not solid food; nor were you able. But not even now are you able, for you are still physical organisms; for where jealousy and selfish rivalry are in you, are you not physical organisms and do you not move as mere men? For when someone says, “I am of Paul, but the other I am of Apollos”, are you not mere men? For who is Apollos? And who is Paul? They are servants through whom you have realized the energy of salvation, and to each one as the Lord has given. I planted, Apollos watered, but God made it grow; neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but the One Who makes it grow. Though the one who plants and the one who waters are one, each one will receive his own reward according to his own effort. For we are God’s co-workers, God’s cultivated field, you are God’s building.
By the gifts that God gave me, like the wise master-builder I laid down the foundation, but another builds. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay down a foundation other than the one laid down, which is Jesus Christ. Hence if anyone builds on a foundation of gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, reed, each one’s work will become clear, for the light of day will make it clear, because it is revealed in fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If the work of the one who builds remains, he will receive a reward. If someone’s work is burnt down, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but as one through fire.
Do you not know that you are a model of God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells within you? If someone corrupts God’s temple, God corrupts him. For God’s temple is set apart for God’s work, and that is who you are.
May no one deceive himself. If someone among you appears to be wise by the standards of this world, may he become a fool so that he may become wise. For this world’s wisdom is foolishness by God’s standards. For it is written, “The one catching the wise in their own craftiness.” And again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are useless.”
Therefore, may no one boast about mere men. For everything is yours, Paul and Apollos and Kiphás, the world and life and death, a present and a future; everything is yours. But you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.
1 Cor 5:5-13
If anyone commits an act in his physical body that is hostile to God, he should be given over to Satan for destruction of the physical body so that the spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.
Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little yeast mixed in ferments the whole batch of dough? Clear out the old hostile energy so that you may start anew, for your Christ is the process by which a man overcomes temptation and focuses as much energy as he can on the soul’s relationship with God. Let us celebrate life in this way, casting aside the old energy, the energy of hateful feelings and hostility, and in the energies of sincerity and truth instead.
I wrote to you in my letter not to mix with sexually immoral people, with people harboring hostile energy, certainly not with the hostile people of this world or with the greedy and graspers or those who assign highest value to superficial things, since in that case you would have to get out of the human race. But now I wrote to you not to mix with anyone called a brother but who harbors hostile energy or is greedy or who assigns highest value to superficial things or is abusive and a slanderer or a drunkard or a grasper: do not even eat with such a person.
It is none of my business to judge those on the outside. But should you not judge those on the inside? In any case, God will judge those on the outside. As for yourselves, remove the hostile energy from within you.
1 Cor 6:12-20
Everything is available to me, but not everything is for my betterment; everything is available to me, but I will not be overpowered by it: food for the stomach, and the stomach for food, but God will consume them both.
Do not direct your free will to waste the σώμα, to consume it, as if it were food, or use it as a machine of consumption, like the stomach; instead the σώμα is an entity that, at least potentially, has an eternal relationship with God, as a marriage bond. For a time, σώμα is intertwined with σάρξ. But God raised up the Lord and He will raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your eternal bodies are members of Christ? Do not take the σώμα and make it a member of an entity that is hostile to God, by indulging in sexual immorality, for example, by throwing away the energy of salvation on things which are not for the betterment of the σώμα; but if you cling to such things, you will lose up both σάρξ and σώμα to them.
Faithfulness in marriage represents proper use of σάρξ so as to be one in σώμα in Spirit with God. Unfaithfulness, throwing away the energy of salvation, turning your back on God, is the worst mistake that you can make against your σώμα, against your spirit, and this is also reflected in what you do with your σάρξ for as long as the two are intertwined.
Your σώμα is a gift from God, the Holy Spirit, not your own, given by the Spirit of love, by God’s feeling and creative energy: transform your σώμα into the likeness of God.
1 Cor 12:1-14, 27-31
Brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant about spiritual matters. You know that when you existed like the nations do, if led at all, you were led towards voiceless idols. That’s why I want you to know that no one in God’s Spirit can say, “Jesus be condemned”, and that no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in Spirit set apart by God to do His work. The same Spirit bestows different kinds of gifts, the same Lord assigns different kinds of services, and the same God distributes different kinds of energies, the same God that works all things in everyone. The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the common good. By the Spirit, a message of wisdom is given to one, but to another gifts of healing in the One Spirit, to another operations of powers, to another distinguishing of spirits, to another types of languages, to another interpretation of languages. But the One and the Same Spirit works all these things, distributing individually each to one as it wills.
Likewise, the Christ is one body, one σώμα, with many members; the body’s members are many, but the σώμα is One: for by One Spirit we were all baptized into one σώμα – both Jews and Greeks, both slaves and free – and we were all nourished by One Spirit. At the same time, the body is not one member but many, though each one is in part responsible for the other.
So you are Christ’s body and members individually. And God placed them in the church, first missionaries, second those who speak His word intelligibly, third servants, then miracle-workers, then those having the gifts of healing, helpers, administrators, linguists. Not all are missionaries, not all speak God’s work intelligibly, not all are teachers, not all are miracle-workers, not all have powers of healing, not all speak in languages, not all interpret. But strive for the greater gifts.
1 Cor 13:1-13
And now I show you a far better way. If I speak in human languages and of the angels, but I do not have love, then I have become a noisy brass gong or a loudly wailing cymbal. And if I have an intelligible message from God and I know all the mysteries and possess all the knowledge, and if I have all the energy of salvation so as to move mountains, but I do not have love, then I am nothing.
And if I give away all my possessions and if I give up my body for self-glory, but I do not have love, then I am nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not brag, it does not puff itself up. Love is not rude, it does not seek its own self-interest, it is not irritable, it does not reckon up wrongs. Love does not rejoice over injustice, it shares joy in the truth. Love endures all, it stores up the energy of salvation in all situations, it sees potential in all things, it outlasts everything.
Even intelligible messages from God will be used up, languages will cease, and knowledge will be rendered obsolete, but love never fails. For we know in part and we intelligibly speak God’s messages in part. But when maturity comes, what is partial will no longer matter. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see dimly in a mirror, later we will see face to face; now I know partially, later I will know fully just as I will be fully known. But for now what remains is faith – the energy of salvation –, hope – the potential, and love – the creative energy, these three things. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Cor 14:1-25
Pursue love, be zealous for spiritual things, even more so that you may speak God’s message intelligibly. For the one speaking in language does not speak to human beings but to God. Indeed, no one receives the information, for he speaks mysteries in Spirit. But the one speaking God’s message intelligibly speaks for the building up, encouragement, and comfort of human beings. The one speaking in language builds up himself; the one speaking God’s message intelligibly builds up the church. I want you all to speak in languages, but even more so that you speak God’s message intelligibly: the one who speaks God’s message intelligibly is greater than the one who speaks in languages, unless he interprets so that the church may be built up.
But now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in languages, what will I benefit you if I will not also speak in revelation or in knowledge or God’s message intelligibly or in teaching? Likewise, the soulless flute and harp, for example, making sound are meaningless if they make no distinction in the notes, for how will anyone know what is being played? Or again, if a trumpet blast is indistinct, who will prepare for war? Likewise you too, then, if you do not provide an easily understood message with your language, how will anyone know what you are saying? For you will be speaking to the air. It happens that there are all kinds of sounds among humans and none without meaning. Therefore, if I do not recognize the potential function of the sound, I will be a foreigner to the one speaking and the one speaking a foreigner to me. Likewise you too, since you are earnestly committed to spiritual things, seek to excel for the purpose of building up the church. Therefore, the one speaking in a language should pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a language, my spirit prays, but my mind is fruitless. What is it, then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will also pray with the mind; and I will also sing with the mind. For in spirit you may recognize God as the highest value, but put yourself in the place of the one who does not understand, how will he say αμήν to your thanksgiving? Because he does not understand what you are saying. For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other is not being built up.
I thank God, I speak in languages more than all of you: but in church I want to say five words with my mind, so that I may instruct others, rather than ten thousands words in a language.
Brothers, do not be immature in your understanding, but be innocent to evil and become mature in your understanding.
It is written in the law, “The Lord says, ‘I will speak to those people in other languages and by others’ lips, but just the same they will not heed me.”
Therefore, just as the languages are a sign not for those who recognize the energy of salvation, but for those who do not recognize the energy of salvation, the intelligible message of God is not for those who do not recognize the energy of salvation, but for those who recognize the energy of salvation. Therefore, if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in languages, those coming who are not instructed or do not recognize the energy of salvation, will they not say that you are insane? But if everyone speaks the word of God intelligibly and the uninstructed person or the person who does not recognize the energy of salvation comes in, he is convinced by everyone, he is examined by everyone, the hidden things of his heart become clear, and thus falling to his face, he will recognize that God is the highest value and exclaim that God is really among you.
1 Cor 15:35-58
But someone will say, how are the dead raised? In what body do they come? You fool, what you sow does not come to life unless it dies: you do not sow the σώμα that is to come, but the bare seed, as if of wheat or of some other kind. In any case, God designed the seed to produce the σώμα as He wanted and to each of the seeds its own σώμα. Not all physical organisms are the same: some are human beings, others are cattle, some are birds, others are fish. There are heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies: the heavenly bodies have one kind of transformation, the earthly bodies another kind of transformation; the sun has one kind of transformation, the moon another kind, and the stars yet another, and one star differs in transformation from another.
Likewise the dead change in status for the better: one is sown in organic matter that breaks down, one is raised in a state of integrity; one is sown in a state of humiliation, one is raised in glory; one is sown in weakness, one is raised in power. The σώμα is sown as physical, the σώμα is raised as spiritual. If a physical σώμα exists, then also a spiritual one. Likewise it is also written, “the first human being Adam came as a living creature, the last Adam a life-giving spirit. But the physical is first, not the spiritual; the physical first, then the spiritual. The first man is dust from earth, the second man from heaven: just as the dust generates dust, so the spiritual generates the spiritual; just as we bore the image of the dust, we will bear the image of the Spirit.
I say this, brothers, because physical body and blood cannot have the potential by spiritual law to recover their portion of the direct energy of God, they cannot access the kingdom of God, nor can organic matter avoid decay. Look, I tell you a mystery: not all of you will die, but we will all change, in a flash, in a blinking of an eye, in the last trumpet blast; for the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised undying and we will be changed. For this thing that is subject to decay must enter into a state of integrity; this thing that is subject to death will change in status for the better. And when this thing that is subject to decay enters into a state of integrity and this thing that is subject to death changes in status for the better, then the Word that has been written will come to be, “Death has been swallowed up into victory. Where is, O death, your victory? Where is, O death, your sting?”
The sting of death is errant ways and the power of death is the law. But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Accordingly, my brothers endowed with creative energy, be steadfast, unmovable, overflowing in the work of the Lord always, knowing that your hard work in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Cor 16:13-14, 19,21, 23-24
Be alert, stand firm in the energy of salvation, be courageous, be strong. May everything be yours in creative energy.
The communities of the province of Asia greet you. I, Paul, greet you with my own hand.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My creative energy with all of you in Christ Jesus.