2 When I came 1 to you, brothers and sisters, 2 I did not come with superior eloquence or wisdom as I proclaimed the testimony 3 of God. 2 For I decided to be concerned about nothing 4 among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and with much trembling. 4 My conversation and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not be based on human wisdom but on the power of God.
6 Now we do speak wisdom among the mature, 5 but not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are perishing. 7 Instead we speak the wisdom of God, hidden in a mystery, that God determined before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it. If they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But just as it is written, “Things that no eye has seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, 6 are the things God has prepared for those who love him.” 7 10 God has revealed these to us by the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the things of a man except the man’s spirit within him? So too, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things that are freely given to us by God. 13 And we speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom, but with those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. 8 14 The unbeliever 9 does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The one who is spiritual discerns 10 all things, yet he himself is understood 11 by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to advise him? 12 But we have the mind of Christ.
3 So, brothers and sisters, 1 I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but instead as people of the flesh, 2 as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you milk, 3 not solid food, for you were not yet ready. In fact, you are still not ready, 3 for you are still influenced by the flesh. 4 For since there is still jealousy and dissension among you, are you not influenced by the flesh and behaving like unregenerate people? 5 4 For whenever someone says, “I am with Paul,” or “I am with Apollos,” are you not merely human? 6
5 What is Apollos, really? Or what is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, and each of us in the ministry the Lord gave us. 7 6 I planted, 8 Apollos watered, but God caused it to grow. 7 So neither the one who plants counts for anything, 9 nor the one who waters, but God who causes the growth. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters work as one, 10 but each will receive his reward according to his work. 9 We are coworkers belonging to God. 11 You are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master-builder I laid a foundation, but someone else builds on it. And each one must be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than what is being laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, 12 13 each builder’s 13 work will be plainly seen, for the Day 14 will make it clear, because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire 15 will test what kind of work each has done. 14 If what someone has built survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If someone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss. 16 He himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple 17 and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If someone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, which is what you are.
18 Guard against self-deception, each of you. 18 If someone among you thinks he is wise in this age, let him become foolish so that he can become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this age is foolishness with God. As it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness.” 19 20 And again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 20 21 So then, no more boasting about mere mortals! 21 For everything belongs to you, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future. Everything belongs to you, 23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
4 One 1 should think about us this way – as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Now what is sought in stewards is that one be found faithful. 3 So for me, it is a minor matter that I am judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not acquitted because of this. The one who judges me is the Lord. 5 So then, do not judge anything before the time. Wait until the Lord comes. He will 2 bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the motives of hearts. Then each will receive recognition 3 from God.
6 I have applied these things to myself and Apollos because of you, brothers and sisters, 4 so that through us you may learn “not to go beyond what is written,” so that none of you will be puffed up in favor of the one against the other. 7 For who concedes you any superiority? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as though you did not? 8 Already you are satisfied! Already you are rich! You have become kings without us! I wish you had become kings so that we could reign with you! 9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to die, because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to people. 10 We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, we are dishonored! 11 To the present hour we are hungry and thirsty, poorly clothed, brutally treated, and without a roof over our heads. 12 We do hard work, toiling with our own hands. When we are verbally abused, we respond with a blessing, when persecuted, we endure, 13 when people lie about us, we answer in a friendly manner. We are the world’s dirt and scum, even now.
14 I am not writing these things to shame you, but to correct you as my dear children. 15 For though you may have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, because I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 I encourage you, then, be imitators of me. 17 For this reason, I have sent Timothy to you, who is my dear and faithful son in the Lord. He will remind you of my ways in Christ, 5 as I teach them everywhere in every church. 18 Some have become arrogant, 6 as if I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord is willing, and I will find out not only the talk of these arrogant people, but also their power. 20 For the kingdom of God is demonstrated not in idle talk but with power. 21 What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline 7 or with love and a spirit of gentleness?