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16 (Yes, I also baptized Stephanus and his family. Other than that, I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.) 17 For the Anointed One has sent me on a mission, not to see how many I could baptize,[a] but to proclaim the good news. And I declare this message stripped of all philosophical arguments that empty the cross of its true power. For I trust in the all-sufficient cross of Christ alone.

The True Power of the Cross

18 To preach the message[b] of the cross seems like sheer nonsense to those who are on their way to destruction, but to us who are on our way to salvation, it is the mighty power of God released within us.[c]

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  1. 1 Corinthians 1:17 In the broader context of Paul’s teaching, both baptism and the Lord’s Table proclaim the Lord Jesus (Rom. 6:3-11; 1 Cor. 11:24-27). Therefore, viewing Paul’s statement as somewhat hyperbolic, it is taken to mean that he was not sent just to baptize but also to preach the gospel.
  2. 1 Corinthians 1:18 Or “expression [Gr. logos]” or “the act of proclaiming.”
  3. 1 Corinthians 1:18 The “message of the cross” becomes the ignition point where God’s power becomes operative and actualized with the ability to convert, transform, and save. The Aramaic can be translated “For he [rather than the message] is the power of God.”

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