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1 Corinthians 6:12

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Bible Study Resources


- Nave's Topical Bible - Expediency;   Holiness;   Prudence;   Self-Denial;   Thompson Chain Reference - Liberty;   Limitation of Liberty;   Self-Control;   Temperance;   Temperance-Intemperance;   The Topic Concordance - Edification;   Expediency;   Law;   Resurrection;  


- Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Body;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Holy, Holiness;   Paul the Apostle;   Worship;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Abstinence;   Harlot;   Romans, the Epistle to the;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Authority;   Body;   Church;   Fornication;   Immorality;   Marriage;   Philosophy in the New Testament;   1 Corinthians;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Corinthians, First Epistle to the;   Paul the Apostle;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Abstinence;   Commandment;   Expediency;   Fornication ;   Freedom of the Will;   Moses;   Offence (2);   Paul;   Quotations;   Worldliness;  


- International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Authority in Religion;   Conscience;   Expedient;  


- Every Day Light - Devotion for May 31;  

Contextual Overview

12Everything is permissible for me, but not all things are beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything [and brought under its power, allowing it to control me].12All things are lawful for me; but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me; but I will not be brought under the power of any.12Everything is allowable to me, but not everything is profitable. Everything is allowable to me, but to nothing will I become a slave.12 "I am allowed to do anything," you say. My answer to this is that not all things are good. Even if it is true that "I am allowed to do anything," I will not let anything control me like a slave. 12 Are all things lawful for me? however, all things are not expedient: are all things lawful for me? however, I will not be a slave to any. 12 Just because something is technically legal doesn't mean that it's spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I'd be a slave to my whims. 12"Everything is permissible for me" - but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me" - but I will not be mastered by anything. 12 "All things are lawful for me," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be dominated by anything. 12 All thinges are lawfull vnto mee, but all thinges are not profitable. I may doe all things, but I will not be brought vnder the power of any thing. 12 "Everything is permissible for me," but not everything is helpful. "Everything is permissible for me," but I will not be brought under the control of anything.

Bible Verse Review

Treasury of Scripure Knowledge

All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
things are lawful 10:23; Romans 14:14
are not
8:4,7-13; 9:12; 10:24-33; Romans 14:15-23; 2 Thessalonians 3:9
but I
9:27; Romans 7:14; Hebrews 12:15,16; Jude 1:12
Reciprocal: Genesis 27:3 - take me;  Leviticus 15:18 - unclean;  Deuteronomy 14:26 - thy soul;  2 Kings 5:16 - I will receive;  Romans 14:20 - For;  1 Corinthians 8:13 - if meat;  2 Corinthians 5:10 - in;  2 Corinthians 8:10 - expedient;  2 Corinthians 12:1 - expedient;  Titus 1:15 - the pure


Genesis 6:1
Now it happened, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them,
Genesis 6:1
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born unto them,
Genesis 6:1
And whanne men bigunnen to be multiplied on erthe, and hadden gendrid douytris,
Genesis 6:1
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them,
Genesis 6:1
When the human race began to increase, with more and more daughters being born, the sons of God noticed that the daughters of men were beautiful. They looked them over and picked out wives for themselves.
Genesis 6:1
When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them,
Genesis 6:1
Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them,
Genesis 6:1
So when men beganne to be multiplied vpon the earth, and there were daughters borne vnto them,
Genesis 6:1
AND it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born to them,
Genesis 6:1
It happened, when men began to multiply on the surface of the ground, and daughters were born to them,

Gill's Notes on the Bible

All things are lawful unto me,.... That is, which are of an indifferent nature; otherwise everything is not lawful to be done:

but all things are not expedient; when the doing of them destroys the peace, comfort, and edification of others; when it stumbles and grieves weak minds, and causes offence to them; see 1 Corinthians 10:23

all things are lawful for me; which is repeated for the sake of saying the following words:

but I will not be brought under the power of any; which would be very inexpedient, should any by the use of liberty in things indifferent, on the one hand, offend his brethren, and, on the other, bring himself into bondage to those very things he has the free use of; and therefore the apostle determines, that these shall not have the mastery over him, that he will use them, or not use them, at his pleasure. It is somewhat difficult to know what in particular he has respect unto, whether to what he had been treating of before, concerning going to law before unbelievers; and his sense be, that however lawful this might be in itself, yet it was not expedient, since it was exposing of themselves to ungodly persons, and a putting themselves under their power to judge and determine as they pleased; or whether to the use of meats forbidden under the law, or offered to idols; which though in themselves lawful to be eaten, every creature of God being good, and not to be refused and accounted common and unclean; yet it was not expedient to use this liberty, if a weak brother should be grieved, or a man himself become a slave to his appetite.

Barnes' Notes on the Bible

All things are lawful unto me - The apostle here evidently makes a transition to another subject from that which he had been discussing - a consideration of the propriety of using certain things which had been esteemed lawful. The expression, “all things are lawful,” is to be understood as used by those who palliated certain indulgences, or who vindicated the vices here referred to, and Paul designs to reply to them. His reply follows. He had been reproving them for their vices, and had specified several. It is not to be supposed that they would indulge in them without some show of defense; and the declaration here has much the appearance of a proverb, or a common saying - that all things were lawful; that is, “God has formed all things for our use, and there can be no evil if we use them.” By the phrase “all things” here, perhaps, may be meant many things; or things in general; or there is nothing in itself unlawful.

That there were many vicious persons who held this sentiment there can be no doubt; and though it cannot be supposed that there were any in the Christian church who would openly advocate it, yet the design of Paul was to “cut up” the plea altogether “wherever it might be urged,” and to show that it was false and unfounded. The particular flyings which Paul here refers to, are those which have been called “adiaphoristic,” or indifferent; that is, pertaining to certain meats and drinks, etc. With this Paul connects also the subject of fornication - the subject particularly under discussion. This was defended as “lawful,” by many Greeks, and was practiced at Corinth; and was the vice to which the Corinthian Christians were particularly exposed. Paul designed to meet all that could be said on this subject; and to show them that these indulgences could not be proper for Christians, and could not in any way be defended - We are not to understand Paul as admitting that fornication is in any case lawful; but he designs to show that the practice cannot possibly be defended in any way, or by any of the arguments which had been or could be used. For this purpose, he observes:

(1)That admitting that all things were lawful, there were many things which ought not to be indulged;

(2)That admitting that they were lawful, yet a man ought not to be under the power of any improper indulgence, and should abandon any habit when it had the mastery.

(3)that fornication was positively wrong, and against the very nature and essence of Christianity, 1 Corinthians 6:13-20.

Are not expedient - This is the first answer to the objection. Even should we admit that the practices under discussion are lawful, yet there are many things which are not expedient; that is, which do not profit, for so the word συμφέρει sumphereiproperly signifies; they are injurious and hurtful. They might injure the body; produce scandal; lead others to offend or to sin. Such was the case with regard to the use of certain meats, and even with regard to the use of wine. Paul‘s rule on this subject is stated in 1 Corinthians 8:13. That if these things did injury to others, he would abandon them forever; even though they were in themselves lawful; see the Romans 14:14-23 notes. There are many customs which, perhaps, cannot be strictly proved to be unlawful or sinful, which yet do injury in some way if indulged in; and which as their indulgence can do no good, should be abandoned. Anything that does evil - however small - and no good, should be abandoned at once.

All things are lawful - Admitting this; or even on the supposition that all things are in themselves right.

But I will not be brought under the power - I will not be subdued by it; I will not become the “slave” of it.

Of any - Of any custom, or habit, no matter what it is. This was Paul‘s rule; the rule of an independent mind. The principle was, that even admitting that certain things were in themselves right, yet his grand purpose was “not to be the slave of habit,” not to be subdued by any practice that might corrupt his mind, fetter his energies, or destroy his freedom as a man and as a Christian. We may observe:

(1) That this is a good rule to act on. It was Paul‘s rule 1 Corinthians 9:27, and it will do as well for us as for him.

(2) it is the true rule of an independent and noble mind. It requires a high order of virtue; and is the only way in which a man may be useful and active.

(3) it may be applied to “many things” now. Many a Christian and Christian minister “is a slave;” and is completely under the power of some habit that destroys his usefulness and happiness. He is the slave of indolence, or carelessness, or of some vile habit - as the use of tobacco, or of wine. He has not independence enough to break the cords that bind him; and the consequence is, that life is passed in indolence, or in self-indulgence, and time, and strength, and property are wasted, and religion blighted, and souls ruined.

(4) the man that has not courage and firmness enough to act on this rule should doubt his piety. If he is a voluntary slave to some idle and mischievous habit, how can he be a Christian! If he does not love his Saviour and the souls of people enough to break off from such habits which he knows are doing injury, how is he fit to be a minister of the self-denying Redeemer?

Clarke's Notes on the Bible

All things are lawful unto me - It is likely that some of the Corinthians had pleaded that the offense of the man who had his father's wife, as well as the eating the things offered to idols, was not contrary to the law, as it then stood. To this the apostle answers: Though such a thing be lawful, yet the case of fornication, mentioned 1 Corinthians 5:1, is not expedient, ου συμφερει - it is not agreeable to propriety, decency, order, and purity. It is contrary to the established usages of the best and most enlightened nations, and should not be tolerated in the Church of Christ.

They might also be led to argue in favor of their eating things offered to idols, and attending idol feasts, thus: - that an idol was nothing in the world; and as food was provided by the bounty of God, a man might partake of it any where without defiling his conscience, or committing sin against the Creator. This excuse also the apostle refers to. All these things are lawful, taken up merely in the light that none of your laws is against the first; and that, on the ground that an idol is nothing in the world, there can be no reason against the last;

But I will not be brought under the power of any - Allowing that they are all lawful, or at least that there is no law against them, yet they are not expedient; there is no necessity for them; and some of them are abominable, and forbidden by the law of God and nature, whether forbidden by yours or not; while others, such as eating meats offered to idols, will almost necessarily lead to bad moral consequences: and who, that is a Christian, would obey his appetite so far as to do these things for the sake of gratification? A man is brought under the power of any thing which he cannot give up. He is the slave of that thing, whatsoever it be, which he cannot relinquish; and then, to him, it is sin.