All Things to All Men

Please explain in the Gospel Ad­vocate 1 Cor. 9:22. What is meant by the expression: “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some”?

Paul in this passage was not speaking of anything that involved the law of God under Christianity. He only had reference to outside matters that were only matters of indifference. Paul never willingly disobeyed any requirement of God under Christianity to please any one. But in the customs of the people that involved no principle of Christianity, he submitted. When among the Jews, he acted as the Jews in all their customs that did not compromise any law of Christ; and the same also among the Gentiles, or heathen. In matters of indifference, in which if people partake they are nothing worse and from which if they refrain they are nothing better, Christians can be perfectly indifferent. If a Christian is where the custom is to invariably wash the hands before eating, he can submit to that; and so of any other custom of like character. But if a Christian is called upon to turn away from the laws of Christ or do anything that is contrary to them, he cannot yield, even if a refusal should imperil his life.

Elisha G. Sewell

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