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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Paul Wishes Himself Accursed from Christ

Brethren Lipscomb and Sewell: As I want all the information I can get on the Bible, please explain the following passage of scripture: “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” (Rom. 9: 3.)

As an exposition of this passage, we will insert the first three verses of this chapter as rendered in “The Living Oracles,” which we regard as the plainest rendering we have ever met with: “I speak the truth in Christ, I do not speak falsely, my conscience bearing me witness, in the Holy Spirit, that I have great grief, and unceasing anguish in my heart, for my brethren; my kinsmen, according to the flesh; (for I also was, myself, wishing to be accursed from Christ).” Paul had reference to his past course of life, before he became a Christian, while he was persecuting the church.