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VerticalReality
Oct 9th 2009, 01:00 PM
1 Corinthians 6:12
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1 Corinthians 10:23
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.

What's the best explanation for Paul's statements in these two passages?

Radagast
Oct 9th 2009, 01:12 PM
1 Corinthians 6:12
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1 Corinthians 10:23
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.

What's the best explanation for Paul's statements in these two passages?

The best explanation is that he's quoting what the Corinthians had said, and responding to it. The NIV translates with quotation marks, like this:

"Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything. "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"—but God will destroy them both. (6:12-13a)

"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. (10:23-24)

Or, in the ESV:

"All things are lawful for me," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be enslaved by anything. "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food"—and God will destroy both one and the other. (6:12-13a)

"All things are lawful," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful," but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. (10:23-24)

Firefighter
Oct 9th 2009, 01:16 PM
I would LOVE to see the evidence for that...

kf4zmt
Oct 9th 2009, 01:18 PM
1 Corinthians 10:23 is an important commentary on the silence of the scriptures - All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Paul says all things are lawful... with the obvious exception of those things specifically prohibited (we know that theft, fornication, lying, drunkenness, etc. are wrong because God specifically condemns these things). However, not all things are profitable or edifying... just because some things aren't sinful doesn't mean they are automatically helpful. If we engage in something that is lawful in a religious context, but it doesn't build us up spiritually then we are probably wasting our time.

Radagast
Oct 9th 2009, 01:27 PM
Morris's commentary (http://books.google.com.au/books?id=bkCxMQdoCZIC&q=everything+is+permissible#v=snippet&q=everything%20is%20permissible&f=false) (pages 95-96, 145-146) on these passages is helpful.

Firefighter
Oct 9th 2009, 01:32 PM
I would hope that there is more than "it looks like a catchphrase" in some commentary...

VerticalReality
Oct 9th 2009, 01:38 PM
I'm not really feeling good about the answers given thus far. Paul doesn't say some things are lawful . . . he says all things are lawful.

I find this to be an odd point of view that most of the church holds today. Most churches are quick to say, "We aren't under law anymore." However, at the same time they are quick to say that some things are unlawful. It doesn't make sense.

Firefighter
Oct 9th 2009, 01:39 PM
We are under a law (see Romans), but not THE law (See Galatians).;)

Radagast
Oct 9th 2009, 01:40 PM
I would hope that there is more than "it looks like a catchphrase" in some commentary...

Oh, I don't think that, for the quotation marks, there's evidence you could take to the bank. It's a good explanation, though, for what are otherwise rather strange statements.

Here's Matthew Henry on 6:12-13:

Some among the Corinthians seem to have been ready to say, All things are lawful for me. This dangerous conceit St. Paul opposes. There is a liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, in which we must stand fast. But surely a Christian would never put himself into the power of any bodily appetite. The body is for the Lord; is to be an instrument of righteousness to holiness, therefore is never to be made an instrument of sin. It is an honour to the body, that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead; and it will be an honour to our bodies, that they will be raised. The hope of a resurrection to glory, should keep Christians from dishonouring their bodies by fleshly lusts. And if the soul be united to Christ by faith, the whole man is become a member of his spiritual body. Other vices may be conquered in fight; that here cautioned against, only by flight. And vast multitudes are cut off by this vice in its various forms and consequences. Its effects fall not only directly upon the body, but often upon the mind. Our bodies have been redeemed from deserved condemnation and hopeless slavery by the atoning sacrifice of Christ. We are to be clean, as vessels fitted for our Master's use. Being united to Christ as one spirit, and bought with a price of unspeakable value, the believer should consider himself as wholly the Lord's, by the strongest ties. May we make it our business, to the latest day and hour of our lives, to glorify God with our bodies, and with our spirits which are his.

stupes
Oct 9th 2009, 01:41 PM
1 Corinthians 6:12
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1 Corinthians 10:23
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.

What's the best explanation for Paul's statements in these two passages?

If you read on in I Corinthians 10 he explains this a bit more:

"[32]Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
[32] Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
[33] Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved."

And I Corinthians 8 really explains these statments:

"[4] As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.
[5] For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
[6] But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
[7] Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
[8] But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
[9] But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
[10] For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
[11] And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
[12] But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
[13] Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend."

So Paul was fine with eating meat sacrificed to idols - but he would never do it if it would damage the conscience or faith of a brother. Verse 9 - take heed so that your liberty does not become a stumblingblock to your brother. All things are lawful but not all edify......

You may be fine with drinking some wine - or watching certain movies. But refrain from doing these things if they might be a stumblingblock to a fellow Christian brother or sister. Romans 14 also talks about this subject.

Hope that helps.

VerticalReality
Oct 9th 2009, 01:43 PM
Oh, I don't think that, for the quotation marks, there's evidence you could take to the bank. It's a good explanation, though, for what are otherwise rather strange statements.

Regardless, it really doesn't change Paul's statement. If he is quoting others he is still in agreement that "all things are lawful" . . . but not all things are helpful.

RabbiKnife
Oct 9th 2009, 01:43 PM
I don't think they are strange in their context. We tend to forget that Paul wasn't writing a systematic theology textbook; he was writing to his friends.

Just like if 100 years from now, someone reads the phrase, in a letter I write to UM..."Looks like you need to go kill some more golf balls", they won't have a clue, but UM and I know what it means.

I think we really complicate things when we try to make each little word have a gravitas that was never intended.

Look at the context..."Hey, fellas, you ain't under the law any longer. Everything is cool. But everything might not be very smart."

VerticalReality
Oct 9th 2009, 01:44 PM
If you read on in I Corinthians 10 he explains this a bit more:

"[32]Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
[32] Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
[33] Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved."

And I Corinthians 8 really explains these statments:

"[4] As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.
[5] For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
[6] But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
[7] Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
[8] But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
[9] But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
[10] For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
[11] And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
[12] But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
[13] Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend."

So Paul was fine with eating meat sacrificed to idols - but he would never do it if it would damage the conscience or faith of a brother. Verse 9 - take heed so that your liberty does not become a stumblingblock to your brother. All things are lawful but not all edify......

You may be fine with drinking some wine - or watching certain movies. But refrain from doing these things if they might be a stumblingblock to a fellow Christian brother or sister. Romans 14 also talks about this subject.

Hope that helps.

Yes, I understand that . . .

However, Paul's statements are not only referring to meat sacrificed to idols. It's more broad than that.

stupes
Oct 9th 2009, 01:52 PM
I'm not really feeling good about the answers given thus far. Paul doesn't say some things are lawful . . . he says all things are lawful.

I find this to be an odd point of view that most of the church holds today. Most churches are quick to say, "We aren't under law anymore." However, at the same time they are quick to say that some things are unlawful. It doesn't make sense.

I think you need to reign in your definition of "all things".

Paul says this about Love - "Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." Now love can't literally believe all things because if you believe the truth how can you also believe a lie? How can you hope destruction and redemption on the same thing? You see - "all things" is a catch phrase, speaking of catch phrases, used by Paul to display the expansive nature of God.

Firefighter
Oct 9th 2009, 01:55 PM
"Looks like you need to go kill some more golf balls", they won't have a clue, but UM and I know what it means.

I perceive that you are a man of GREAT wisdom...:D

Radagast
Oct 9th 2009, 01:56 PM
Yes, I understand that . . .

However, Paul's statements are not only referring to meat sacrificed to idols. It's more broad than that.

As I said, it makes a lot more sense with quotation marks.

1 Cor 6:12-18 is specifically about sexual immorality. The Corinthians seem to have argued from liberty in the food department ("Everything is permissible for me" and "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food") to liberty in the sexual department, and Paul is saying that sex is different from eating (verse 13b: "The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.").

Basically, in 1 Cor 6:12-18, Paul is responding to the kind of people who say "it's natural, so just do it."

1 Cor 10:23-31 is about how it's wrong to take advantage of liberty in the food department ("Everything is permissible for me") if it causes someone else to stumble.

RabbiKnife
Oct 9th 2009, 01:57 PM
I perceive that you are a man of GREAT wisdom...:D

And don't forget telepathetic.

;)

stupes
Oct 9th 2009, 01:58 PM
Yes, I understand that . . .

However, Paul's statements are not only referring to meat sacrificed to idols. It's more broad than that.

Yes completely agreed - he just uses meat as an example because it's easy and I assume it was a common issue in his day. I would venture to equate it with smoking cigarettes today - (again just an example). That's lawful - but it doesn't edify so why bother? - and if it serves as a stumblingblock to a brother or sister of a weaker place then you should not smoke for their sake. Don't let your liberty harm others faith.

Firefighter
Oct 9th 2009, 02:01 PM
Basically, in 1 Cor 6:12-18, Paul is responding to the kind of people who say "it's natural, so just do it."

There is nothing in the text to suggest this at all. It is PURELY speculation.

VerticalReality
Oct 9th 2009, 02:06 PM
I think you need to reign in your definition of "all things".

Paul says this about Love - "Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." Now love can't literally believe all things because if you believe the truth how can you also believe a lie? How can you hope destruction and redemption on the same thing? You see - "all things" is a catch phrase, speaking of catch phrases, used by Paul to display the expansive nature of God.

I'm not seeing the need in this context. It seems you are saying that what Paul really means is that some things are lawful but some things are not lawful. How can you be both under the law and not under the law at the same time?

Radagast
Oct 9th 2009, 02:06 PM
There is nothing in the text to suggest this at all. It is PURELY speculation.

Look at 6:13: "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"—but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

Paul is making a jump here from eating (red) to sex (blue). That would only make sense if someone in Corinth had already made a connection between the two.

stupes
Oct 9th 2009, 02:08 PM
I'm not really feeling good about the answers given thus far. Paul doesn't say some things are lawful . . . he says all things are lawful.

I find this to be an odd point of view that most of the church holds today. Most churches are quick to say, "We aren't under law anymore." However, at the same time they are quick to say that some things are unlawful. It doesn't make sense.

VerticalReality - I completely agree with you that church's say they aren't under The Law anymore but they have replaced it with a new set of "Christian Laws". There are so many of these laws I can't even begin to list them. I'll try a few:

Swearing is against the law
Drinking a beer is against the law
Going on Facebook
Going to a bar
Playing poker

As if Jesus came in order to remove us from under God's perfect law and put us into this set of laws! Hilarious. Jesus came so we can fulfill God's perfect law by walking in Him through the power of the Holy Spirit. not to give us this new set of rules.

VerticalReality
Oct 9th 2009, 02:19 PM
VerticalReality - I completely agree with you that church's say they aren't under The Law anymore but they have replaced it with a new set of "Christian Laws". There are so many of these laws I can't even begin to list them. I'll try a few:

Swearing is against the law
Drinking a beer is against the law
Going on Facebook
Going to a bar
Playing poker

As if Jesus came in order to remove us from under God's perfect law and put us into this set of laws! Hilarious. Jesus came so we can fulfill God's perfect law by walking in Him through the power of the Holy Spirit. not to give us this new set of rules.

This is not really what I'm meaning either, although I do see your point. What I'm speaking specifically to is that there are some things that people have an easy time believing are lawful and then other things they say are unlawful. It's almost like the church today is under the impression that we need laws to know or understand whether something is wrong or not.

It's almost as if folks think something is wrong if they can't call something unlawful.

"Well, that has to be unlawful because it's so wrong!"

Yes, it is wrong; however, why does that mean the Christian needs a law?

stupes
Oct 9th 2009, 02:26 PM
I'm not seeing the need in this context. It seems you are saying that what Paul really means is that some things are lawful but some things are not lawful. How can you be both under the law and not under the law at the same time?

Answer - Different Laws
When Paul is talking about Love I think it is implied that it hopes all good things, believes all good things etc. - you see? "all things" has different implications in different contexts. In this context - it is implied that "all things except sin" is lawful for him. Everything that is not of faith is sin - Romans 14. So Paul has the faith to do a lot - eat swine, eat meat sacrificed to idols, whatever else - he was not held back by a set of rules or laws. But he was very much under the Laws of the Jesus. Love. Love God and love thy neighbor - for these are the fulfillment of the law and prophets. So the Law of Love stops him from casting a stumblingblock in front of his brother even though he can do all "things" himself.

Firefighter
Oct 9th 2009, 02:29 PM
That would only make sense if someone in Corinth had already made a connection between the two.

To you, 2000 years later. Again, there is nothing IN THE TEXT that suggests it is a quote.

VerticalReality
Oct 9th 2009, 02:31 PM
Answer - Different Laws
When Paul is talking about Love I think it is implied that it hopes all good things, believes all good things etc. - you see? "all things" has different implications in different contexts. In this context - it is implied that "all things except sin" is lawful for him. Everything that is not of faith is sin - Romans 14. So Paul has the faith to do a lot - eat swine, eat meat sacrificed to idols, whatever else - he was not held back by a set of rules or laws. But he was very much under the Laws of the Jesus. Love. Love God and love thy neighbor - for these are the fulfillment of the law and prophets. So the Law of Love stops him from casting a stumblingblock in front of his brother even though he can do all "things" himself.

And this right here is where I really believe the church as a whole today is missing it. This is exactly the mindset I was addressing in my previous post . . .

The Christian today seems to hold the mindset of, "All things are lawful . . . except that really bad stuff that I think is really really wrong . . . "

In this I think the church today has totally missed the entire purpose of the law being given. The Christian today is not under the law at all . . . and I believe Paul totally meant ALL when he said it. There is not one single thing that is "unlawful".

The problem is that many Christians today equate the statement "all things are lawful" with the statement "all things are okay."

stupes
Oct 9th 2009, 02:33 PM
This is not really what I'm meaning either, although I do see your point. What I'm speaking specifically to is that there are some things that people have an easy time believing are lawful and then other things they say are unlawful. It's almost like the church today is under the impression that we need laws to know or understand whether something is wrong or not.

It's almost as if folks think something is wrong if they can't call something unlawful.

"Well, that has to be unlawful because it's so wrong!"

Yes, it is wrong; however, why does that mean the Christian needs a law?

Agreed - the carnal mind sets up laws. But our life in Christ is spiritual - in the liberty of Christ under the Law of Love.

I Corinthians 2
[15] But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

Not that we don't judge sin - but we judge it spiritually by faith - he that is spiritual judges all things.

VerticalReality
Oct 9th 2009, 02:40 PM
Agreed - the carnal mind sets up laws.

But see, again, this is not what I'm saying. I'm not talking about mankind inventing laws that are not really laws given in the bible.

stupes
Oct 9th 2009, 02:47 PM
So you are saying people shouldn't call "wrong" things "unlawful" things? Cause they may be wrong but they aren't unlawful?

VerticalReality
Oct 9th 2009, 02:50 PM
So you are saying people shouldn't call "wrong" things "unlawful" things? Cause they may be wrong but they aren't unlawful?

Precisely . . .

You cannot be both under law and not under law at the same time. The law was not given for the righteous. The righteous are not under law whatsoever. If you are under law then you are currently not in righteous standing. You are either resting in Him and His works or you are still working with a heavy burden.

Gregg
Oct 9th 2009, 02:57 PM
Hmmm...I always took it as my sins past, present, and future were covered by the Blood of Jesus before I was even born. When I came to him, repented, and gave my life to Him, I received the gift of eternal life with Him. He does not have to keep on being crucified for each of my sins. The work is complete. So now my sins do not effect my eternity they do affect my walk while in this life. My sins (and some choices) are not profitable in doing the work God has given me to do. There are circumstances to my actions. This is covered by what I sow I reap. It is more profitable to sow God's will than my own fleshy desires. I can have a better life now while I wait to go to Heaven if I follow Paul's teaching.

stupes
Oct 9th 2009, 03:11 PM
Precisely . . .

You cannot be both under law and not under law at the same time. The law was not given for the righteous. The righteous are not under law whatsoever. If you are under law then you are currently not in righteous standing. You are either resting in Him and His works or you are still working with a heavy burden.

Yeah ok. Like Paul says in Romans - only the dead man is free from sin. You are either dead to yourself and resting in His works or you are living in your own works - which is living - and is therefore in sin.

VerticalReality
Oct 9th 2009, 03:11 PM
Here's one example . . .

Under law, what would happen if someone committed adultery?

How often have you seen a judge tell a criminal, "You are guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt and have committed a crime, but I'm going to let you off the hook without any punishment whatsoever." No, law requires judgment and sentencing.

Many Christians today seem to think of Jesus as a bail bondsman of sorts who steps into the proverbial "courtroom" and pays the penalty releasing the guilty of their crime.

However, I do not believe this is representative of what Jesus has done. I believe Jesus has totally taken the law away making it impossible for a crime to be committed and a hearing to take place. Therefore, all judgment and all sentencing has been given strictly to Him.

stupes
Oct 9th 2009, 03:14 PM
Hmmm...I always took it as my sins past, present, and future were covered by the Blood of Jesus before I was even born. When I came to him, repented, and gave my life to Him, I received the gift of eternal life with Him. He does not have to keep on being crucified for each of my sins. The work is complete. So now my sins do not effect my eternity they do affect my walk while in this life. My sins (and some choices) are not profitable in doing the work God has given me to do. There are circumstances to my actions. This is covered by what I sow I reap. It is more profitable to sow God's will than my own fleshy desires. I can have a better life now while I wait to go to Heaven if I follow Paul's teaching.

Yeah - unless you continue in sin willfully of course - as we are taught here in Hebrews 10:

"[26] For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
[27] But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
[28] He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
[29] Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
[30] For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
[31] It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

stupes
Oct 9th 2009, 03:17 PM
Here's one example . . .

Under law, what would happen if someone committed adultery?

How often have you seen a judge tell a criminal, "You are guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt and have committed a crime, but I'm going to let you off the hook without any punishment whatsoever." No, law requires judgment and sentencing.

Many Christians today seem to think of Jesus as a bail bondsman of sorts who steps into the proverbial "courtroom" and pays the penalty releasing the guilty of their crime.

However, I do not believe this is representative of what Jesus has done. I believe Jesus has totally taken the law away making it impossible for a crime to be committed and a hearing to take place. Therefore, all judgment and all sentencing has been given strictly to Him.

Without ever thinking of it that way - i tend to agree. We know he went down and got the keys of death and hell. So that makes sense. He judges his people - as I just quoted in Hebrews 10.

Gregg
Oct 9th 2009, 03:24 PM
Yeah - unless you continue in sin willfully of course - as we are taught here in Hebrews 10:

"[26] For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
[27] But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
[28] He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
[29] Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
[30] For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
[31] It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

As Christians who are promised a way out from temptation, aren't all sins willful?

I no longer drink (coming on 24 years) because I can't/don't feel God when I do. It was definitely an idol, now it is not in my life, nor are the consequences of it. Praise Jesus. Would I go to hell if I had a drink or two or even many? I would say no, but drinking is not profitable. It would affect my testimony and ability to minister to alcoholics, not to mention my ability to feel close to God. Now, I also know that God has released me, and that my sobriety is a gift. It is one that I have to work at. The gift does need some action on my part.

stupes
Oct 9th 2009, 03:38 PM
As Christians who are promised a way out from temptation, aren't all sins willful?

I no longer drink (coming on 24 years) because I can't/don't feel God when I do. It was definitely an idol, now it is not in my life, nor are the consequences of it. Praise Jesus. Would I go to hell if I had a drink or two or even many? I would say no, but drinking is not profitable. It would affect my testimony and ability to minister to alcoholics, not to mention my ability to feel close to God. Now, I also know that God has released me, and that my sobriety is a gift. It is one that I have to work at. The gift does need some action on my part.

Completely agreed - your testimony would be damaged and God delivered you from alcohol so you should not even play with going back to it - agreed.

And Paul says those that despised Moses' Law were stoned. God loves mercy - this harsh tone is for those that have come to a knowledge of the truth but turn to sin because they actually despise the works of God. I believe it is rare.

BroRog
Oct 9th 2009, 04:00 PM
Regardless, it really doesn't change Paul's statement. If he is quoting others he is still in agreement that "all things are lawful" . . . but not all things are helpful.

When Paul quotes someone else, he isn't necessarily in agreement with them.

stupes
Oct 9th 2009, 04:06 PM
When Paul quotes someone else, he isn't necessarily in agreement with them.

This theory that he is quoting others does not resonate with me at all. In fact "all things" is a phrase that Paul used a lot. He said it here because he was teaching them about correct behavior in the body of Christ - though we have great liberty in Christ - we can't be going crazy with it - which is what the Corinthians were doing......

BroRog
Oct 9th 2009, 04:15 PM
When we read Paul's letter to the Corinthians, it is helpful to keep in mind that he is responding to a letter they sent him. The Corinthians sent Paul a letter with questions about doctrine and practice and Paul is responding to these questions.

Here in chapter 7, for instance, Paul makes this explicit.


Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. 1Corinthians 7:1
If Paul were using the internet he might have formatted it this way,

Now concerning the things about which you wrote:


It is good for a man not to touch a woman. The sentence, "It is good for a man not to touch a woman", is what the Corinthians want to know. They want Paul to give them additional teaching, instruction, and clarification concerning male/female relationships. And with all the things that can go wrong between them, with so many possible ways to be impure, the Corinthians have decided tha for the sake of holiness and purity, it would be better if a man simply didn't pursue a relationship with a woman, even a legitimate marriage relationship.

If we pay careful attention to the rest of the letter, we can usually spot the Corinthian questions, but Paul doesn't make it easy for us. But what we must remember is that the already Corinthians know what they asked, and so Paul is free to abbreviate their questions and not bother with formatting them so as to make them explicit. He feels free to take a short cut in a long response so as to save expensive paper perhaps.

When Paul writes that all things are lawful, he isn't the one saying this. He has summarized the libertarian view of those who have decided that freedom in Christ means license to sin. Again, this is a concern of the Corinthian elders who have written Paul asking for further clarification and instruction. What about this idea that we are free in Christ?

VerticalReality
Oct 9th 2009, 04:19 PM
When Paul quotes someone else, he isn't necessarily in agreement with them.

Even if what you state is true, it would not make sense for Paul to continue with "but not all things are helpful," if he were not in agreement with the first part he is supposedly quoting.

It wouldn't make any sense at all. The way it is written Paul is basically saying the following . . .

Although all things are lawful, not all things are helpful. He's saying that just because all things are lawful does not mean they are also edifying or helpful.

In fact, even things that are lawful can have numerous negative consequences. It's the same as in the world of business (forgive me, I'm a student of business management), what is lawful is not necessarily what is ethical.

BroRog
Oct 9th 2009, 04:25 PM
This theory that he is quoting others does not resonate with me at all. In fact "all things" is a phrase that Paul used a lot. He said it here because he was teaching them about correct behavior in the body of Christ - though we have great liberty in Christ - we can't be going crazy with it - which is what the Corinthians were doing......

I agree with your conclusion. But I don't understand your point about Paul quoting others.

stupes
Oct 9th 2009, 04:35 PM
When Paul writes that all things are lawful, he isn't the one saying this.

I disagree. I read it as his saying - it's even in his own verbage - "all things". You are making an assumption here and stating it as fact. Even the common commentaries say it "appears" to be a catch phrase of the Corinthians. And maybe it is - but Paul taught them personally so if it's a catch phrase I see it as his - that he needs to now give more clarification on.

That's how I read it. You don't - that's your own prerogative.

BroRog
Oct 9th 2009, 04:43 PM
Even if what you state is true, it would not make sense for Paul to continue with "but not all things are helpful," if he were not in agreement with the first part he is supposedly quoting.

It wouldn't make any sense at all. The way it is written Paul is basically saying the following . . .

Although all things are lawful, not all things are helpful. He's saying that just because all things are lawful does not mean they are also edifying or helpful.

In fact, even things that are lawful can have numerous negative consequences. It's the same as in the world of business (forgive me, I'm a student of business management), what is lawful is not necessarily what is ethical.

I agree with your analysis. For this reason I tend to think that the entire sentence was a quotation from the Corinthians. In other words, I think the Corinthians were saying "All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful."

In reality, the word translated "helpful" should be translated "profitable" or "advantageous", which I believe is what the Corinthians meant to say. Apparently, some in Corinth were looking for an ethical way to live, which did not simply involve keeping a set of rules. And so they were saying to each other, "All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable." This is to say, "not all things will be to my advantage." I may be free to do anything I want, but not all things will be to my benefit. Some things might actually be a detriment to my health, my well being, my financial status, my social standing, etc.

I believe Paul wants to redirect the focus of their new ethical position. I believe the next statement is Paul's. "All things are lawful, but not all things edify." This ethical perspective turns our attention away from what is profitable for us personally, toward what is good for another person.

In the passage that follows, Paul will discuss eating meat that was offered to an idol. He will conclude that, although it is permissible for us to eat meat offered to idols, because after all, other gods don't really exist, we should be concerned if our eating will cause our brother to stumble. We could fill this out, but the essence of his point is that we ought to be just as concerned for others as we are for ourselves.

Our ethics should include concern for others, not just an assessment of what will benefit us.

stupes
Oct 9th 2009, 04:47 PM
I agree with your analysis. For this reason I tend to think that the entire sentence was a quotation from the Corinthians. In other words, I think the Corinthians were saying "All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful."

In reality, the word translated "helpful" should be translated "profitable" or "advantageous", which I believe is what the Corinthians meant to say. Apparently, some in Corinth were looking for an ethical way to live, which did not simply involve keeping a set of rules. And so they were saying to each other, "All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable." This is to say, "not all things will be to my advantage." I may be free to do anything I want, but not all things will be to my benefit. Some things might actually be a detriment to my health, my well being, my financial status, my social standing, etc.

I believe Paul wants to redirect the focus of their new ethical position. I believe the next statement is Paul's. "All things are lawful, but not all things edify." This ethical perspective turns our attention away from what is profitable for us personally, toward what is good for another person.

In the passage that follows, Paul will discuss eating meat that was offered to an idol. He will conclude that, although it is permissible for us to eat meat offered to idols, because after all, other gods don't really exist, we should be concerned if our eating will cause our brother to stumble. We could fill this out, but the essence of his point is that we ought to be just as concerned for others as we are for ourselves.

Our ethics should include concern for others, not just an assessment of what will benefit us.

I agree. I just think that this was Paul's saying - and it was possibly being misunderstood by the Corinthians. Which was causing problems that he addresses later in the letter, with communion etc. - he had to tell people to go home and eat if they are just there to eat the food.

BroRog
Oct 9th 2009, 04:51 PM
I disagree. I read it as his saying - it's even in his own verbage - "all things". You are making an assumption here and stating it as fact. Even the common commentaries say it "appears" to be a catch phrase of the Corinthians. And maybe it is - but Paul taught them personally so if it's a catch phrase I see it as his - that he needs to now give more clarification on.

That's how I read it. You don't - that's your own prerogative.

I hope, though, that you can see I have a good reason to think this. As I pointed out, Paul is responding to a letter the Corinthians sent him, which was filled with questions. This fact dictates the style of this letter, which is unique to the other letters in that respect.

In his letter to the Romans, for instance, he asks rhetorical questions of his own. In that letter he makes it very explicit that these questions are his questions, which is a technique and tool of argumentation meant to introduce a new subject in a long dissertation.

In this letter, however, Paul is answering questions from the Corinthians. And so, in order to introduce the next subject, he either quotes their letter or summarizes it. And as I say, we can find more of these sprinkled throughout the letter.

christseeker
Oct 9th 2009, 04:55 PM
1 Corinthians 6:12
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1 Corinthians 10:23
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.

What's the best explanation for Paul's statements in these two passages?

Freedom in Christ.

stupes
Oct 9th 2009, 05:04 PM
I hope, though, that you can see I have a good reason to think this. As I pointed out, Paul is responding to a letter the Corinthians sent him, which was filled with questions. This fact dictates the style of this letter, which is unique to the other letters in that respect.

In his letter to the Romans, for instance, he asks rhetorical questions of his own. In that letter he makes it very explicit that these questions are his questions, which is a technique and tool of argumentation meant to introduce a new subject in a long dissertation.

In this letter, however, Paul is answering questions from the Corinthians. And so, in order to introduce the next subject, he either quotes their letter or summarizes it. And as I say, we can find more of these sprinkled throughout the letter.

Yes - I can see how you could have this view. This letter is unique - and Paul directly answers issues/questions that they have asked him and addresses issues that they may not have asked about directly.

Radagast
Oct 9th 2009, 11:33 PM
I agree with your analysis. For this reason I tend to think that the entire sentence was a quotation from the Corinthians. In other words, I think the Corinthians were saying "All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful."

That seems less likely, since the two phrases are connected by a strong "but."


In reality, the word translated "helpful" should be translated "profitable" or "advantageous"

The NIV's "beneficial" is probably the best translation.


which I believe is what the Corinthians meant to say. Apparently, some in Corinth were looking for an ethical way to live, which did not simply involve keeping a set of rules. And so they were saying to each other, "All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable."

That theory seems to be completely unsupported by the text, which has a strong "but" after "all things are lawful," but nothing to separate the two sentences. If your theory was true, one would expect a connective like "but rather" between sentences.


the essence of his point is that we ought to be just as concerned for others as we are for ourselves.

That's certainly true in chapter 10. In chapter 6 his point is about sexual immorality.

BroRog
Oct 10th 2009, 12:00 AM
That seems less likely, since the two phrases are connected by a strong "but."

How does that make it less likely?


That theory seems to be completely unsupported by the text, which has a strong "but" after "all things are lawful," but nothing to separate the two sentences. If your theory was true, one would expect a connective like "but rather" between sentences.

In a different letter, perhaps. But since Paul is answering a letter he got from them, he can afford to abbreviate.

Steven3
Oct 10th 2009, 12:56 AM
1 Corinthians 6:12
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1 Corinthians 10:23
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.

What's the best explanation for Paul's statements in these two passages?

Well "all things are lawful for me" certainly isn't an OT quote, and 4x "all things are lawful for me" is being quoted from somewhere. Context indicates it was reported to Paul by his own people there, or in the church's formal letter to him (impossible to tell which).

ThyWordIsTruth
Oct 10th 2009, 02:54 AM
1 Corinthians 6:12
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1 Corinthians 10:23
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.

What's the best explanation for Paul's statements in these two passages?

The first question to ask when you want to know what the writer is writing about is to ask, what is the context? Context is always key.

So let's have the full context.

1Co 6:12 "All things are lawful for me," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be enslaved by anything.
1Co 6:13 "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food"--and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
1Co 6:14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.
1Co 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!
1Co 6:16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, "The two will become one flesh."
1Co 6:17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
1Co 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
1Co 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,
1Co 6:20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Why the quotes around certain words in 1 Cor 6:12-13? Paul is quoting from the letters that the Corinthians wrote to him and he is writing this epistle to reply to some of their queries.

1Co 6:12 "All things are lawful for me," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be enslaved by anything.

- here Paul is quoting their line of reasoning, and he gives his reply. What is his reply? Not all things are helpful. I will not be enslaved by anything. The words in quotes are their sayings, not Paul's.

So what is Paul referring to particularly? What things?

1Co 6:13 "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food"--and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

- In particular, eating of food, and using the body for sexual immorality. Their argument is "the stomach is made for food, so why not induldge in food?" Paul's reply is that God is going to destroy both food and stomach, and these mean nothing in eternity so don't put your focus on what you eat or not eat, but do all things for the edification of your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and also for unbelievers. If it stumbles them, don't do it.

- We can also assume from here some of them were participating in pagan temple orgies with temple prostitutes, so Paul warns them here and later in verses 15-18 not to do these things.

Paul makes this clear thus:
1Co 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,
1Co 6:10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
1Co 6:11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.