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“I am Made All Things to All Men” – Rightly Dividing 1st Corinthians 9:19-23


1 Corinthians 9:19-23 “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. [20]And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; [21]To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. [22]To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. [23]And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.”

How can I be made all things to all men and still remain holy according to what Romans says??

Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. [2]And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


Keep going in the passage and read:

1st Corinthians 9:24-27 “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

Don’t let your carnal impulses cause you to do things that will cause offenses to people that could have been avoided.  This will harm your testimony and hinder the gospel.  Don’t let the urge to show off your strengths cause you to act in ways that intimidate or shame others- doing that will turn people away that might have listened had you been more considerate of them and sensitive to their weaknesses.  Along the same lines don’t let wrong priorities and bad discipline cause you to miss chances to bless others in ways that could have advanced the gospel; and do not let wrong priorities and bad discipline keep you from prayer and God’s Word so that your relationship with God is hurt and your strength in God is weakened.  

This passage does not mean to resort to carnal methods and worldliness to impress sinners.  Many teach that, but all that would do is draw you from the Lord yourself and make the sinners reconcile their concept of God with their sinful life, as if the two can mix; but they cannot mix at all.  So this false teaching would be misleading and promoting idolatry, since no one can be won to Christ who does not crucify their flesh and renounce the lusts of the world in repentance with godly sorrow. 

Related passages to 1 Corinthians 9:19-23:

“And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.” (Acts 24:16)

“Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, 2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.” (Titus 3:1-2)

“7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:7-10)

Always use 1st John 2:3-6 and 1st John 3:3-8 as your foundational verses for holiness and how we are to walk like Jesus.

1Jn 2:3-6 “And hereby we do know that WE KNOW HIM, IF WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. 4 He that saith, I know him, and KEEPETH NOT HIS COMMANDMENTS IS A LIAR, AND THE TRUTH IS NOT IN HIM. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought HIMSELF ALSO SO TO WALK, even as HE (JESUS) walked.

1Jn 3:3-10 “And every man that hath this hope in him PURIFIETH HIMSELF, even as HE (JESUS) is pure. 4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in him SINNETH NOT: WHOSOEVER SINNETH hath not seen him, neither known him. 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 HE THAT COMMITTETH SIN IS OF THE DEVIL; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.9 WHOSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD DOTH NOT COMMIT SINn; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: WHOSOEVER DOETH NOT RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT OF GOD, neither he that loveth not his brother.”

1Th 5:22 “Abstain from ALL appearance of evil.”


Hebrews 5:9 “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation UNTO ALL THEM THAT OBEY HIM.”

We are never to compromise with the world to win souls (James 4:4) and are never to not appear “high & mighty” or “untouchable” or “too learned” that others would not want to come to us to ask questions about Jesus, to confess(admit) their sins and repent to us (well to God but with our exhortation and preaching/witnessing/exhorting of the word) as we lead them to the Truth, etc. So many people behind the “pulpits” are not men of God, they are prideful, greedy, untouchable brutes that know not Christ. We are all part of ONE BODY and we must remember, the LEAST OF THESE IS THE GREATEST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN!

Strive to BE THE LEAST! This is what those verses are speaking to. To Jesus be all the glory. AMEN