All Is Allowed

by André Piet
May 31st 2012

From the first letter, which the apostle Paul wrote to the ecclesia in Corinth, we can conclude that their lifestyle was rather licentious. In Chapter 5, he writes about fornication among them, which was unheard of even among the unbelievers: a man who has an affair with his father’s wife (5:1). They were even proud of this tolerance (5:2). The motto of the Corinthians was: “all is allowed me” (6:12; 10:23) which Paul himself, indeed, had taught them (See: Rom.14:14). Yet, an appeal to Paul’s teaching was misplaced, because Paul taught:

All is allowed me, but not all is expedient. All is allowed me, but not all is edifying.
1Corinthians 10:23

The Corinthians went astray with a half-truth. They were only interested in whether something was lawful, yes or no. Regardless of how licentious they were, this reflects a legalistic attitude to life. A believer, who stands in freedom (Gal.5:1), is altogether not governed by whether something is allowed. That question is already answered in advance. What matters are the questions: Is it expedient? Does it edify? Is it for the glory of God? (1Cor.10:31).


Translation: Peter Feddema

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