What is expedient?

by André Piet
June 2nd, 2012

As we saw yesterday, the question, at the many choices we face in our lives as believers, is not whether something is lawful or not. Our lives are not governed by the principle of “law”. Paul, laconically states: “All things are lawful” and introduces altogether different criteria in its place.

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

“Battling about the law” is for a believer unnecessary. The question always is: Is it expedient; expedient in which sense and for what purpose? That question is answered in the second part of the above posted verse. Expedient is everything that edifies. The verb “edify” (oikodomeo = home building) is connected with the work that God is doing today, in secret: the building of the house of God, the ecclesia. Wherever the Word of God is proclaimed and people are called to faith, we find the ecclesia (= out-called). Expedient is everything that serves the edification of the ecclesia. Any other interest is secondary. Paul himself was a model of such a life style and illustrates this in Chapter 9. He was free to choose whether or not to live like a Jew (9:20), whether or not to call for financial support (9:12), whether or not to eat meat that was sacrificed to idols (9:22, 8:8), etc. But that freedom was not an objective, but a means.

Now all am I doing because of the evangel…
1 Corinthians 9:23

That is expedient: the edification of the ecclesia, “the temple of God” (1Cor. 3:17).


Translation: Peter Feddema

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