1 Corinthians 9:21
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law.

New Living Translation
When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.

English Standard Version
To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.

Berean Study Bible
To those without the Law I became like one without the Law (though I am not outside the law of God but am under the law of Christ), to win those without the Law.

Berean Literal Bible
To those outside the Law, as outside the Law (not being outside the law of God, but under the law of Christ) so that I might win those outside the Law.

New American Standard Bible
to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
To those who are without that law, like one without the law--not being without God's law but within Christ's law--to win those without the law.

International Standard Version
To those who do not have the Law, I became like a man who does not have the Law in order to win those who do not have the Law. However, I am not free from God's Law, but I'm subject to the Messiah's law.

NET Bible
To those free from the law I became like one free from the law (though I am not free from God's law but under the law of Christ) to gain those free from the law.

New Heart English Bible
to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And to those who do not have The Written Law, I was as without The Law, while I am not without law to God, but in the law of The Messiah, that I may win those who are without The Written Law.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I became like a person who does not have Moses' Teachings for those who don't have those teachings. I did this to win them even though I have God's teachings. I'm really subject to Christ's teachings.

New American Standard 1977
to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, that I might win those who are without law.

Jubilee Bible 2000
to those that are without law, as without law (being not without law of God, but under the law of Christ), that I might gain those that are without law.

King James 2000 Bible
To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law of Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

American King James Version
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.

American Standard Version
to them that are without law, as without law, not being without law to God, but under law to Christ, that I might gain them that are without law.

Douay-Rheims Bible
To them that are under the law, as if I were under the law, (whereas myself was not under the law,) that I might gain them that were under the law. To them that were without the law, as if I were without the law, (whereas I was not without the law of God, but was in the law of Christ,) that I might gain them that were without the law.

Darby Bible Translation
to those without law, as without law, (not as without law to God, but as legitimately subject to Christ,) in order that I might gain [those] without law.

English Revised Version
to them that are without law, as without law, not being without law to God, but under law to Christ, that I might gain them that are without law.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

Weymouth New Testament
to men without Law as if I were without Law--although I am not without Law in relation to God but am abiding in Christ's Law--in order to win those who are without Law.

World English Bible
to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law.

Young's Literal Translation
to those without law, as without law -- (not being without law to God, but within law to Christ) -- that I might gain those without law;
Study Bible
Paul the Servant to All
20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the Law I became like one under the Law (though I myself am not under the Law), to win those under the Law. 21To those without the Law I became like one without the Law (though I am not outside the law of God but am under the law of Christ), to win those without the Law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men, so that by all possible means I might save some of them.…
Cross References
Romans 2:12
All who sin apart from the Law will also perish apart from the Law, and all who sin under the Law will be judged by the Law.

Romans 2:14
Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature what the Law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the Law,

1 Corinthians 7:22
For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord's freedman. Conversely, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ's slave.

Galatians 2:3
Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek.

Galatians 3:2
I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

Galatians 6:2
Carry one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the Law of Christ.
Treasury of Scripture

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.

them.

Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay on you no …

Acts 16:4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees …

Acts 21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded …

Romans 2:12,14 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without …

Galatians 2:3,4,12-14 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled …

Galatians 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received you the Spirit by the works …

not.

1 Corinthians 7:19-22 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping …

Psalm 119:32 I will run the way of your commandments, when you shall enlarge my heart.

Matthew 5:17-20 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am …

Romans 7:22,25 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man…

Romans 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk …

Romans 13:8-10 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loves …

Galatians 5:13,14,22,23 For, brothers, you have been called to liberty; only use not liberty …

Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right…

1 Thessalonians 4:1,2 Furthermore then we beseech you, brothers, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus…

Titus 2:2-12 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in …

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel …

(21) To them that are without law--i.e., the heathen. St. Paul adapted himself to their habits and mode of thought when necessary. He quoted from their literature (Acts 17:28); he based an argument on the inscriptions on their altars (Acts 17:23); and he did not require them to adopt Jewish ceremonies (Galatians 2:9; Galatians 2:11). The parenthesis explains in what sense only St. Paul was "without" the Law, so as to prevent the possibility of this statement being used as a justification of lawlessness. As being one with Christ, he was indeed under the law of God as revealed in the person, work, and teaching of the Lord. (See Galatians 6:2.)

Verse 21. - To them that are without law, as without law. In other words, I so far became to the heathen as a heathen (Romans 2:12), that I never wilfully insulted their beliefs (Acts 19:87) nor shocked their prejudices, but on the contrary, judged them with perfect forbearance (Acts 17:30) and treated them with invariable courtesy. St, Paul tried to look at every subject, so far as he could do so innocently, from 'their point of view (Acts 17.). He defended their gospel liberty, and had intercourse with Gentile converts on terms of perfect equality (Galatians 2:12). Not without law to God. Not even "without law" (anomos) Much less "opposed to law" (antiheroes), though free from it as a bondage (Galatians 2:19). The need for this qualification is shown by the fact that in the Clementine writings, in the spurious letter of Peter to James, St. Paul is surreptitiously calumniated as "the lawless one." Even the Gentiles were "not without law to God" (Romans 2:14, 15). So that St. Paul is here using language which base opponents might distort, but which the common sense of honest readers would prevent them from misinterpreting. To them that are without law, as without law,.... Meaning the Gentiles, who, though they were not without the law of nature, nor without many good civil laws, by which the more cultivated and civilized nations among them were governed, yet they were without the written law of Moses; a description of the Gentiles, usual with the Jews; see Romans 2:12. And to these the apostle accommodated himself, as if he was without the law; by conversing with them without any difference; by eating any sort of food with them; by not circumcising Titus, when the Jews would have had it done; and by resisting Peter, when he, by his example, would have influenced the Gentiles to have lived as did the Jews:

being not without law to God; or "the law of God", the moral law; for though he was delivered from the curse and condemnation of it, and as a covenant of works, and the ministry of it by Moses, yet not from the matter of it, and obedience to it, as a rule of walk and conversation: and therefore his compliance with the Gentiles was not in anything that was contrary to the moral law; nor did he act as one that had nothing to do with that law, "but" as one that was

under the law to Christ, or "under the law of Christ"; that is, the law of love, which obliged him to take every lawful and proper method for the good of such souls:

that I might gain them that were without law; to believe in Christ for life and salvation, and to serve the law of God as in the hands of Christ, the only Lawgiver and King in his church; in testimony of their gratitude to him, for the blessings of grace received by him, without having any dependence on their obedience to it, for acceptance with God. 21. To them … without law—that is, without revealed law: the heathen (compare Ro 2:12 with 1Co 9:15).

as without law—not urging on them the ceremonies and "works of the law," but "the hearing of faith" (Ga 3:2). Also discoursing in their own manner, as at Athens, with arguments from their own poets (Ac 17:28).

being not without law to God—"While thus conforming to others in matters indifferent, taking care not to be without law in relation to God, but responsible to law (literally, "IN LAW") in relation to Christ." This is the Christian's true position in relation to the world, to himself, and to God. Everything develops itself according to its proper law. So the Christian, though no longer subject to the literal law as constraining him from without, is subject to an inward principle or law, the spirit of faith in Christ acting from within as the germ of a new life. He does not in the Greek (as in English Version) say "under the law (as he does in 1Co 9:20) to Christ"; but uses the milder term, "in … law," responsible to law. Christ was responsible to the law for us, so that we are no longer responsible to it (Ga 3:13, 24), but to Him, as the members to the Head (1Co 7:22; Ro 8:1-4; 1Pe 2:16). Christians serve Christ in newness of spirit, no longer in oldness of the letter (that is, the old external law as such), Ro 7:4-6. To Christ, as man's Head, the Father has properly delegated His authority (Joh 5:22, 27); whence here he substitutes "Christ" for "God" in the second clause, "not without law to God, but under the law to Christ." The law of Christ is the law of love (Ga 6:2; compare Ga 5:13).9:15-23 It is the glory of a minister to deny himself, that he may serve Christ and save souls. But when a minister gives up his right for the sake of the gospel, he does more than his charge and office demands. By preaching the gospel, freely, the apostle showed that he acted from principles of zeal and love, and thus enjoyed much comfort and hope in his soul. And though he looked on the ceremonial law as a yoke taken off by Christ, yet he submitted to it, that he might work upon the Jews, do away their prejudices, prevail with them to hear the gospel, and win them over to Christ. Though he would transgress no laws of Christ, to please any man, yet he would accommodate himself to all men, where he might do it lawfully, to gain some. Doing good was the study and business of his life; and, that he might reach this end, he did not stand on privileges. We must carefully watch against extremes, and against relying on any thing but trust in Christ alone. We must not allow errors or faults, so as to hurt others, or disgrace the gospel.
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