1 Corinthians 9:21

21 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.

1 Corinthians 9:21 in Other Translations

KJV
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.
ESV
21 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.
NLT
21 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.
MSG
21 meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists,
CSB
21 To those who are outside the law, like one outside the law-not being outside God's law, but under the law of Christ-to win those outside the law.

1 Corinthians 9:21 Meaning and Commentary

1 Corinthians 9:21

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 Romans 2:14 ) . 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.

1 Corinthians 9:21 In-Context

19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.
20 To 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), so as to win those under the law.
21 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.
22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.
23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Cross References 2