1 Corinthians 6:12

Lawful (exestin). Apparently this proverb may have been used by Paul in Corinth (repeated in Matthew 10:23 ), but not in the sense now used by Paul's opponents. The "all things" do not include such matters as those condemned in chapter 1 Corinthians 5 ; 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 . Paul limits the proverb to things not immoral, things not wrong per se. But even here liberty is not license. But not all things are expedient (all ou panta sumperei). Old word sumperei, bears together for good and so worthwhile. Many things, harmless in themselves in the abstract, do harm to others in the concrete. We live in a world of social relations that circumscribe personal rights and liberties. But I will not be brought under the power of any (all ouk egw exousiasqhsomai upo tino). Perhaps a conscious play on the verb exestin for exousiazw is from exousia and that from exestin. Verb from Aristotle on, though not common (Dion. of Hal., LXX and inscriptions). In N.T. only here, 1 Corinthians 7:4 ; Luke 22:25 . Paul is determined not to be a slave to anything harmless in itself. He will maintain his self-control. He gives a wholesome hint to those who talk so much about personal liberty.