What does 1 Corinthians 10:33 mean?
ESV: just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.
NIV: even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.
NASB: just as I also please everyone in all things, not seeking my own benefit but the benefit of the many, so that they may be saved.
CSB: just as I also try to please everyone in everything, not seeking my own benefit, but the benefit of many, so that they may be saved.
NLT: I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.
KJV: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
NKJV: just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
Verse Commentary:
Paul urged the Christians in Corinth not to use their freedom in Christ carelessly. Believers should not act in such a way as to cause others to stumble, spiritually. Paul stressed that this is how he lives his own life, attempting to please others—in this context, meaning to act for their spiritual good, not their happiness—even when it is costly to himself. His goal is to lead as many as possible to faith in Christ, and he is willing to set aside his own rights and freedoms to accomplish that.

He wrote something similar at the end of the previous chapter, describing how he becomes as a Jew to win Jews and as someone not under the law to win Gentiles. Paul's aim was to be strategic and intentional in all his choices for the benefit of those who did not yet know Christ.

In the following verse, he will urge all Christians to do the same. The transition between this verse and 1 Corinthians 11:1 is an example of where traditional chapter divisions can be confusing. The idea expressed in verse 1 of the following chapter fits more cleanly with the rest of chapter 10 than it does what follows in chapter 11.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 10:23—11:1 shows that merely asking, ''Is this lawful?'' is the wrong question for Christians. Instead, we must continue by asking, ''Will this glorify God?'' and ''Will this build up our neighbors?'' Paul instructs them to act on this by refusing to eat meat they know has been offered to an idol. The reason is to avoid causing anyone to think Christians approve of idol worship in any way. They are free, though, to eat any meat they don't know to have been offered to an idol, with a clear conscience, and with thanks to God. The key message of this passage is that our intent, and the effects of our actions on others, are more important than the physical things involved.
Chapter Summary:
Idol worship is an extremely serious sin. Paul reminds the Christians in idol-saturated Corinth of that by referring to the history of the Israelites who wandered in the wilderness. Though blessed by God, they worshiped false idols. God killed many of them for it. Paul commands his readers to flee from idol worship. To participate with idol worship in any way is to participate with demons. God always provides some way to avoid sin. So, they must avoid giving anyone the idea that they approve of idol worship, even by knowingly eating food offered to idols. Their first question must always be, ''Will this glorify God?''
Chapter Context:
The previous chapter concluded with Paul's commitment to continue to control himself. He exercises discipline so he does not become ineffective in his ministry. He begins chapter 10 by reminding the Corinthians of how the Israelites brought consequences on themselves in the wilderness. Among their many sins was worshiping idols, and God killed many of them for it. The Corinthians must flee idol worship and any appearance of supporting the demonic practice. They are free to eat meat if they don't know that it is idol food. However, they should be ready to set aside their own freedoms and rights whenever doing so will glorify God and win others to Christ.
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
Accessed 5/26/2024 8:33:29 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com