Live as You Are Called

1Corinthians 7:17-24 But as God has distributed to every man, as the Lord has called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches. Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Are thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou may be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. You are bought with a price; be not you the servants of men. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God. 

‘Let him not become uncircumcised.’ Let no one try to abolish the sign of the old covenant he bears in his flesh. The Corinthians have also asked Paul about circumcision, so here he answers their questions on this subject (7:18-20).

‘Let him not be circumcised.’ Let no man submit to circumcision as something necessary to salvation.

‘Are thou called being a servant?’ Here Paul answers their questions as to the responsibility of Christian slaves.

‘Care not for it: but if thou maybe made free, use it rather.’ Being a slave will not hinder your being a Christian, but if you can become free, prefer freedom to slavery and use your freedom to serve Christ. A slave could be freed by the consent of his master; by purchasing his own freedom; or by someone else paying for his freedom. In some ages masters thought that by freeing a slave one would gain merit for his soul’s salvation.

‘Freeman’ [Greek: apeleutheros] absolutely free. A much stronger word than in 1Corinthians 7:21. ‘You are bought with a price; be not you the servants of men.’ This verse means that if you do become free from slavery, you should never sell yourself again as the slave of man. Sometimes we allow slavery from others, whether a boss, family member or we become slaves to things that eat up our time and money (2Pet. 2:19).

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