Paul says “Be content to remain as God called you out of Sin”
1 Corinthians 7:17-24 Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches. Was any man called when he was already circumcised? He is not to become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in un-circumcision? He is not to be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and un-circumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God. Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called. Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that. For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called. NKJV
Paul in writing to these believers in Corinth was well aware of the fact that many of them were slaves owned by another person and wanted them to understand what it meant to be “in Christ” and to squash any false notion they may have been given from some of the false apostles or even new believers not yet mature in the faith. Paul and some of the other Apostles had already had to confront this issue as documented for us by Dr. Luke when he wrote, “Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, ‘Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved’” (Acts 15:1). Paul immediately after clarifying to them their individual responsibilities to their unbelieving spouses, now declares to them their responsibility to remain in the status of life they were when they heard the gospel of grace and were drawn to our Lord Jesus Christ by God the Father’s effectual, effective, and efficacious call to their sinful souls. Paul wrote it in this manner to them, “But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches” (1 Corinthians 7:17).
Paul uses the English phrase “hath called” and it is translated by the Greek word kaleo which means to call or to call aloud or to call forth in a loud voice or to order or to give commandment. This call of God the Father to these Corinthian believers and to us was a directive or order or command to come to the Cross of Christ for cleansing from sin and it came to these Corinthians and to us no matter our sinful condition or our status or position in life and society. Paul declares to them and to us that we are to remain as Christ called us and he gives some examples by saying this, “Is any man called being circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in un-circumcision? Let him not be circumcised” (1 Corinthians 7:18). Paul is determined to get across to these believers in Corinth and to us today that the outward condition of a man or woman that has “come to Christ” is of no importance or relevance at all in the sight of God the Father.
Paul declares to them that to be circumcised or uncircumcised means nothing and he wrote it in this manner to the believers in Rome when he said, “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God” (Romans 2:28-29). Paul has been consistent in his teaching in person and with his letters on all matters that are pleasing to God and in accordance to His Will to all of the churches without partiality to any one over another and he had already declared that truth to them earlier on this same letter when he said, “I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church” (1 Corinthians 4:14-17). Paul’s teaching in all of the churches was certainly that obedience to God’s Word is what commended or bonded God’s children to Himself, not the outward state or condition of that person, as our Lord Jesus said this to the early disciples and to every future disciple, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15) and as I heard the late Dr. J. Vernon McGee say this, “You know I think our Lord Jesus is saying here that if you don’t love Him don’t even bother trying to keep or obey His commandments.”
Paul said it also in this manner to the Galatian believers, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor un-circumcision means anything, but faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). This love produces an inward desire to be obedient to the Word of God and this is what our Lord Jesus meant in John 14:15. Paul wants these Corinthian believers to stay as they were called into this Divine invitation to embrace God’s salvation in Christ Jesus our Lord and again Paul made it clear to all the churches as he wrote this to the Galatians, “For neither is circumcision anything, nor un-circumcision, but a new creation” (Galatians 6:15). It is the inner man that God the Father looks upon and is in the process of changing by way of conforming the “new creation” more and more everyday into the image of Christ Jesus our Lord. This is why Paul asked this of the Corinthian believers, “Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that” (1 Corinthians 7:21).
Paul declares that it would be great for any of you slaves to gain your physical freedom, but do not worry yourselves over it for that freedom is not even to be compared to the freedom you have in Christ from sin as our Lord Jesus said in this manner, “Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed’” (John 8:34-36). Paul as though is summarizing our Lord’s words in John 8:34-36 says this to the Corinthian believers, “For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called” (1 Corinthians 7:22-24). Whether they were slaves or not they were freemen or freewomen “in Christ” and His bondslave and so being they and we are to do whatever we do to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were and we are bought and paid for by the Precious Blood of the Lamb and owe our complete allegiance and devotion and dedication to Him alone and not to the pleasing of sinful men.
“The Apostle refers both to vocation and to the Christian life as a divine calling, 1 Corinthians 7:18-24. We are all called to our trade or profession as much as a student is to the ministry. It is interesting that a man will speak of his business as his calling. God has a purpose for each of us, and summons us to fulfill it. Unless we are specially led to do otherwise, we should, on entering the Christian life, remain in the same calling in which our former life was spent. The only difference is that we are to stay in it with God, 1 Corinthians 7:24. In every service, however lowly, we should have an eye toward Christ. All may be done in Him, with Him, for Him.” F. B. Meyer
“He sums up his advice: Let every man wherein he is called abide therein with God, 1 Corinthians 7:24. This is to be understood of the state wherein a man is converted to Christianity. No man should make his faith or religion an argument to break through any natural or civil obligations. He should quietly and comfortably abide in the condition in which he is; and this he may well do, when he may abide therein with God. Note, The special presence and favour of God are not limited to any outward condition or performance. He may enjoy it who is circumcised; and so may he who is uncircumcised. He who is bound may have it as well as he who is free. In this respect there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor un-circumcision, barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free, Colossians 3:11. The favour of God is not bound.” Matthew Henry
“The man or woman on death row in some state prison waiting for their day of physical execution who is “in Christ” by being regenerated and born again by His Spirit knows true freedom, while Bill Gates with all of his billions of dollars and his doing “good charitable deeds” and his physical freedom to travel anywhere in the world is a slave of sin, spiritually dead, and knows no true freedom without knowing Christ Jesus as his Lord, Master, and Savior. I ask you which of the two men is truly rich.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…