We’re continuing to look at Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church. He’s now getting into some guiding principles as he talks about relationships in chapter 7.
Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.
1 Corinthians 7:17
The context of this verse is that you shouldn’t end your marriage just because you got saved. If your partner wants to remain together, even though they might not be a Christian, then allow the Holy Spirit to work through your relationship.
This is a guideline that Paul teaches in all of his churches. It literally says that whatever portion God has assigned to you when He calls you; remain in it.
The Lord doesn’t work like a steam roller. He doesn’t come into your life and tear everything down.
Cults do that. When you join a cult, many times they’ll tell you to leave your family and cut all ties with your friends. That’s not how the Lord works.
Normally, the Holy Spirit will work on you from the inside out. He wants the people who know you best to see the change as it’s happening. Then it will be a witness to them of the power of God.
Paul uses an example of circumcision to make his point.
Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts.
1 Corinthians 7:18-19
The fact is that God can use anyone. You don’t have to change who you are in order to serve Him faithfully. The bottom line is that you hear and obey God’s voice.
He speaks to His people and we obey. It’s a step by step process. If there’s something in our lives that needs changing, then the Lord will provide the power to bring that about.
Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him. Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you — although if you can gain your freedom, do so. For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord’s freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ’s slave.
1 Corinthians 7:20-22
Paul talks about some situations that we find ourselves in that aren’t ideal. Unfortunately, they’re not easy to get out of. In this case, it’s slavery. In those days it wasn’t all like the American version. For some, slavery was a voluntary way to repay a debt. For others, it was a penalty for a crime committed.
For us, it might be a massive amount of debt or multiple jobs in order to pay your bills. Paul explains that in these types of situations, don’t worry about it. Let God work through it.
But there is hope during those times. We’re told the if we have the power to become free, then use it. We don’t have to remain downtrodden. Through prayer and obedience to the voice of God, our situation can and will improve.
You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to.
1 Corinthians 7:23-24
However, it’s important that we don’t knowingly place ourselves in these types of situations. We want to be able to give our best for the Lord.
Question: How has God used your unique position in the past?
© 2019 Nick Zaccardi