I’m currently reading through 1 Corinthians, and I’m doing it a little differently than I am use to. I usually read one chapter a day out of whatever book I am in and then take notes, but over this Summer I was kind of inspired to take the chapters and break them down. The Bible is the most dense book there is, and it may be doing it a disservice to “speed read” whole chapters in a day.
That being said I am currently in Ch. 7 v. 17-24, and I found it to be really encouraging.
17 However, each one must live his life in the situation the Lord assigned when God called him.[a] This is what I command in all the churches. 18 Was anyone already circumcised when he was called? He should not undo his circumcision. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? He should not get circumcised. 19 Circumcision does not matter and uncircumcision does not matter, but keeping God’s commands does. 20 Each person should remain in the life situation[b] in which he was called. 21 Were you called while a slave? It should not be a concern to you. But if you can become free, by all means take the opportunity.[c] 22 For he who is called by the Lord as a slave is the Lord’s freedman.[d] Likewise he who is called as a free man[e] is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brothers, each person should remain with God in whatever situation he was called.
So Paul is addressing the Church in Corinth and he is giving them just loads of practical advice for Christian living. In this passage he is discussing changes of status, or different life situations one may find themselves in.
He asks if the uncircumcised man should become circumcised or vise-versa once they accept Christ. Paul says that neither should change that about themselves when they accept Christ, because these are just mere distractions.
Moving on he talks to slaves. He tells them to remain slaves, unless the opportunity to become free presents itself. They are free from death in Christ, just like the free man of their times is a slave to Christ once he has accepted the calling.
Paul is telling this church, and the people of Corinth that your current status and situation are not what defines you. Once you are a follower of Christ, you are defined as such. Your life’s ambition should not be to gain freedom, or change a certain trait about yourself. Your goal should be to focus on keeping the commandments and following Christ.
He argues that if you’re a slave make the most out of that position for Christ. Don’t get distracted by the situations you find yourselves in.
This is passage offers a lot of constructive insight into how we should treat the positions we find ourselves in during our everyday lives. Do you hate your job as a fry cook? Thats fine, look for another one, but don’t forget to glorify Christ in what you’re doing. Want to be the boss instead of an employee? That’s cool, but remember the boss is a person too, and God has you where you’re at for a reason.
Verse 24 is my favorite part.
24 Brothers, each person should remain with God in whatever situation he was called.
You are where you’re at for a reason. God put you there. However, He didn’t just put you there and walk away. We are to REMAIN with God, meaning He is present with you in whatever situation you find yourselves in. Don’t be distracted by the situations, and think you have to change them before you start experiencing God. Experience Him right where you are right now.