The calling of life has been provided by nothing less than the blood of Jesus Christ and the faith that he gives us by the Holy Spirit. Christianity is a message that the calling of God transformations whatever you are doing so that you can remain there. Let's read 1 Corinthians 7:17-24. The things that we didnt want to do before, we now begin to love to do. 1 Corinthians 7:17,20 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. 21 Were you a bondservant when called? Now obviously, staying in that place in which He called us assumes that it is not an inherently sinful place. He was considered a traitor to the covenant promises of Israel, and a robber of his own people. First, I believe we should learn to be confident in Gods call for us. To be perpetually mindful of his presence and favor. Are we doing this in response of faith and the obedience to Jesus Christ in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in? If they were called to God in a state of cultural freedom, then they are to be faithful to walk with Jesus Christ as His servants within their liberty. Caleb Greggsen pastors an English-speaking church in Central Asia. Its a fundamental principle for us here today, dear brothers and sisters. Rejoice in the Lord and hope in him and you will be freer than all the anxious nobles." For many of us that may mean turning over a new leaf tomorrow morning. He didnt have to be circumcised, and become a devoted follower of the Jewish religious traditions. Denomination: Salvation Army. Is this fulfilling my personal goals and aspirations? Now that they were made new on the inside, did their condition as married people also need to change? Encourage my heart when I tend to despair, and humble me when I tend to boast. Introduction I am reminded of the illustration by Emo Phillips: I was walking . Our new Preaching Suite solution makes it easy to prepare, preach and archive your sermons. We abide in Christ now, so that when he appears with all his holy angels and all the armies of Heaven, we wont be frightened. He has kept those relations in place for a reason. There were people that were preaching that in order to be a Christian you had to first be circumcised. All Sermons Bible Studies Devotionals Prayers. by Alistair Begg. His concern is not to condemn job changes, but to teach that you can have fulfillment in Christ whatever your job is. The innocent believer is not bound to the deserter. Putting the two applications of Paul's principle together, the teaching seems to be this: Obeying the commands of God (v. 19) and enjoying his presence (v. 24) are so vastly more important than what your culture or your job is that you should feel no compulsion to change your position. First, God is very much more concerned with the way you do the job that you now have than he is with whether you get a new job. The third word is calling or called, and we see this all over this passage. Look at that word remain in verse twenty. Other times slavery provided opportunities for upward social mobility that poor people wouldnt normally have. Someone was just as able to be called to God through Christand to live for Jesus just as faithfullyin a state of slavery as much as in a state of freedom. The word "calling" here refers to vocation or station in life. Sermon . We pray this in Christs name. The point is: when you are called into the fellowship of Christ, you gain a new set of radically Christ-centered priorities; so much so that if you are a slave, it should not cause you to fret. a- Paul at this time is single. Remain, if you are free as you are. 2) Even before our salvation God worked for our good. Even though he or she may claim to be a Christian, but does he or she really love Jesus? If they were called to God in a state of cultural slavery, then they are to be faithful to walk with Jesus Christ as His servants within that state of slavery. Gods life gives us courage as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. If instead we are looking to serve, theres always opportunity. With these other questions since you can take a different job or you can go to a different church, we have to ask harder questions. Gods Calling Transcends Vertical Assignments 17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. Regardless of your circumstances. Likewise, he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.1 Corinthians 7:17-19, ESV Not for an answer, but for the wisdom that other believers, who are further along in the faith perhaps, have gained through the Holy Spirits illumination in their lives as they have been faced with similar questions. 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Circumcision was an old covenant symbol and the purpose of the picture was to point to a person, the person of Jesus Christ and out of the Jewish circumcised people came the Lord Jesus Christ. In the assignment in which the call of God came to you, walk in that. Christians are prone to this too. Quietness Of Spirit . ", John Piper is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. Likewise, he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 Study Guide: The Sin of Tolerance. But Jesus came by one day and paid a call on Zacchaeus. Understand that ancient slavery, the kind that Paul was familiar with at this time, was very different than the kind of slavery that was practiced in the United States until the Civil War. "A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps" (Proverbs 16:9). 1 Corinthians 7:15-16, ESV . God had providentially called them from within that particular relationship in order that He might use them as a witness to their unbelieving husband or unbelieving wife. Building On The Past - 1 Corinthians 10:1-12. It was all for a glorious purpose. Rather, the Jewish follower of the Jewish traditions who came to Christ was encouraged to remain in the cultural traditions in which he was called, and to live faithfully for Jesus in it. Between the bottom two pieces are verses 2123 where the principle is applied to slavery and freedom. In other words, whatever assignment you have been given, the calling of God comes to you at a specific time in the middle of an assignment. 1 Corinthians 7:17-24: Christianity and Staves: E. Hurndall : 1 Corinthians 7:20-24: Pulpit Commentary Homiletics. We should stay where our Lord has called usso long as He has us therebecause thats the place where He wants us to serve as His faithful missionaries to others that are in our life. In verses 17-24, we see that Paul applies this principle to all of life. Stay Where You're Called (1 Corinthians 7:17-24) In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria grew tired of court life and the pressures of being a monarch. This has far-reaching cultural implications: if you are black, don't try to become white; if you are white, don't try to become black. Specifically, Paul talks about the divisions between the Jews and the Gentiles. He used circumcision and slavery as illustrations to describe God's sovereignty over the social and religious barriers of his day. All Videos Images Commentaries Devotionals Other Translations Sermons Related Scriptures Podcasts Blogs. Is it a job that is not esteemed as highly as other professions? In other words, so that we can have by the transformed lives to the gospel lives that are lived obediently to what God is calling us to. Introduction. Salvation came to himand right in the middle of a sinful lifestyle. One time he uses the word "calling" in this vocational sense, namely, in verse 20. These assignments are the circumstances of our lives. It will transform and transcend everything else you do. Gods call transforms and transcends us, as one commentator writes, in all of the circumstances that we find ourselves in. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) Part 3: Sending the Spirit, John 8:12-30 Study Guide: I am the Light of the World, John 8:31-47 Study Guide: The Truth Will Set You Free, John 8:48-59 Study Guide: Before Abraham Was, \"I am\", John 10:1-21 Study Guide: The Good Shepherd, John 10:22-42 Study Guide: Safe in the Father\'s Hand, Jonah 1 Study Guide: Defiance and Discipline, Jonah 2 Study Guide: Salvation Belongs to the Lord, Jonah 3 Study Guide: The God of Second Chances. Verse 19 says literally, "Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God (is everything)." He could have said, "For being a slave is nothing, and being a freedman is nothing, but keeping the commands of God is everything." Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold. And Jesus said to him, Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:8-10). In verse 21, he wrote, Were you called while a slave? You should not be driven from one by fear or despair, nor allured to the other by wealth or pride. So, these are the horizontal assignments, the boundaries, the people Gods. 4 For the How do I sort through my own mixed emotions when Im trying to make decisions on how to live in the various circumstances of my life? Gods Calling Transcends Vertical Assignments We start seeking out fellowship with other Christians. The reason a person can say, "Never mind," even though he is a slave, is this: verse 22, "For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord." God can save you and make you clean. You have to look at what the scriptures teach, and you have to ask for Gods illumination to see how that relates to what is in front of me. He also gives us some illustrations of what this principle should look like in some specific cases. In those days, people would often sell themselves into slavery to pay off debts. Old sinful habits and practices begin to be set aside. (2) If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast aboutbut not before God. Notice, for example, how he illustrated this to us in terms of outward traditions. Were not automatically required to move out of our neighborhoods. Father we ask that you will give us grace to seek you, to seek your will, to seek your favor, especially as we wrestle though a thousand difficult questions. In other words, don't make such a big deal out of whether you are circumcised or not, or whether you are white or black or red or Swedish. Its the principle that, when God the Father calls us into a relationship with Himself through faith in Jesus and we become new creations in Christ, we should not take this to mean that everything about our outward life now needs to be abandoned, or that we must now start life over again from scratch. This is my rule in all the churches. Gods Calling Teaches Us to Abide with God The opportunities may arise and if so, you are free to take them as long as its to a good thing. Our sovereign God makes those of us who trust in Jesus into new creations on the inside; but He then calls us to remain in the place where He has called us on the outsideand to thus let Him show forth His work in us to others who are also in that place. This isnt to sugar coat slavery; it could be a very bad condition and thats why people did try to save up money to buy their own freedom. But he allows the exception that if the relationship is abandoned and destroyed apart from your desire or control by the unbelieving partner, then let it be. We say, white is beautiful, black is beautiful, red is beautiful, yellow is beautiful; therefore, don't try to switch cultures. Let him not seek circumcision. For holy Scripture causes a hard knot in this matter, in that the Apostle says, that, by commandment of the Lord, the wife ought not to depart from . But that raises and important and practical question. In other words, in communion with God this would secure their contentment and happiness. The principle that Paul had already taught in relation to marriage is here mentioned clearly three times. A believing husband should not divorce his unbelieving wife, and a believing wife should not divorce her unbelieving husband. It may be helpful to think of these as three pieces of bread in a double-decker sandwich (like a Big Mac). As one commentator, Lenski, writes, Paul is taking the minor idea of these assignments that we have, and he is including them with the major blessing to the call to faith in Jesus Christ.. How do I bloom where Christ has put me? In verse 19, Paul wrote, Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing And we should understand that Paul, in saying this, didnt mean that such things didnt matter. Dont be anxious about your assignment in life. Never mind." 1 Corinthians 1:1-17 - God Calls Us to Unity - Study and Obey God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him Learn more about Desiring God Ways to Follow. Therefore, when Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:17, 20, and 24 that we should remain and live with God in the state in which we were called, he means: Remain in the state you were in when you were converted, when you were drawn by God into believing, loving fellowship with his Son. Thats the most important thing. Are you feeling and sensing Jesus Christ drawing you to himself through his spirit? Is yours a menial job? The Bible tells us that. Playing To Win - 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. "So brethren," Paul concludes in verse 24, "In whatever state each was called, let him remain with God." We begin to pray about everything. Now, dear brothers and sisters; how do we apply this principle? But it's true. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Or am in I the right marriage, the answer to that is yes if you are married. Bible > 1 Corinthians > Chapter 7 > Verse 17 Library Free Downloads eBibles 1 Corinthians 7:17 Now; this fundamental principle is given to us in three verses. NOTE: Paul was separated unto Christ from his mother's womb but not saved until the Damascus Road Galatians 1:15; Acts 9. We begin to read the Bible with new passion and understanding. This is my rule in all the churches. When you are called to Christ, even as a bondservant you dont belong to your master but to the Lord. The Bible tells us that He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:7). Before we can move onto anything else, respond to the call of God in Jesus Christ. The call of God which puts us into believing, loving fellowship with Jesus is a powerful, effective call that draws us to the Son (John 6:44, 65). If we are always trying to discern if we are getting what we need, we will never be content. You are not my life. We pray. 1 Corinthians 7:17-24, ESV 1 Corinthians 7:17-24 (ID: 1640) In 1 Corinthians 7:17-24, Paul called for stability and contentment among believers regardless of their station in life. Father make us steeped in the scriptures, not so we can just spit out the right answers without thinking to complicated questions, but so that you can frame the way that we are thinking and wrestling with you in prayer. . Those arent even the right questions to ask.Instead we need to ask how do I serve Christ and others here, right now in these relationships, in these circumstances that God has put me? Paul went on to tell them that, if their unbelieving husband or unbelieving wife resented their new life in Christif they hated their faith so much that they did not want to stay with them any longerthen the believer should allow that unbelieving spouse to go. You would not work whenever you please, but you would work at the pleasure of the president, every moment of your life. If Im not in full time ministry, am I really doing something worthwhile? The calling of God hits you right there and you are no longer dead in your sins and trespasses, but by the grace of the Holy Spirit your eyes are opened to the goodness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. John 5:19-29 Study Guide: Jesus Gives Life, John 5:30-47 Study Guide: The Scriptures Point to Me, John 6:22-40 Study Guide: I am the Bread of Life, John 6:41-59 Study Guide: Jesus Addresses the Skeptics. Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. Not only the president but anyone at higher rank than you could dump whatever work they wanted to on you. He is saying that in the gospel there is an antidote for despair in menial jobs and an antidote for pride in highly esteemed jobs. The word of God for all us "success seekers" is this: Take all that ambition and drive that you are pouring into your upward mobility and pour it instead into a spiritual zeal to cultivate an enjoyment of God's presence and obedience to his revealed will in Scripture. So in answer to their question, he told them no. What a wonderful way it is that God places us in a ready-made mission field in which to serve Him as His new creation ambassadors for Christ! 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. No matter how difficult his circumstances was, no matter how menials the assignments he was given, what a joy to abide in the presence with God. He ought to be able to say, "Never mind." Pray with me. Paul says you are missing the point, you dont have to worry about the ethnic or national boundaries that existed in the old covenant because the call of Jesus Christ comes to all kinds of people in all kinds of cultures and the call says, follow Jesus where you are. March 17, 1904. Even here thats not quite what Paul is saying. Then Paul expands that principle to show us that its a general principle that should affect all of our lives. The greener grass syndrome, where we look for somewhere else or a different situation where my life would be easier or just flat out better. Now, Paul is then drawing the application of this point to probably one of the most difficult circumstances to find yourself in, that of a bondservant, a slave. With God! 23 You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? This is the same point he was making with cultural differences like circumcision: Were you uncircumcised? Then Paul turns in verses 2123 to apply his principle to the issue of whether one is a slave or a freedman. Yet he realized that was the greatest joy that he had. We need to remain in the same calling in which we are calledunless and until God calls us to another place of life. We should seek to serve God in whatever situation He places useither now or later. God looked upon us when we were dead in our sins and trespasses, when we were nonresponsive to God. You dont have to leave what you are doing; you dont have to quit your job and enter full time vocational ministry. There was a monk whose name was Brother Lawrence who wrote a booked called, Practicing the Presence of God. 24 and are . It does not condemn all job changes. Their sins are completely forgivencast into the sea of Gods pardoning grace. Seek to follow the Lords leading but remember this number one priority. Instead, they should stay in the marriage in which God had called them to Himself. Our responsibilities to our families, to our work, to our neighbors, to our churches. No, Paul says this is my rule in all the churches. Not only that, but this translation does not do justice to all the words in the Greek ("even" and "rather") which come out in the alternative translation: "Were you called as a slave? so it be allowed, having put her away, to marry another. God alone rules each circumstance of life. If you are Mexican, don't try to become American; if you are American, don't try to become Mexican. Likewise he who is called while free is Christs slave. As the Bible tells us, if the Lord Jesus sets us free then we are free indeedeven if, culturally speaking, we are still in a state of slavery. And so, the apostle Pauls specific instruction to usthat is, that we remain in the place we were in at the time God called us to Himselfshould be understood to mean that we are not to continue practicing sin. For example, when Jesus when off to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, he told his disciples abide here while I go to pray. The idea was wait here until I come back. Paul then learned of divisions . What matters in life and in eternal life is staying close to God and enjoying his presence. We dont need to be so concerned with what we are getting out of life. | (402) 558-4119, Copyright 2023 Harvest Community Church (PCA) | Site Map | Terms & Privacy, Jesus Divides the Earth Matthew 10:3442, No Comfort for the Lonely City Lamentations 1:1-22, "Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage" (1 Corinthians 7:1016), The Present Form of this World is Passing Away (1 Corinthians 7:25-31) . Faith in Christ as Lord and Savior will never destroy the covenant of marriage which God ordained at creation. We wonder if life would be greener somewhere else, but Christians have this additional element where we are thankful for the green pastures that our good shepherd has led us. And for those of us who have already trusted Him, lets walk as a faithful Christian in the place of life where God has called us to Himself. In the minds of most Jewish people, he was something close to a gangster. That is the great message of this mornings passage. Look carefully at that phrase as God has distributed to each one. They had clearly been transformed on the inside; and there were many changes that were happening on the outside too. Heaven is open, as St. Stephen saw it open (Acts 7:55); and we hear God when He addresses us in Baptism, in Holy Communion, in confession, and in His Word as it proceeds from the mouth of the men who proclaim His message to the people." --Martin Luther (1/19/1538 [LW 22:202])-- Send Pastor Mark Schlamann an email. Were you circumcised? A life that is lived in faith to Jesus and the way the he appoints for believers to live in. Stated as a prayer, the main point today is: Father, grant to us all the grace to be conscious of your presence at our work and to obey your commands in all our vocational relationships. 2. We can paraphrase the verses to show the difference between the general call and the effective call: Paul says, "We call everyone to believe in Christ crucified, but many Jews find this call to be a stumbling block, and many Gentiles find this call to be foolishness, but those who are called (that is, powerfully and effectively drawn to Christ) find the gospel call to be the power and wisdom of God.". Its taking the objective teaching of scriptures and applying it to the specifics of our lives. Do not be concerned about it. Let him not be circumcised. If a Gentile man became a believer in Jesus the Jewish Messiah, he himself did not have to then become Jewish. We pray that if there are some who do not know Jesus Christ that you would right now be working in their hearts. Those that He has called to Himself by faith in Jesus were chosen by Him for that relationship long before they were ever born. We start to show the love of Jesus for other people. Lets have enough confidence in Gods call upon us to trust Him in it, and to let Him use it, and to even thank Him for it. We begin to treat our daily responsibilities and duties more seriously. I have a responsibility to my wife that no one in heaven or earth shares. Romans 3:23 - 24: "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. . 1 Corinthians. This is true. So the principle that the apostle follows is: stay in your God-ordained relationships; do not seek to abandon them or destroy them. And so I ordain in all the churches. (1 Corinthians 7:17-24) . That's basically what uncircumcision and circumcision stood for. Paul could have given the very same theological reason for this position as he did in verse 19. Again, in verse eleven Romans 4:1-5 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? But their husbands or wives had not done so. By Leslie Holmes on February 28, 2023 15 Outstanding Quotes To Recharge Your Preaching I think we have a great example of this from the Bible. As theyve had to search the scriptures and see the various principles and how the light of Gods word shone into their lives by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Paul is not pronouncing a blanket condemnation upon all those who adopt aspects of other cultures and give up aspects of their own. Part 2: The Truth from God, John 7:37-39 Study Guide: What's the Deal with Jesus? This is all made clear in 1 Corinthians 1. You dont need to change your social status, just respond right now and repent in faith. 24 So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.1 Corinthians 7:17-24, ESV 21 Were you a bondservant when called? Paul is a very unfashionable thinker and, therefore, eternally relevant. 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Once the person came the sign gave way to a reality. 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 Study Guide: Why Not Rather Be Cheated? Do not be concerned about it. A man who lived his life doing very menial tasks and he started this mental, spiritual exercise whereas he was doing menials tasks he tried to remember that he was in the presence of God and spending his life praying. And then, Paul went on to give us another illustrationthis one having to do with social structures. The circumstances you are in are relatively unimportant because of the glory that God is calling to you in Christ. Its in that context that you can serve your master, because you arent serving your master suddenly you are in an assignment where the calling of Jesus Christ is intersected.