Stay As You Are
1 Cor. 7:17-24
Christmas and New Year is over so we are back to our lesson before the holiday seasons. As we have
seen from God’s Word, husbands and wives should keep their marriage vows. God hates divorce and
salvation must not change the marriage state. Now here, Paul tells us that the Lord has given us life,
vocation, and purpose, and each believer should remain in the same calling he was in when the Lord
saved him. Christ wants us to be content to whatever position, place, status, etc., that was given to
I. Advices regarding present condition. (1 Cor. 7:17)
A. As God hath distributed to every man; This verse is telling us that the Lord has
assigned men their place and lot in life. The apostle Paul begins an exhortation to
contentment in present circumstances.
B. So, let him walk; let each one continues in the condition and business to which God
in his providence calls him, and do all the good he can.
C. In simple terms and in application to our life nowadays, it means that if you are
married, stay married. If you have a job, try to keep that job. Do the best you can do
to be a blessing, to be useful not only to the Lord, to your family, to the church, and
to the community or to the people around you as a whole.
II. Regarding circumcision and the Law (1 Cor. 7:18-19)
A. To the Jews, circumcision is a sign of one‘s commitment to the Law of Moses. This is
why the Jews are so particular about circumcising the Gentiles (Acts 15:1-2).
B. The Judaizers were teaching that believers needed to keep the Mosaic law, but Paul
consistently refuted this. The Christian is not obligated to keep the Mosaic law, not
in whole nor in part.
C. He is not obligated to keep the law of circumcision or the law of the sabbath or the
dietary laws. This is made clear in 2 Cor. 3:6-18.
D. Circumcision is nothing; as to acceptance with God. When you come to the Lord
Jesus Christ with repentant heart trusting Him, you will be saved. It doesn’t matter
whether you are circumcised or not.
E. What is important now is the keeping or obeying the commandments of God; the
keeping of them was all that he required, and this can be done whether a man was
circumcised or not.
F. Your obedience to God’s Word is what really matters.
III. Regarding Vocation (1 Cor. 7:20-21)
A. Let every man abide. Let him remain or continue.
B. In the same calling. The same occupation, profession, rank of life. I believe that God
called every man to the profession or work which he is now doing regardless of his
position or rank or status in the society.
1. If a person is a servant, he should not be concerned about it but should
understand that he is now the Lord’s freeman. Though he remains a servant in
this world, he has been given eternal freedom by the Lord and will soon rule and
reign with Him.
2. At the same time, if he can gain his freedom, he should take the opportunity.
Thus, we see that Paul is not on a socio-political crusade and he gives no
instruction to the believers to pursue such a course in this present life. He does
not urge servants to throw off their shackles and to pursue liberty at all cost.
Rather, he counsels them to be content with their appointed lot and to glorify
God in it.
3. The servants were still Christians regardless of their being a servant and the nonservants
are still Christians regardless of their freedom. Being a servant or being
a free man has nothing to do upon their duty to serve the Lord.
4. So, we are all servants or slaves of the one who purchased our salvation. We are
all bondmen of Christ. He is our real master or in common language now our
“Big Boss”. (1 Cor. 7:22)
Illustration 1: Learning to Rule by Obedience
In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria grew tired of court life and the pressures of being a
monarch. He made application to Prior Richard at a local monastery, asking to be accepted as a
contemplative and spend the rest of his life in the monastery.
“Your Majesty,” said Prior Richard, “do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience?
That will be hard because you have been a king.”
“I understand,” said Henry, “The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you.”
“Then I will tell you what to do,” said Prior Richard. “Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in
the place where God has put you.”
When King Henry died, a statement was written: “The King learned to rule by being obedient.”
When we tire of our roles and responsibilities, it helps to remember God has planted us in a certain
place and told us to be a good accountant or teacher or mother or father. Christ expects us to be
faithful where he puts us, and when he returns, we’ll rule together with him.
IV. Be not ye the servants of men (1 Cor. 7:24)
A. This verse can be explained in two ways:
1. The believer should never allow any man to take the place of Christ in his life.
We are to be servants of men in the sense of the wife obeying her husband (Eph.
5:22) and the child obeying his parents (Eph. 6:1) and the worker serving his
boss (Eph. 6:5-6); but we are not to be servants of men in the sense of any man
taking the place of Supremacy in our lives. Even when he is serving men in the
aforementioned capacities the believer is serving Christ. The Christian wife is not
merely submitting to her husband but is submitting to Christ through her
husband. The Christian servant or worker is not merely serving his master; he is
“the servant of Christ” (Eph. 6:6) and is serving Christ through his master.
2. The believer should not allow himself to be brought under the bondage of any
false gospel (Gal. 5:1-9). We are bought with the blood of Christ. That was the
price that was paid for our salvation, and it was a perfectly sufficient price. Our
salvation is therefore the free gift of God, and we must not accept any gospel
that says I must do something to add to what Christ did. I am not saved by Christ
plus baptism or Christ plus sacraments or Christ plus a church or Christ plus
Illustration 2: Servant
“Servant” in our English New Testament usually represents the Greek doulos (bondslave).
Sometimes it means diakonos (deacon or minister); this is strictly accurate, for doulos and diakonos
are synonyms. Both words denote a man who is not at his own disposal, but is his master’s
Bought to serve his master’s needs, to be at his beck and call every moment, the slave’s sole
business is to do as he is told. Christian service therefore means, first and foremost, living out a slave
relationship to one’s Savior (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
What work does Christ set his servants to do? The way that they serve him, he tells them, is by
becoming the slaves of their fellow-servants and being willing to do literally anything, however
costly, irksome, or undignified, in order to help them.
This is what love means, as he himself showed at the Last supper when he played the slave’s part
and washed the disciples’ feet.
When the New Testament speaks of ministering to the saints, it means not primarily preaching to
them but devoting time, trouble, and substance to giving them all the practical help possible. The
essence of Christian service is loyalty to the king expressing itself in care for his servants (Matt. 25:
Only the Holy Spirit can create in us the kind of love toward our Savior that will overflow in
imaginative sympathy and practical helpfulness towards his people. Unless the spirit is training us in
love, we are not fit persons to go to college or a training class to learn the know-how or particular
branches of Christian work. Gifted leaders who are self-centred and loveless are a blight to the
church rather than a blessing. Your Father Loves You by James Packer
The Word of God teaches us that we must be content of whatever situation or lot the
Lord has given us. It doesn’t matter whether you are a slave or freeman. What is
important is our obedience to the commands of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Will
you obey Him and be a blessing to the place where the Lord put you? Will you sta as you are?