March 05, 2021 – Friday
1 Corinthians 7:17 NIV
17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. (boldface and underline added)
1 Corinthians 7:17 ESV
17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.
1 Corinthians 7:17 KJ21
17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all churches.
1 Corinthians 7:17 TPT
17 May all believers continue to live the wonderful lives God has called them to live, according to what he assigns for each person, for this is what I teach to believers everywhere. (boldface and underline added)
Yesterday we looked at verses 12-14, so this verse comes just a few verses later. Four versions are provided, and you can easily see the word believer is not in all the versions. Nonetheless, the ESV and the KJ21 are clearly addressing believers. Most versions do not have the word believers, but simply make the inference as above for who else would be desirous leading the life that the Lord has assigned to him or as the Lord had called every one.
Whichever version one is using, it is referring to verse 15 (NIV), But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. Note it only the unbelieving partner who is spoken of here who leaves or separates. The believer for the sake of peace is to accede to the separation desired by the unbelieving spouse. Ellicott’ Commentary also states the believer is never to cause or promote a separation, for he is to be guided by the great principle that we are to continue to walk in those social and political relations by which we were bound when God called us. Also, Paul makes clear this is not just for the church in Corinth, but for all churches.
The next three verses (18-20 NIV) show how firm Paul’s position is on this, 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. Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them. Circumcision here is only used as an example and is chosen as it was the cause of many disagreements among believing Jews where some believed circumcision was a requirement to truly follow Jesus. Paul put an end to that in Galatians 5:6 when he wrote, For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
But what of v20 where Paul wrote, Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them? Remain where you were when you became a Christian, a believer in Jesus as the risen Messiah. Do that and do it well to demonstrate the merit of your new faith. Don’t be moving without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Paul wants you, and others, to know that accepting Jesus did not dissolve the relationships in your life that existed beforehand. As a believer one should take better care of the relationships in one’s life.
Prayer: Father God – Give me the strength to give a good report in how I live my life as a believer in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Let my actions reflect honor on Him and on You. – In Jesus name. Amen.