1 Corinthians 7:17-40 Living a Kingdom Directed Life

Being circumcised or uncircumcised, slave or free, rich or poor, married or single, widowed or divorced doesn’t alter the fact that you can serve God in these circumstances. There were many people in Corinth who were convinced that if they could change their circumstances they could serve God better. Thus, some saw circumcision belonging to the old covenant and thus getting rid of the sign, would be a good thing because they are new covenant people. They might also think that getting rid of the sign would help them in their relationships with their non-Christian neighbour. On the other hand, some might have thought that being circumcised would draw them closer to God. After all, weren’t the Jews the Old Testament people of God. Surely, having a visible sign of the covenant would be a good thing? Whichever way people thought, the temptation was that if their circumstances changed they would be able to serve God better or be closer to God. Slaves too might have wondered as to whether they could serve God better if they were free men and women. They could then travel further and perhaps bring the gospel to other places and people. Perhaps they could offer hospitality to the saints and have open homes. These things were not possible for a slave. They would have felt restricted in their circumstances. Paul tells them to remain as they are, unless the opportunity for release is given you. The point Paul is making is this, “The quality of our relationship with God is not determined by morally neutral circumstances.” The thing is that God calls you to be his own in these circumstances!