What does 1 Corinthians 7:24 mean?
ESV: So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.
NIV: Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.
NASB: Brothers and sisters, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called.
CSB: Brothers and sisters, each person is to remain with God in the situation in which he was called.
NLT: Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you.
KJV: Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
NKJV: Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.
Verse Commentary:
Paul concludes this section, repeating for the third time that the Christians in Corinth should remain in whatever condition or situation they had when they came to faith in Christ. This includes being married or single, being circumcised or uncircumcised, and being slave or free. This is not phrased as a command: "you must remain as you are." Rather, it is Paul's reassurance that Christians are not obligated to seek any of those statuses for spiritual reasons.

In fact, Paul has included circumstances under which it is sensible for a Christian to seek out a change their status. Single people who "burn with passion" should, in fact, get married (1 Corinthians 7:9). Those married to unbelievers should not fight their change in status if their spouse demands a divorce (1 Corinthians 7:15). Slaves with the opportunity to be freed should take it (1 Corinthians 7:21). In other words, Scripture's command here is not a blanket restriction on changing from one situation to another, ever.

Instead, the Bible discourages believers from seeking radical change out of a wrongheaded idea that marital status, or social status, or even religious status will make them more spiritual or more acceptable to God. In a similar way, God doesn't want them to attempt to change their status for the approval of other people.

Paul adds the words "with God" to his statement about remaining. God is with Christians, no matter their current status in the short time we will exist on earth before eternity. Believers should not seek out radical, self-driven changes in their lives in an attempt to get closer to God. He is already fully with them.

It is not, however, that our time on this side of eternity does not matter. Paul shows in the following verses that it matters a great deal how we serve Christ, how we are used by God, whatever our situation might be.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 7:17–24 expands on Paul's rule of thumb: that Christians should remain in whatever situation they were in when they came to faith in Christ. Later text clarifies that Paul is not denouncing marriage or forbidding it in any sense. Married or not, circumcised or not, slave or free, Christians aren't obligated to radically upend every aspect of their lives and relationships. Slaves, though, are encouraged to gain their freedom if available. A believing slave is, in fact, free in Christ, while a Christian who is free in this life is, in truth, a slave to Christ. We all belong to God. Our eternal position in Christ matters far more than our temporary position in this life.
Chapter Summary:
Paul rejects an idea concerning the Corinthian believers: that married Christians should not have sex. Perhaps some even thought marriages should be dissolved and avoided. On the contrary, Scripture says married Christians should have regular sex in order to avoid temptation. Those who are married ought to remain married. Unmarried believers with the gift of celibacy, however, should consider remaining single in order to avoid the troubles of marriage. That is Paul's personal preference, though that gift is not given to all others. Single believers can devote themselves to serving Christ without distraction. The time is short. All believers should live and serve Christ now as if this world is passing away.
Chapter Context:
First Corinthians 7 follows Paul's teaching in the previous chapter, which focused mostly on avoiding sexual immorality. Here he commands married husbands and wives not to deprive each other of sex, or get divorced, in a misguided attempt to be more spiritual. Unmarried people who can live contentedly without sex, however, should consider remaining single in order to serve Christ undivided. Getting married is good, but the time is short. The form of this world is passing away. Unmarried people should think about the opportunities to avoid trouble and serve Christ that come with staying single.
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
Accessed 5/28/2024 7:55:44 PM
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