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1 Corinthians 7:17-24

The Circumstances of Your Calling

7:17 Nevertheless, 1  as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each person, so must he live. I give this sort of direction in all the churches. 7:18 Was anyone called after he had been circumcised? He should not try to undo his circumcision. 2  Was anyone called who is uncircumcised? He should not get circumcised. 7:19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Instead, keeping God’s commandments is what counts. 7:20 Let each one remain in that situation in life 3  in which he was called. 7:21 Were you called as a slave? 4  Do not worry about it. But if indeed you are able to be free, make the most of the opportunity. 7:22 For the one who was called in the Lord as a slave is the Lord’s freedman. In the same way, the one who was called as a free person is Christ’s slave. 7:23 You were bought with a price. Do not become slaves of men. 7:24 In whatever situation someone was called, brothers and sisters, 5  let him remain in it with God.

1 tn Or “only”; Grk “if not.”

2 tn Grk “Let him not pull over the foreskin,” that is, attempt to reverse the appearance of circumcision by a surgical procedure. This was sometimes done by Hellenistic Jews to hide the embarrassment of circumcision (1 Macc 1:15; Josephus, Ant. 12.5.1 [12.241]). Cf. BDAG 380 s.v. ἐπισπάω 3.

3 tn Grk “in the calling.” “Calling” in Paul is God’s work of drawing people to faith in Christ. As in 1:26, calling here stands by metonymy for a person’s circumstances when he becomes a Christian.

4 tn Traditionally, “servant” (KJV), though almost all modern translations render the word as “slave” here.

5 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:10.

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