Thursday, November 24

Called According to Paul: 1 Corinthians 7

An explanation of this series of posts can be found here, and another post in the series is here.

In this post, let's look at the use of the word called in 1 Corinthians 7, verse 15-25. I've italicized it each time it's used in the quote of the passage.
But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. Wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?

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. Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity. For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God. (1 Corinthans 7:15-25 ESV)
In all of these usages of called, it is used as a sort of shorthand for "became a Christian" or "first believed". This would make it a similar usage to 1 Corinthians 1:24 where it is a parallel for "being saved". People believe when they are called in this way. This is a call that results in believing.

This is also an individual call. It goes out to individual people who are in various circumstances. We saw the individual nature of the call in 1 Corinthians 26-28 (...not many wise...not many powerful....), but it is even more pronounced here.

[Update: Kim in IL suggests that in the first use of the word call in this passage, the sense may be more "appointed", as in "God has appointed you to peace." See her comments.]

What more do you see about the meaning of the word call from this passage?

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