Remaining Where God Called Us

Q. In 1 Corinthians 7:17-23, Paul talked about believers remaining in situations that they once were. He states that God wants the believer (new or existing) to remain in the situation as he/she once was. For instance, Paul said that if a believer was called while a slave, he told them not to be concerned about it. The same goes for circumcision. In responses to situations, do you believe God puts believers in conflicting or bad situations as He did with Paul? For example, does God want us to be in prison for a crime we did not commit? If we were in slavery, does God want us to remain slaves? This is something to think about when meditating on this verse. How do you look at this verse?

A. In the early Church some were using their conversion to Christianity as an excuse. Believers were leaving their unbelieving spouses (1 Cor. 7:12-13) and slaves were running away from their masters (Philemon). What Paul was saying is that people should not think of their newfound belief as justification for changing their current status on earth.

Paul did say that if an unbelieving spouse wanted to leave, the believer was under no obligation to prevent it (1 Cor. 7:15), and if slaves could gain their freedom they should do so (1 Cor. 7:21).

Paul’s case was unique to say the least, so I don’t think you should interpret it to mean that under normal circumstances God will put people into bad situations and then tell them to stay there.

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