1 Corinthians 7:17–24 (NIV84)
17 Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.
18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised.
19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts.
20 Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him.
21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so.
22 For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord’s freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ’s slave.
23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.
24 Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to.
If you have been a Christian for any amount of time, surely, there have been times when you have asked the question or questions: Is it time for me to move on? God is leading me. Looking for a better place—looking for greener places. The old adage, “The grass is always greener on the other side.”
The prompts come after some type of disappointment. Rarely, does anyone ask for a better place when everything is working well. No one wants to leave when there is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We begin to question ourselves with questions like: Am I not obeying God. When do I move? Is it me and my emotions? What does the Bible say about this? How do we discern the Lord’s Word in our lives? In today’s text: Paul makes some explicit statements about our calling. He was talking about marriage and marriage relations and roles. Then he moves on to calling and assignments.

1. God’s calling supersedes horizontal assignments

Supersede: to take the place or position of: it implies replacing a person or thing that has become obsolete or otherwise inferior
I have had this conversation with many people who are new believers.
The most popular question is: Now that I am saved, what do I do?
I heard Alice Cooper speak about that very question. He said that he sat with his pastor and asked if he should quit being a rocker. His pastor, (I believe, understanding this Scripture) told him, NO. Continue to be a rocker but now lead them to Christ. You have a platform that few people have. God’s calling supersedes horizontal assignments.
Now that you are alive in Christ, make Christ the center of your life where you are
Paul was speaking to a false law or rule.
A group of people were demanding that if you wanted to follow Christ you had to become circumcised (because the Jewish people practice circumcision). Paul says that he was circumcised on the eight day—that was the practice.
However, Paul is saying that when God calls you that calling supersedes any objection people have. Start growing where God found you.
Paul tells them that what matters is that they keep God’s commands.
Be committed to God and not religion
God called you where you were for a specific purpose
You were a functioning person, don’t stop functioning just because God saved you. On the contrary, shine for Jesus where you are.
Don’t leave your spouse just because you are saved and they are not
Don’t leave your job just because you are saved and the place is secular
You are called to be the light in the world
If you are only in lit places, how will you shine
Don’t look for revival in other places, ignite revival where you are

2. God’s calling supersedes vertical assignments

1 Cor 7:20 “20 Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him.”
Remain in the condition or assignment you were in when He called you
Remain implies to stay or endure in a place or situation
To remain in place in readiness or expectation or something
Many believers miss what God has because they don’t remain where God planted them
Ps 92:13 “13 planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.”
1 Jn 2:28 “28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.”
If you are married, stay married
1 Cor 7:11 “11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.”
If you are a slave don’t leave
Don’t let being a slave trouble you
Because you are now free
Also, now that you are in Christ, you are a slave to Christ
People would give themselves into slavery to pay off debts or were placed in slavery to pay off debts
Many today are in slavery to pay off debts
Remain but don’t forget your calling to obey God’s commands
Remain until God directs you
Remain a slave but if you are able to purchase or gain your freedom—do it
Even though Christ set you free, you are still a slave to Him
Being a slave could have benefits when you are in the right place with the right master
Modern day slavery is more widely accepted

3. God’s calling demands that we abide in Christ

Mt 6:31-33 “31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Don’t worry about your assignment
Seek His Kingdom first
You don’t have to be in full-time ministry
If everyone is in full-time ministry then how are reaching people
If everyone is in the light, how are we illuminating the darkness
Jn 15:4 “4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
To have success in your calling you must remain in Christ
We have been conditioned to take instead of giving
God loves us so much that He gave
Jn 15:7 “7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”
Whatever your assignment, remain in Christ
If you are dating, remember God’s commands
If you are married, remember God’s commands
These are natural situations but we must remain in Christ and remember the calling

4. God’s calling demands commitment to our assignments

Mt 22:14 “14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.””
Stay where God has planted you
Blossom where God has planted you
In Ephesians husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loves the Church and gave himself up for her
That is the commitment we need in our assignments
Praise God that there is revival in Asbury University but you don’t have to chase revivals, start a revival where you are assigned
Don’t chase greener pastures, take care of the one you were assigned to
Become productive
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