Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 24, 2020

“Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called.” – “only one thing is necessary”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Corinthians 7:17-24.

Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk.  And so I direct in all the churches.  Was any man called when he was already circumcised?  He is not to become uncircumcised.  Has anyone been called in uncircumcision?  He is not to be circumcised.  Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.  Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called.

Were you called while a slave?  Do not worry about it;  but if you are able also to become free, rather do that.  For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman;  likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave.  You were bought with a price;  do not become slaves of men.  Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called.”  1 Corinthians 7:17-24.


It is noteworthy the emphasis that is made in today’s Scripture, by repeating it three times as shown by my bold italic font, that each one is to remain in that condition in which he was called.

We can get so focused, worried and bothered, and busy on improving our earthly condition that we can neglect our spiritual condition.  Only one thing is necessary which is our salvation.

We learned this from the story of Mary and Martha.

“Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village;  and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.  She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word.  But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone?  Then tell her to help me.”  But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;  but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”  Luke 10:38-42.

The Apostle Paul also teaches us the importance of focusing on our salvation.

“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;  but one thing I do:  forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:13-14.

The parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price illustrate this point.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again;  and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”  Matthew 13:44-46.

If we can improve our earthly condition without being worried and bothered and without neglecting our spiritual condition, then we can do it.

“Were you called while a slave?  Do not worry about it;  but if you are able also to become free, rather do that.”  Verse 21.

We belong to God and can and should trust God to provide all that we need.

Q. 26.  What believest thou when thou sayest, “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”?

A.  That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (who of nothing made heaven and earth, with all that is in them;  who likewise upholds and governs the same by His eternal counsel and providence) is, for the sake of Christ His Son, my God and my Father;  on whom I rely so entirely, that I have no doubt but He will provide me with all things necessary for soul and body;  and further, that He will make whatever evils He sends upon me, in this valley of tears, turn out to my advantage;  for He is able to do it, being Almighty God, and willing, being a faithful Father.  Heidelberg Catechism.

In conclusion, we are content in whatever circumstances that we are.

“Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”  Philippians 4:11.


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