Let’s read this interesting verse: “Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk” (NASB). In the previous verses the apostle Paul had been answering questions about marriage and one of those questions was, “If I become saved but my spouse is an unbeliever, should I get a divorce?” Paul’s answer to that is found in verses 12-13, “If any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, HE MUST NOT DIVORCE HER. And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, SHE MUST NOT SEND HER HUSBAND AWAY.” In verse 17 Paul lays down a principle for new converts: You should remain in the state in which you were found (unless it is immoral). So, if one is married at the time of their conversion, they should stay married, even though their spouse is not converted.

There is a tendency on the part of many new Christians to make a clean break with everything connected with their former life. The principle found in our verse today not only included “staying in the marriage relationship,” but it includes “staying in whatever position you are in,” as long as it’s not sinful. This is borne out in verses 18-24. In verses 18-20 Paul deals with RACIAL ties: “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.” A saved Jew was not to renounce his Jewish upbringing by removing all evidence of being circumcised, nor was a saved Gentile to hide his heathen background by being circumcised. They were both to “remain in that condition in which he was called.” These “outward circumstances” are nothing to God. What really matters to Him is your “inward condition” of being obedient, from your heart, to His Word.

In verses 21-24 Paul addresses those who were SLAVES: “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 freeman; likewise he who is 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.”  There were many converted slaves in that day and perhaps their first reaction after being saved would be to try to get out of this condition. But Paul says, “Stay put!” He encourages them by teaching them that in the Lord’s eyes, they are free. If their master were to set them free, so be it, but otherwise just remain where you are and serve the Lord Jesus faithfully by being a good servant to their earthly master.

We can apply this last teaching to all of us who are employed. When you become saved, you should remain in the vocation in which you were called. There is one condition though, for it said in verse 24 to “remain WITH GOD,” which means to remain there as long as we can do so in “fellowship with God.” If we are in a job that is immoral, we could hardly “remain with God” in that form of employment. When I was saved, I was in the liquor business with my parents. The very moment I was saved I knew that I could no longer remain in that job and maintain a good conscience towards God. The Lord graciously provided another job for me where I could serve Him with a good conscience.  (208.1)  (DO)