You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.1 Corinthians 7:23(NASB)
All too often, we tend to think that the answer to our problem is a change in circumstances. We think that a better job, more money, a different partner, new friends, moving to a better location, changing churches, or transforming some other external factor in our favour, would bring about a vast improvement in our situation. But this is the view of the world, and Paul is refuting this popular notion that a change in circumstances will solve all our problems - for this is frankly not the case.
In this passage, Paul encourages each one of us to remain in the place where God has put us, while seeking to live our life in humble obedience to the Word of God and to the greater glory of His holy name: "For we were bought with a price."
We are to resist the idea that the externals of life contribute to our inner joy, godly contentment, spiritual growth, and His perfect peace in our heart. And although Paul does not discourage us from making improvements in our external circumstances, his earnest plea is that we concentrate on our spiritual advancement, not growth in our financial bank-account or a long list of Facebook 'friends': "For we were bought with a price," and our calling is to give honour to the One Who purchased us.
Whether we perceive life's-circumstances to be good or ill, socially fair or socially unfair, just or unjust, easy or difficult, encouraging or humiliating, the issue is that "we were bought with a price," and however good or bad we perceive our situation to be, we have been purchased by God Who has seen fit to put us where we are for a particular reason. That purpose has its roots in obedience to the Lord Who bought us. It has its fruit in a person that remain true to their heavenly calling, and it is manifested in a life of faithful obedience; a life that is lived to the glory of God; a life that faithfully fulfils its heavenly calling.
We are in the world but not of the world, and our earthly circumstances should not affect our heavenly calling. No matter what life-circumstances throw at us, we have a heavenly calling which is carried out in our earthly walk. Irrespective of marriage or singleness, age or abilities, freedom or slavery, or any other situation in which we find ourselves, we have a high and heavenly mission, and nothing should deflect us from that singular goal, our heavenly calling.
As believers, we are "called into fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ," and we do this through living in spirit and truth. As Christians we are to be led by the Holy Spirit of God and not influenced by our earthly circumstances. As God's children we are called to enjoy inner peace and not internal turmoil. We are to "let the peace of God rule in our heart to which we are called." Abiding in Christ and resting in His inner peace is the heavenly calling for every believer, no matter what situation we may be in.
We are called by the God Who bought us: Called to be holy, called to live for Him, and called to patiently endure. We have been called out of darkness into His marvellous light, and after we have suffered a little while, the God of all grace will call us to His eternal glory in Christ where He will restore us, confirm us, strengthen us, and establish us.
We may be in this world but we are not part of it, and we should not become entrapped by the philosophies of the world that insist that a change in our circumstances is the answer to our problems.
The answer to every question in life is Christ, for it is only in Him that we have true contentment and lasting joy. The free-man should recognise that he is a bond-servant of the Lord, while the slave should rejoice in his freedom in Christ regardless of His chains: "For we are bought with a price and should not become slaves of men."
We were bought with a price - the precious blood of Christ Jesus our Saviour - and in Him we have the mind of Christ and should not be influenced by the world's thinking, their philosophies, their mind-set, or their world-view.
Heavenly Father, thank You that I am in Christ, having been purchased by His precious blood, and I now have a high and heavenly calling to live my life as unto You. Keep me faithful to my calling in Christ, and may I not allow my spiritual walk to be influenced by the circumstances in which I find myself, but live my life to Your praise and glory, and in humble obedience to my heavenly calling. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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