1 Cor. 7:21-24
21 Were you called while a bondservant? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, I would rather you use that opportunity. 22 Because the bondservant called by the Lord is emancipated by the Lord, just like the free person is a bondservant of Christ. 23 You were purchased at a high price; do not become bondservants of other men. 24 As each has been called, brothers, stay in that state in the presence of God.
purchased at a high price
Paul has been addressing questions posed to him about how becoming a Christian should change one’s relationship to others. He has asserted that becoming a Christian does not essentially change the marital relationship (1-17), nor does it change someone’s ethnic or cultural heritage (18-20).
Now, Paul addresses that considerable percentage of the Corinthian population – and the Corinthian church – who are bondservants. He tells them essentially the same thing. Their new faith does not change that relationship. The general principle that Paul applied was the same: stay in the state you were in when you became a believer. In this case, he makes two exceptions:
- Now there is a higher reality, and – in a sense – now every Christian, no matter how he is employed – has been bought with a high price. The price Jesus paid for us was his own death on the cross.
- If there is any way for a Christian bondservant to pay his debt and become free, he should do it. It is better strategically for the church if its members are not tied down to obligations other than those to Christ.
LORD, thank you for setting us free by the high price you paid for us. Thank you, also, for the servanthood you have called us to – to a better master.