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The Scriptorium

Called to Freedom

Free in Jesus. 1 Corinthians 7

1 Corinthians 7 (7)

Pray Psalm 84.1-4.

How lovely is Your tabernacle,
O LORD of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the LORD;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
My King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You.

Sing Psalm 84.1-4.
(Holy Manna: Brethren, We Have Met to Worship)
LORD of hosts, how sweet Your dwelling; how my soul longs for Your courts!
Let my soul with joy keep telling of Your grace forevermore.
Like a bird upon the altar, let my life to You belong.
Blessed are they who never falter as they praise Your grace with song!

Review 1 Corinthians 7.1-40; meditate on verses 17-22.

1. How does Paul use the idea of “calling” in this chapter?

2. How would you summarize his teaching on calling?


1 Corinthians 7 is rightly understood in the light of Paul’s teaching about “calling”. But that teaching doesn’t begin here. In 1 Thessalonians 2.12—his earliest letter—Paul explains that God has called all those who believe in Jesus to His Kingdom and glory. This is the framework in which we give attention to all that we are and do. We are to seek the Kingdom of God—righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit—as the defining priority of our lives (Matt. 6.33; Rom. 14.17, 18). And we are to do everything to glorify and honor God and point others to Jesus (1 Cor. 10.31; Acts 1.8).

Married or unmarried, businessperson or homemaker, student or servant, professional or “retired”—it matters not who you are. You have a calling from God, and only as you embrace that calling will you be free from the allure of sin, the distractions of the world, and the natural human tendency to a “good enough” approach to life—free, that is, in the power of God’s Spirit and according to His Word, to take up your journey of faith each day and live for Christ and His Kingdom. Whatever our station or condition in life, God calls us there to serve Jesus with all our time, talent, treasure, thoughts, words, deeds, and aspirations.

Paul is working toward chapter 13 in which he will detail the demands of love, which is the essence of all our service. But here he establishes the idea he broached at the end of chapter 6. If you are a believer in Jesus, you are not your own. Jesus has bought you with His blood, and He calls you to serve Him in all your relationships, roles, and responsibilities. For as we do, we learn what it means to be truly free and wholly alive in the power of grace and truth.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
And in all those relationships, roles, and responsibilities, “keeping the commandments of God is what matters” (1 Cor. 7.19).

“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD!
Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!
They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways.
You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently.
Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes!
Then I would not be ashamed, when I look into all Your commandments.
I will praise You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgments.
I will keep Your statutes; oh, do not forsake me utterly! (Ps. 119.1-8).

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name,
He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (Jn. 14.26).

“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love…” (Jn. 15.10).

“He has shown you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly,
to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Mic. 6.8)

“Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.
For God will bring every work into judgment, including
every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Eccl. 12.13, 14).

“My heart is set on keeping Your decrees to the very end” (Ps. 119.112 NIV).

Called and freed to keep God’s Law.

For reflection
1. From what does the Law of God free us? Unto what?

2. How does the Law of God help us in fulfilling our calling from the Lord?

3. Whom will you encourage today to keep focused on the Lord and walking according to His Word?

The rules of Christianity reach every condition; and in every state a man may live so as to be a credit to it. It is the duty of every Christian to be content with his lot, and to conduct himself in his rank and place as becomes a Christian. Our comfort and happiness depend on what we are to Christ, not what we are in the world. John Chrysostom (344-407), Homilies on the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians 16.2

Pray Psalm 84.5-12.
Thank God that He has called you to His Kingdom and glory, and within that framework, to your own unique calling and ministry. Seek His strength for today’s journey. Call on Him for grace to fulfill your calling, and thank Him in advance for all the good things He will grant you.

Sing Psalm 84.5-12.
(Holy Manna: Brethren, We Have Met to Worship)
Blessed are they whose strength is founded in Your strength, O LORD above.
All whose hearts in You are grounded journey in Your strength and love.
Though they weep with tears of sadness, grace shall all their way sustain.
In Your Presence, filled with gladness, they shall conquer all their pain.

LORD of hosts, my prayer receiving, hear me, help me by Your grace!
In Your courts I stand believing; turn to me Your glorious face!
LORD, our sun, our shield, our glory, no good thing will You deny
to those who proclaim Your story, and who on Your grace rely.

T. M. and Susie Moore 

The Church in Corinth was in need of revival. But there was much to be done before that would happen. The Church today is in need of revival, and the same is true for us. Our book, Revived!, can help us to discern our need for revival and lead us in getting there. Order your copy by clicking here.

Support for Scriptorium comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalteravailable by clicking here.


T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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