1 Corinthians 7:17

Concerning Change of Status

17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.

Read 1 Corinthians 7:17 Using Other Translations

But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.
Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.
Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches.

What does 1 Corinthians 7:17 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
1 Corinthians 7:17

But as God hath distributed to every man
This text is so placed, and the words of it so expressed, as that it may have regard both to what goes before, and follows after; it may have respect to every man's proper gift, whether of continence, or of disposition to marriage, which every man has of God, ( 1 Corinthians 7:7 ) , and accordingly ought to live in a single, or in a married state; or it may refer to the last verse,

what knowest thou
and (ei mh) , which we render "but", be translated either "unless"; and then the sense is, thou knowest not, O man or woman, whether thou shalt save thy wife or husband, nor any other, unless God, who distributes his, grace to everyone as he pleases; or else it may be rendered if "not", and the sense be, if thou shouldst not save thy husband, or thou, man, shouldst not save thy wife; yet "as God hath distributed to every man" his own proper gift, both as to nature and grace; his proper sphere of usefulness, and the station in which he would have him be, and the place he would have him fill up, and the business he must do in life; so let him act, and

as the Lord hath called everyone;
which is to be understood of that particular station of life, and those circumstances of it, in which men are providentially placed by God, or are found in when he calls them by his grace; as whether married or unmarried; whether joined to a believer or an unbeliever; whether circumcised or uncircumcised; whether bond or free; a servant or a master; and so may refer to what follows, as well as to what goes before:

so let him walk;
contented with his station and kind of life, agreeably to the profession he makes of the Gospel, doing all the good he can to those he is concerned with:

and so ordain I in all churches;
the decisions and determinations he had made, in the cases proposed to him about marriage, the rules and orders he had prescribed, what he had given out by way of precept or permission, by command or counsel, or what he was about to deliver, were no other than what he in common enjoined other churches; and therefore they ought not to think that they were used with more strictness and severity than others; and might be induced hereby to attend to what was advised or enjoined, since it was what was common to all the churches.

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