Brief notes on my translation of 1 Corinthians 7:17-24
Apostolic Counsel—Life Status
17 Nonetheless, [the believer should continue to live] only as God distributed to everyone, as the Lord has called everyone, so let them live their life. I give such directions in all congregations.
18 Is any man called already circumcised? He shouldn’t become uncircumcised. Is any man called while uncircumcised? He shouldn’t become circumcised.
19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing. The obeying of God’s commands [is everything].
[Circumcision is very important to Israel. It is the sign of their covenant. Christians are not under that covenant. See Genesis 17:2-14, Exodus 12:48, and Ezekiel 44:9. For Christians the “sign” is obedience to the writings of the New Testament, that is, obeying God’s commands. Compare Matthew 7:24-25, John 14:15, and 1 John 2:3].
20 Everyone should remain in the same calling in which he was called.
21 Are yous called while a slave? Don’t worry about it. But if yous can be free, do so!
[Slavery is evil. We are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). We are not to show favoritism (Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11, and James 2:8-9)].
22 For he who is called in the Lord, while a slave, is the Lord’s freeman. In the same way he, who is called, while free, is Christ’s servant.
23 Youp are bought at great cost. You must not be the slaves of men.
[Thayer has this note on “bought” (ἀγοράζω agorázō G59): Christ is said to have purchased his disciples i. e. made them, as it were, his private property. Compare 1 Peter 1:18-19, Matthew 20:28, Revelation 5:9 and Revelation 14:3. “Must…be” indicates an imperative verb. We are not to be slaves of a human but of Jesus Christ for we are bought].
24 Brethren, let everyone stay with God [regardless] in which [social condition] he was called.
[It doesn’t make any difference what social condition we are in. Instead, we are to rejoice in the spiritual social condition we are in. Jesus is our King and Lord, so remain with God].