You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 1 Corinthians 7:23
Here Paul forbids us to become slaves. No doubt he says this as a general guideline against people who try to destroy the freedom and equality of belief and clamp down too tightly on consciences. For example, if someone teaches that a Christian man absolutely cannot marry a non-Christian woman or stay married to her, as some churches teach, then that person hinders the freedom taught here by Paul. That person actually steers people to be more obedient to him than to God’s word, which Paul says is serving human beings. The people following this teacher think they are God’s slaves and serving him when in fact they are serving human teaching and becoming slaves of others. This is also true of those who preached that Christians must be circumcised, nullifying Christian freedom as a result.
So in every way, Paul is concerned about Christian freedom and guards it against the chains and prison of human rules. Paul verifies this when he says, “You were bought at a price.” Paul means that Christ bought us with his own blood and set us free from all sins and laws, as it says in Galatians 5:1.
The freedom Christ purchased, however, isn’t what the world means by freedom. It doesn’t affect the roles people have with one another, such as a servant with a master or a wife with a husband. God doesn’t want these roles to be changed. Instead, he wants them to be honored. He changes us inwardly and spiritually. Before God, no law binds us or holds us captive. We are truly free in all things. Before, we were caught in our sins, but now all of our sins are gone. So whatever outward roles or relationships still exist, they have nothing to do with sin or merit before God.
Barnas Sears, D.D.
An historic and comprehensive biography of early Christianity’s most influential leader of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther.
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This unique biography is reproduced from an 1850 American Sunday School Union original, and in it you will be introduced to the pivotal life of this enigmatic man before, during, and after one of Christianity’s defining events.