1 Corinthians 7 v 17 - 24

A very important principle which Paul gives here: Christianity is not to give a man or woman a new life, but to make their old life new. The difference should be the new type of life lived. No matter what the status of the person-married or single, knight or commoner, rich or poor-the Christian has been purchased by Christ through His sacrifice on the cross and so that person is essentially a free man or woman, because he or she is now the property of Christ Jesus. Christianity does not make someone kick over the traces and become querulously discontented with things as they are, because even the hardest and seemingly least important work is no longer done for other people, but for Jesus. I have noticed that a few of you have changed jobs during the pandemic into jobs which perhaps do not have the same social cache as the ones you did previously and I would say that this is evidence that you can do this because your eyes are set on Jesus rather than other people. I read the other day of a Mayor who worked for a day on the recycling bins to demonstrate her commitment to the environment. When a few months later she was deposed as Mayor, she became a bin lorry driver for the local council! I would say that Paul here is speaking generally. There are obviously jobs which can no longer be partaken in once somebody becomes a Christian- such as a thief, fraudster, or in pyramid selling and you might have issue with continuing to work on the stock exchange, or as a soldier, bookmaker or bailiff. We can notice elsewhere as well in Paul's writings that he is emphatic that the general role of a Christian is to live quietly, to witness by our actions and to happily answer our neighbour's questions about who has enabled us to be who we are. He didn't try to get everyone to travel the known world as he did because he knew the value of those in established positions in the community who were living for Christ. You may have lived in this town of Bradford for many years, you are known, respected, loved. Witness for Jesus by your actions, the extra which you do lovingly for those who live close to you.

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