Were you a slave when you were called? That shouldn’t bother you. However, if you have a chance to become free, take it. If the Lord called you when you were a slave, you are the Lord’s free person. In the same way, if you were free when you were called, you are Christ’s slave. You were bought for a price. Don’t become anyone’s slaves. Brothers and sisters, you should remain in whatever circumstances you were in when God called you. God is with you in those circumstances.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
Meaning-for-Meaning (Closest Natural Equivalence)
Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.
English Standard Version (ESV)
Word-for-Word (Formal Equivalence)
Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it. And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you.
New Living Translation (NLT)
Thought-for-Thought (Functional Equivalence)
Were you a slave? Slavery is no roadblock to obeying and believing. I don’t mean you’re stuck and can’t leave. If you have a chance at freedom, go ahead and take it. I’m simply trying to point out that under your new Master you’re going to experience a marvelous freedom you would never have dreamed of. On the other hand, if you were free when Christ called you, you’ll experience a delightful “enslavement to God” you would never have dreamed of.
All of you, slave and free both, were once held hostage in a sinful society. Then a huge sum was paid out for your ransom. So please don’t, out of old habit, slip back into being or doing what everyone else tells you. Friends, stay where you were called to be. God is there. Hold the high ground with him at your side.
The Message (MSG)
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