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Verse 22. For he that is called in the Lord. He that is called by the Lord; he that becomes a Christian.

Being a servant. A slave when he is converted.

Is the Lord's freeman. Marg., Made free. apeleuyerov. Is manumitted, made free, endowed with liberty by the Lord. This is designed evidently to comfort the heart of the slave, and to make him contented with his condition; and it is a most delicate, happy, and tender argument. The sense is this: "You are blessed with freedom from the bondage of sin by the Lord. You were formerly a slave to sin, but now you are liberated. That bondage was far more grievous, and far more to be lamented, than the bondage of the body. But from that long, grievous, and oppressive servitude, you are now free. Your condition, even though you are a slave, is far better than it was before; nay, you are now the true freeman, the freeman of the Lord. Your spirit is free; while those who are not slaves, and perhaps your own masters, are even now under a more severe and odious bondage than yours. You should rejoice, therefore, in deliverance from the greater evil, and be glad that in the eye of God you are regarded as his freeman, and endowed by him with more valuable freedom than it would be to be delivered from the bondage under which you are now placed. Freedom from sin is the highest blessing that can be conferred on men; and if that is yours, you should little regard your external circumstances in this life. You will soon be admitted to the eternal liberty of the saints in glory, and will forget all your toils and privations in this world."

Is Christ's servant. Is the slave (doulov) of Christ; is bound to obey law, and to submit himself, as you are, to the authority of another. This, too, is designed to promote contentment with his lot, by the consideration that all are bound to obey law; that there is no such thing as absolute independence; and that, since law is to be obeyed, it is not degradation and ignominy to submit to those which God has imposed on us by his providence in an humble sphere of life. Whether a freeman or a slave, we are bound to yield obedience to law, and everywhere must obey the laws of God. It is not, therefore, degradation to submit to his laws in a state of servitude, though these laws come to us through an earthly master. In this respect, the slave and the freeman are on a level, as both are required to submit to the laws of Christ; and, even if freedom could be obtained, there is no such thing as absolute independence. This is a very beautiful, delicate, and happy argument; and perhaps no consideration could be urged that would be more adapted to produce contentment.

{e} "is the Lord's freeman" Joh 8:36; Ro 6:18,22

{1} "freeman" "made free" {a} "Christ's servant" Ps 116:16; 1 Pe 2:16

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