7:17 let each person lead the life . . . God has called him. The following verses make clear that the phrase “God has called him” is not a reference to a social position but to conversion itself. Note that vv. 17–24 set forth a principle that gives coherence to the whole chapter: becoming a believer does not require a change in status, whether marital, ethnic, or social (vv. 8, 20, 26). This verse has sometimes been misused as evidence that Christians should not attempt to improve their social or economic standing. On the contrary, Paul encourages slaves to obtain their freedom if the opportunity arises (v. 21).