About my Father’s Business#4. “Those Deserving of Recognition.”

About my Father’s Business#4. “Those Deserving of Recognition.”

Paul was disinterested in tabulating a personal baptism count. “I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius” (1Cor.1:14), he told the Corinthian church. Then he remembered, “Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas” (1Cor.1:16). It is strange how the best of the brethren can be so easily forgotten amongst the noise of the church troublemakers.

However, Paul pushes Stephanas and his household back to the front of the minds of the Corinthian church in the last chapter of his letter (1 Corinthians 16:15-18).

They were not only first to be baptised, but they were also the first to set the standard; they “devoted themselves to the service of the saints” (v.15).

Paul urges the church “to submit to such as these and to everyone who joins in the work, and labours at it” (v.16). While many in the Corinthian church were busy causing the problems that Paul had to address in his letter(s), the Household of Stephanas was busy about the work of the Kingdom. Men like Stephanas open their hearts, homes, and wallets to building the church.

Here we find him with Paul as he writes. He had joined Fortunatus and Achaicus on a missionary run to meet the needs of Paul (v.17). They had probably brought the letter containing questions from the Corinthian church and the news of division from Chloe’s household. It is little wonder that Paul commends them as having “refreshed my spirit;” even the great missionary needed men of strong faith amidst such discouragement.

“Such men deserve recognition” (v.18), says the apostle. The church needed to honour them for what they were—hard workers for Jesus!

Stephanas, his household, and Fortunatus and Achaicus needed no one’s motivation to serve the saints.

Each one of them was continually about their Father’s Business.

John Staiger

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