“I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.”
I Corinthians 16:15, 16
As Paul is nearing the completion of this epistle to the church at Corinth, he directs the congregation to consider a particular family. He refers to them as “the house of Stephanas.” The church members at Corinth were familiar with this godly family. Paul said, “ye know the house of Stephanas.” They were among the first converts to Christ in the region, “the firstfruits of Achaia.” The apostle Paul mentioned the family of Stephanas in the first chapter of this epistle saying, “And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other” (I Corinthians 1:16).”
Paul commended “the house of Stephanas” by saying of them, “they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints.” They were devoted to the service of Christ and His disciples. The family had given themselves wholly to the work of God. Thank God for families like “the house of Stephanas.”
Our text has much to say to us about our lives and our families. It tells us about the importance of faithfulness. This particular family, though they were one of the first families won to Christ in Achaia, was still active in serving the Lord. It is a great blessing to see the enthusiasm of new converts, but it is equally encouraging to see the continued loyalty of those who have been in the faith for a long time.
We also see in “the house of Stephanas” the kind of zeal that God wants in His children and in His churches; “they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints.” These people were serious about their service for Christ. Nominal Christianity may be popular in our day, but it does not mean God is pleased with it. We also see that this family served the Lord as a family. Our homes should be dedicated to the work of God. We need God’s help as we try to lead our families to salvation through faith in Christ, and then to teach them to serve the Lord with their lives. Paul wanted the Corinthian Christians to respect and follow the example of “the house of Stephanas.” They were exhorted to “submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.”