17 I am glad about the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, for what was lacking on your part they supplied. 18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.
I am glad about the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, for what was lacking on your part they supplied.
Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, plus two others from Corinth carried the questions of the Corinthian church to Paul in Ephesus. They filled any deficiency that the Corinthian church had.
Php 2:30, because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.
For they refreshed my spirit and yours.
These men committed themselves to encouraging Paul. All leaders need encouragement, even the mighty apostle Paul. The word “refreshed” is the same word Jesus used in “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28). The word literally means to pause up. The basis of their fellowship was what they had in Christ. Paul’s friends gave the harried apostle rest. He was no machine, for he needed ministry from others. They took a burden off him and also refreshed the Corinthian church. It was their ministry to do so.
2 Co 7:6, Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,
2 Ti 1:16-18, 16 The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; 17 but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. 18 The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day—and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus.
Therefore acknowledge such men.
This group from Corinth blessed Paul, so he urged the church to acknowledge these men with respect. Christian ministry requires respect to be effective. Spiritual leaders must exercise impartiality in dealing with problems.
Serving the saints is a priority of God.
Those who sit and soak in church are for the most part those who criticize. Those busy in God’s service have little time to criticize. As it takes many parts to keep an automobile moving, so it takes many people doing their ministry to keep the churches moving. Many serve the Lord without fanfare or ceremony. They are the heart of ministry. These are those who serve the saints.