|Vol. 1, No. 6||Page 8||June 1999|
In 1 Corinthians 1:16 we learn that Paul baptized Stephanas. In fact, in 1 Corinthians 16:15 we learn that he was "the first-fruit of Achaia." This means that he was the first person baptized in that part of the world.
Corinth was a very large city which was a trading center in that region. The people who lived there were very wicked. They worshipped many different gods. However, their worship was many times a drunken party with great immodesty and sins of all kinds.
Paul tried to preach to the Jews in the city but they would not listen. So, he started preaching to the Gentiles. Evidently, Stephanas was a very honest thinking individual who listened carefully to what Paul had to say. Stephanas believed Paul when he said that Jesus is the Son of God. He believed that Jesus died for our sins and he believed that Jesus was raised from the dead and lives in heaven.
We read in 1 Corinthians 1:14-15 that Paul did not baptize many himself because he did not want people thinking he was trying to get people to just follow his words. So, we must assume that Stephanas baptized others. In fact, he may very well have baptized his own relatives since in 1 Corinthians 16:15 we find that his household were all Christians.
Another thing we learn about Stephanas is that he loved to do things for other Christians. In chapter 16, verse 15 it says he set himself to ministering to the saints. In verse 17, we learn that he had even traveled to take help to Paul.
Further, we learn in verse 16 that Stephanas worked hard for the Lord. He is called a laborer. Stephanas was always looking for something he could do for God.
Stephanas is not a well-known name among Bible characters, but Stephanas was a great man. He was willing to listen to the Gospel. He was willing to obey the Gospel. He was willing to teach others the Gospel. He was willing to help other Christians. He was willing to work hard for God.
Are you like Stephanas? We should all be like him. From now on, be like Stephanas. If you will do that, God will be very pleased with you.
I May Never See Tomorrow
By Mark McWhorter
Imagine, if you will, the following points. In so doing you will have some sense of what daily life is like for as many as a billion people around the world (that would be nearly 20 people for every 100 people):
-- Take out all the furniture in your home except for one table and a couple of chairs. Use blankets and pads for beds.
-- Take away all of your clothing except for your oldest dress or suit, shirt or blouse. Leave only one pair of shoes.
-- Empty the pantry and refrigerator except for a small bag of flour, some sugar and salt, a few potatoes, some onions, and a dish of dried beans.
-- Dismantle the bathrooms, shut off the running water, and remove all the electrical wiring in your house.
-- Take away the house itself and move the family into the tool shed.
-- Place your "house" in shanty town.
-- Cancel all subscriptions to newspapers, magazines, and book clubs. This is no great loss because none of you can read anyway.
-- Leave only one radio for the whole shanty town.
-- Throw away your bankbooks, stock certificates, pension plans, and insurance policies. Leave the family a cash hoard of ten dollars.
-- Move the nearest hospital or clinic ten miles away and put a midwife in charge instead of a doctor.
-- Give the head of the family a few acres to cultivate on which he can raise a few hundred dollars of cash crops, of which one third will go to the landlord and one tenth to the money lenders.
-- Lop off twenty-five or more years of life expectancy.
Those who live in the United States have a hard time realizing
how well blessed they are to live in this country. Every young person should
have the opportunity to visit some poor country for a week. And while visiting
they should be made to live as the people in that country. I am sure this
would change the selfish attitude that so many demonstrate today.