Refreshing Christians

Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus.

Do you know who they are? In what book of the Bible are they mentioned?  Old or New Testament?  You won’t find them in Hebrews 11–The Spiritual “Hall of Fame.”

More than likely they are reserved for the answer to a Bible Trivia game.  They are filed under Miscellaneous.  Unidentified. Or unknown.

Give up?  

They were three members of the Corinthian church that Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 16:15-19.  So who were they?  And what did they do?  Well, Paul knew and so did the Corinthian church.

I urge you, brethren — you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints —  that you also submit to such, and to everyone who works and labors with us.  

I am glad about the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, for what was lacking on your part they supplied. For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men. 

These three men, unheard of, unheralded and unknown, find their place in sacred scripture, not because of some great deed.  World shaking exploit. Or miraculous work.  These men are honored because of their devotion. Their ministry.  Their encouragement.

Paul pays them a great compliment.  He calls them “refreshing Christians.”  To refresh means to provide rest. To renew strength. To rejuvenate.   How?  We don’t exactly know.  It is believed that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians from Ephesus during his third missionary journey.    So these three men came to Ephesus and supplied something for Paul that was lacking.  Something he needed.  Something that lifted and encouraged him.

Today we need more folks like Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus.

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