While I was making the schematic plan of the 16th chapter of the Ist Epistle of Paul to Corinthians, I realized that I missed a very beautiful example when I preached 1 Corinthians 14:34–40, where Apostle Paul says “the women are to keep silent in the churches”. I haven’t yet post that message on this portal, but if anyone needs it and asks for it, I will surely post it. So, if we look only at that passage, it seems that Paul was on bad terms with women and he limited very much their rights and ministry. It it not good to draw this conclusion and we can see another passage from the Bible, which proves Paul’s attitude towards Stephanas:
Now I urge you, brethren (you know the household of Stephanas, that they were the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves for ministry to the saints), that you also be in subjection to such men and to everyone who helps in the work and labors. I rejoice over the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have supplied what was lacking on your part. For they have refreshed my spirit and yours Therefore acknowledge such men. (1 Corinthians 15:16–18)(NASB)
Appreciate the women who work in the Gospel
Apostle Paul speaks very nicely about Stephanas, who was the first fruit of Achaia, that showed she was the first one coming to God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ through Achaia. The most beautiful thing about that woman was that she devoted herself for ministry to saints. Now, she came to Paul with Fortunatus and Achaicus to supply what was lacking on Corinthian’s part and in that way, she helped in the ministry of the Gospel and refreshed Paul’s spirit.
Help the women who work in the Gospel
Paul reminded Christians from Corint about Stephanas and her work, to make them realize and be in subjection to Stephanas and to those who worked as she did in the Gospel, either they were men or women. And he gives them one more advice in the end:
Therefore acknowledge such men. (1 Corinthians 15:18)(NASB)
He said that in regard to Stephanas firstly, and then to Fortunatus and to Achaia. These words are said by the same author who wrote the passage about women from chapter 14 and these words are addressed to the same people, he only tells this two chapters later. This has to teach us all that we have to be in subjection and to acknowledge equally men and women who help and work in God’s ministry.
Every man who understood the message of the Gospel and the love of the Lord Jesus Christ will show respect for women who work in the Gospel, will be ready to help and to appreciate them.
Translated by Felicia Djugostran