East Pointe

Church of Christ

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WEEK of JULY 27th, 2014


KJV: I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the first fruits of Achaia,

and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the Saints.) (I CORINTHIANS 16: 15)

AMPLIFIED VERSION: Now, Brethren, you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts and our first fruits in Achaia, (Most of Greece) and how they have consecrated and devoted themselves to the service of the saints. (God’s people) 

LIVING N. T. VERSION: Do you remember Stephanas and his family? They were the first to become Christians in Greece, and they are spending their lives helping and serving Christians everywhere.

ADAM CLARKE’S COMMENTARY: You know that Stephanas and his family have addicted themselves to the help of followers of Christ.

Based upon the four statements above, one should have no difficulty in determining that the household of Stephanas was addicted (wholly given) to right doing. This very idea is vastly different from the mental images imposed by today’s usage of the word “addicted”. Generally, we would envision dark alleys, smoke filled rooms, and hapless wretches, who wallow in their mind numbed stupors, as they engage in unrestrained usage of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and ‘meth’ instead of exerting their energies in honest toil, for some worthy goal. Theirs is a self-imposed ‘hell on earth’ bereft of death. They feel no compunction to get out and get a job, and beyond looking for the next ‘fix’ they are like those my late Son-in-law, Danny Box used to describe, “They’re just plain out sorry!” 

Where are the households of Stephanas in our society today? Why is there no determination to do good at all costs, as opposed to doing what feels good at any cost? Where is righteous indignation? Why is there not a growing number who are ‘addicted’ to honor, self-respect, concern for others, and dedication to right doing, no matter what the cost might be? 

The Lord’s Body, the Church, desperately needs strong role models to stand before the willy-nilly, anything goes bunch, who decry discipline and restraint, and think that hard, fast rules, though bound by unfailing love, and inspired wisdom, are characteristics which should be relegated to the far away, and the long ago. Let those who have conviction, virtue, and righteous principle stand up and be counted. A few households like that of Stephanas could change the world! All it takes is conviction and steadfastness, coupled with a desire to be like Him Who died for all of us!

Some are ‘addicted’ to faithfulness in every aspect of their lives! Others are ‘addicted’ to every sort of dissolute behavior, and unconcern for anything closely related to righteousness. Some are ‘addicted’ to trying to keep the status quo, instead of trying to grow up in the Lord. These remind me of the old farmer who was describing his mule. “The biggest objection I have to old Dobbin, he said, is that he is awfully backward about going forward these days!” Some folks are busy doing ‘nothing’ and have no intention of trying to change their addiction!


Bob Howton

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