What does it mean to be a refreshing Christian?
The word here means, “to give intermission from labor.” Simply put, they got involved in the work of the Lord and did not stop. Paul says here that they addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints (16:15). As they served, they gave Paul an intermission from certain labors.
In the work of the Lord it is amazing how much work people will watch you do by yourself. That is not the spirit of Christ. The house of Stephanas jumped in feet first and lightened a heavy load. They gave Paul and others an intermission.
In a personal sense, what have you done for the Lord through your local church that gave your pastor or his wife a break? Have you volunteered to clean the church, gone soulwinning through the week, worked on the bus route, signed up for the nursery, etc?
D.L. Moody famously said that he was not weary OF the way just weary IN it. God’s servants need refreshment by God’s people.
In studying the context of First Corinthians sixteen you discover three golden keys that kept them in the “heir freshening” business:
1. They were sincerely saved (16:15). Nothing gets us more motivated for service that genuine salvation. They were saved and knew it!
2. They were simply serving others (16:15). Their purpose and plan was selfless service for God to others.
3. They were securely strengthening weaknesses (16:17). They were gap-fillers. Would to God every church, mine included, had more folks who served for the purpose of filling gaps in the work of the Lord.
May God by His Spirit work in our hearts a desire to be like the house of Stephanas, who in the absence of Paul, Peter and Apollos would chart a course of humble service and do all that was necessary towards the success of that local church.