Jesus gave His life, to purchase the church; as we read plainly in Acts 20:28 “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
But the dear Lord Jesus wasn’t at all through giving to the saved, when He gave His life, and gave eternal life to all those who trusted Him and received it by faith.
He also gave the church to the saints; or to the saved.
I thank the Lord for the church. It is started by and founded on and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and it is His gift to us.
I’ve never been in a perfect one, because only it’s founder is perfect; but I thank the Lord for every one I’ve had the privilegeto be a member.
The man Stephanas seems to have been a type of pastor of the church in Achaia; or had eventually become so. As we read about him in I Corinth. 16 :15 “I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)” and then the Lord has Paul continue in vs. 16, from this “That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.” The words “unto such” seem to refer to Stephanas. If he was not or never a pastor, it is clear that he served the Lord as a minister, and helped the saints of God in the church.
Our Lord instructs the Corinthians to submit themselves to such; or to those like Stephanas in their church in Corinth.
To submit means: to arrange under, to subordinate
2)to subject, put in subjection , obey 3) to submit to one’s control 4) to yield to one’s admonition or advice.
I pastored for 25 years; but before this, I had a pastor in the churches I had the opportunity to be a member. And with such, and had a command of the Lord to put myself under their leadership. I learned that it is because they are called and gifted by the Lord Jesus to fulfill that ministry, and that though they’re not perfect, they are in leadership under the Lord. God’s command is reason enough, but let’s think about this. When God calls, He qualifies. And the pastor often knows more than the flock about many things. Some because he’s dealt with them before, but others, because God most often gives him wisdom to help him with the responsibility to properly care for God’s sheep.
This is why we read in Heb. 13: 17 “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
Your pastor will answer to the Lord one day for the church he was given responsibility.
To be quick; there is another passage about submission in I Pet.1Pe 5:5 “ Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”
Not every single time, but very often, those that have been around a while have seen more than we have, and have heard more than we have, and so have learned more than we have. And we would do well to take heed and respect their years of wisdom.