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1 Corinthians 16:16

ESV be subject to such as these, and to every fellow worker and laborer.
NIV to submit to such people and to everyone who joins in the work and labors at it.
NASB I urge that you also be subject to such as these and to everyone who helps in the work and labors.
CSB also to submit to such people, and to everyone who works and labors with them.
NLT to submit to them and others like them who serve with such devotion.
KJV That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.

What does 1 Corinthians 16:16 mean?

Paul is praising a man named Stephanas and his household. They were the first to come to faith in Christ in Corinth and the surrounding regions. Paul himself baptized them when the Corinthian church was being established (1 Corinthians 1:16). Paul mentioned in the previous verse that the people of this household had devoted themselves to serving other believers as more and more came to faith in Christ.

It is unclear if Stephanas and some in his family held formal leadership positions in the church or not. Either way, Paul still urged all the Christians in Corinth to submit to their servant leadership. More specifically, Paul tells the Corinthians to be subject to leaders such as the Stephanas household and to every fellow worker and laborer among them. Those terms, worker and laborer, refer to the ones who do the work of serving others in the church.

Throughout the New Testament, a willingness to gladly serve other believers is given as one of the central characteristics of a good leader. Jesus set the ultimate model for servant leadership, meeting the needs of those who followed Him in both His life and in His death.
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