Written by Heather Garner Thursday, 23 March 2017 14:20
(1 Cor. 16:15)
Many people have addictions to one thing or another. Some are negative addictions – for example: drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, gambling. Some are positive addictions, such as exercise. In the KJV translation of 1 Cor. 16:15, we read of a family with a very positive addiction: “. . .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.”
The original word in Greek literally means “to arrange in an orderly manner; Assign or dispose to a certain position, addict, appoint, determine, ordain, set” - Strong’s Heb. Grk. Dict. This explains why most other translations render it as “devoted themselves” (NKJV, ESB, NASB, NIV, etc.) “set themselves” (ASV); “Given themselves.” (NCV). If we are addicted to something, what more noble habit could we have? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were all “addicted” to serving one another? (“They have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints.”)
God intends for members of the body to be concerned for one another -1 Cor 12:24-27.
Galatians 6:1-2 (KJV) “¹ Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. ² Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
Galatians 6:10 ( KJV ) “¹⁰ As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
If we are addicted to the ministry of the saints, we are more likely to use our opportunities to fulfill the law of Christ in serving one another.
If we desire to acquire this addiction, getting acquainted is required. Will Rogers once said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” I think we could add to that “I never loved a person I never met.” Unless we know each other, there is little hope of becoming addicted to serving one another; however, getting acquainted requires some effort on our parts. More than just seeing each other for a few moments, once or twice a week, we need to spend time with our Christian family. We must develop enough acquaintance so that when one is absent from one assembly, others are concerned. We miss our family members.
“Addiction to ministry” requires being given to hospitality: Romans 12:10, 13 ( KJV ) “¹⁰ Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; ¹³ Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.”
The more we know one another, and the more we grow in our abilities to serve, the easier it is to become addicted to the ministry of the saints