Sunday, July 21st, 2013
There is something about the Bible that can instill confidence in God in a way that nothing else can. God speaks to our hearts through his Spirit, and we come into closer relation to him.
G. K. Beale
(Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary)
24 It makes me happy to be suffering for you now, and in my own body to make up all the hardships that still have to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church,
25 of which I was made a servant with the responsibility towards you that God gave to me, that of completing God’s message,
26 the message which was a mystery hidden for generations and centuries and has now been revealed to his holy people.
27 It was God’s purpose to reveal to them how rich is the glory of this mystery among the gentiles; it is Christ among you, your hope of glory:
28 this is the Christ we are proclaiming, admonishing and instructing everyone in all wisdom, to make everyone perfect in Christ.
What Does Paul Mean?
Paul explains that the sufferings endured by the body of Christ while Christ is at the right hand of God are not done yet, and therefore all believers participate in those sufferings. In other words, we know that Jesus was God in the flesh. He had a human body like ours and He suffered on our behalf in His earthly ministry. But His death and ascension have led Him to the right hand of power. His human body, has passed beyond the curse of sin that is all of ours to bear. However, we remain in a world that sees affliction and persecution at every turn, and as such, we still suffer. And so the Apostle Paul says, when he speaks of what is lacking in Christ’s affliction, he is speaking of the sufferings which do not add to the treasury of merit which is ours by His sacrifice, but which remain the consequences of sin which are ours to bear until the day of the final judgement. Then, they will be taken away by Christ, as we join Him and our Father, in heaven!
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation”
Colossians 1: 21-22 NIV
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