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WSGAC
Feb 9th 2011, 06:38 PM
In Colossians 1:24, Paul makes a statement which, at face value, makes one's eyebrows rise when reading it:

I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church... (New King James)

another version translates it, "that I may complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions."

It seems so out of place coming from Paul who lays great stress on the supreme sufficiency of the atoning suffering and death of Jesus Christ, i.e.,that nothing is lacking.

What is Paul's meaning here? How are we to understand it?

markedward
Feb 9th 2011, 07:57 PM
Since, everywhere else, Paul consistently teaches that Jesus' sacrifice is absolutely sufficient for salvation, this simply cannot be his message here. Meaning, no matter how we interpret Paul's meaning in Colossians 1.24, the interpretation of "Christ's sacrifice was not sufficient" is off the table, because it contradicts his other writings. Likewise, every other author in the New Testament says that Jesus' sacrifice was entirely sufficient, so Paul cannot be contradicting them. Similarly, our Lord Jesus himself attached complete atonement to his sacrifice, so no how we interpret Paul's meaning, he cannot have said something contradictory to Jesus. (Hey look, all of this is the exact same thing I said in that other thread of yours.)

So no matter what we interpret Paul to be meaning here, it cannot mean something that contradicts everything else he teaches, let alone what every other Apostle says, let alone what Jesus our Lord says.

Paul says in parts throughout Colossians on how we follow the example of Christ, how we are joined in with his death and resurrection, and how we continue to do what Christ himself did. "Affliction of Christ" does not mean "Sacrificial atonement of Christ". Christ was afflicted by oppressive authorities throughout his ministry, but he was only sacrificed at the end. Christ also said that his followers (such as the Apostles) would be afflicted and persecuted because he himself had been afflicted and persecuted. Generally speaking, it appears that Paul is referring to his ministry, marked by affliction, as following the example of Christ's, marked by affliction. Christ brought the gospel to the world, but it had not reached everyone, because he focused on a small group of people. He then commissioned his Apostles to go into the world and spread the gospel, but many of the times he spoke of this, he always connected it to affliction and suffering that would be filled up. That is to say, perhaps Paul's meaning of "what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ" refers not to Christ's sacrificial atonement, but to the spread of the gospel. Christ brought the gospel to be spread to the whole world, but Christ himself did not do this, he appointed his Apostles to do it in his stead.

WSGAC
Feb 9th 2011, 09:04 PM
So what does Paul mean by his use of the term "what is lacking" when speaking of Christ's afflictions?

Slug1
Feb 9th 2011, 09:25 PM
So what does Paul mean by his use of the term "what is lacking" when speaking of Christ's afflictions?I lean toward what Mark was explaining... persecution. I figure if you're not receiving persecution from the world for speaking the Gospel... then you're lacking. Some are in positions that they can be killed for speaking the Gospel, others are in positions where all they are in danger of is being told to shutup. Is the level of persecution a factor? Don't know, but seems what Paul talks about alot, is at the risk of life level, of persecution. Reading 2 Cor 1:8-10 is a good example of this.

Seems he's challenging Christians... is the Lord work solely done from the safety of your home (typing on message boards/updating online ministries), from the pews of the church (secure in a Christian fellowshipping environment) or is it out in the world where people are jailed and/or killed for speaking the Gospel?

We bring the LIGHT of Christ WITH US. So, to do this means get out of the safety and into the danger and let Christ do His work where it's needed.

In the safety areas, this scripture applies because what is "lacking"... is obvious.

notuptome
Feb 9th 2011, 10:27 PM
Paul is speaking of the suffering he has endured for the sake of the gospel. 2 Cor 1:5, 4:10, Phil 3:10

For the cause of Christ
Roger

WSGAC
Feb 9th 2011, 10:34 PM
I lean toward what Mark was explaining... persecution. I figure if you're not receiving persecution from the world for speaking the Gospel... then you're lacking. Some are in positions that they can be killed for speaking the Gospel, others are in positions where all they are in danger of is being told to shutup. Is the level of persecution a factor? Don't know, but seems what Paul talks about alot, is at the risk of life level, of persecution. Reading 2 Cor 1:8-10 is a good example of this.

Seems he's challenging Christians... is the Lord work solely done from the safety of your home (typing on message boards/updating online ministries), from the pews of the church (secure in a Christian fellowshipping environment) or is it out in the world where people are jailed and/or killed for speaking the Gospel?

We bring the LIGHT of Christ WITH US. So, to do this means get out of the safety and into the danger and let Christ do His work where it's needed.

In the safety areas, this scripture applies because what is "lacking"... is obvious.


So does our suffering complete what is lacking in Christ's suffering?

Slug1
Feb 9th 2011, 10:57 PM
So does our suffering complete what is lacking in Christ's suffering?Define "complete" based on a translation (as you mentioned) so I understand what/where you're headed.

Sufferings on our part cannot add to what Jesus Christ has already endured and completed. His suffering has secured salvation for those who believe and accept Him as their Savior. We are warned in the Bible of what we'll endure as we spread the Gospel. Some will endure greater than others based on how one is led by the Holy Spirit.

I also feel that if you want to use a word "complete", then this is all about when a Christian DOES experience affliction from any type of persecution from the world, they either continue in obedience or not. Those who continue in their affliction to bring Christ to the lost are all about completion concerning suffering.

keck553
Feb 10th 2011, 12:14 AM
So does our suffering complete what is lacking in Christ's suffering?

What is lacking is our trust in Him. God can allow circumstances that produces suffering - it completes us in Messiah. Most call it 'sanctification' or 'the Refiner's fire.

WSGAC
Feb 10th 2011, 12:22 AM
Define "complete" based on a translation (as you mentioned) so I understand what/where you're headed.

Sufferings on our part cannot add to what Jesus Christ has already endured and completed. His suffering has secured salvation for those who believe and accept Him as their Savior. We are warned in the Bible of what we'll endure as we spread the Gospel. Some will endure greater than others based on how one is led by the Holy Spirit.

I also feel that if you want to use a word "complete", then this is all about when a Christian DOES experience affliction from any type of persecution from the world, they either continue in obedience or not. Those who continue in their affliction to bring Christ to the lost are all about completion concerning suffering.


New International Version (©1984)
Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.


English Standard Version (©2001)
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,


New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions.


International Standard Version (©2008)
Now I am rejoicing while suffering for you as I complete in my flesh whatever remains of the Messiah's sufferings on behalf of his body, which is the church.


GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
I am happy to suffer for you now. In my body I am completing whatever remains of Christ's sufferings. I am doing this on behalf of his body, the church.


King James Bible
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:


American Standard Version
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church;


Bible in Basic English
Now I have joy in my pain because of you, and in my flesh I undergo whatever is still needed to make the sorrows of Christ complete, for the salvation of his body, the church;


Douay-Rheims Bible
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church:


English Revised Version
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church;


Webster's Bible Translation
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:


Weymouth New Testament
Now I can find joy amid my sufferings for you, and I fill up in my own person whatever is lacking in Christ's afflictions on behalf of His Body, the Church.


World English Bible
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the assembly;


Young's Literal Translation
I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and do fill up the things lacking of the tribulations of the Christ in my flesh for his body, which is the assembly,



It would appear that each of the above English versions understands Paul to be saying that his own afflictions or sufferings somehow complete, or make full for the church, what is lacking in Christ's afflictions or sufferings.


What does he mean? What is it that is lacking in Christ's afflictions that somehow needs to be completed by Paul's own afflictions?

.

Firefighter
Feb 10th 2011, 12:28 AM
The lacking is referring to Paul's flesh, not Christ's afflictions. Christ's afflictions are used as a point of reference.

WSGAC
Feb 10th 2011, 12:30 AM
What is lacking is our trust in Him. God can allow circumstances that produces suffering - it completes us in Messiah. Most call it 'sanctification' or 'the Refiner's fire.

But Paul's words state that his sufferings complete what is lacking in Christ's suffering, and this for the Church. Is Paul saying, my sufferings complete for the church, what is lacking in Christ's own sufferings for the church?

the rookie
Feb 10th 2011, 01:12 AM
It's a sanctification point, not a justification point. To "perfect what is lacking" is what Christ's sufferings don't (and weren't supposed to) produce in us - righteousness is imputed by Christ's sufferings; righteousness is imparted by our right response to our own suffering (by embracing the example of Christ).

Slug1
Feb 10th 2011, 02:18 AM
It's a sanctification point, not a justification point. To "perfect what is lacking" is what Christ's sufferings don't (and weren't supposed to) produce in us - righteousness is imputed by Christ's sufferings; righteousness is imparted by our right response to our own suffering (by embracing the example of Christ).How would obedience fit in this... or does obedience fit?

Slug1
Feb 10th 2011, 02:26 AM
Paul to be saying that his own afflictions or sufferings somehow complete, ////what is lacking in Christ's afflictions or sufferings.


What does he mean? What is it that is lacking in Christ's afflictions that somehow needs to be completed by Paul's own afflictions?

.I do feel you need a perspective in context to that single scripture since you haven't addressed any of the other scriptures provided for context and dividing the single scripture you presented.

In these words in the single scripture you provided, we see that Christ isn't lacking anything... but Paul is lacking instead:// fill up in my flesh what is lacking//

So in my opinion, with the proper perspective you can pursue a proper answer.

It just seems by your replies that you are implying that Christ is lacking. If you pursue this from that perspective, I don't feel you will achieve an answer within the context of the few other scriptures presented and many more, not presented.

the rookie
Feb 10th 2011, 02:31 AM
How would obedience fit in this... or does obedience fit?

Totally fits: right response = obedience. :)

As it relates to the subject of sanctification, right response / obedience is only possible via agreement with truth (by grace) and the power of the Holy Spirit transforming us (by grace) - which thereby "perfects what is lacking" (lacking in us as it relates to Christ's sufferings).

Slug1
Feb 10th 2011, 03:05 AM
Totally fits: right response = obedience. :)

As it relates to the subject of sanctification, right response / obedience is only possible via agreement with truth (by grace) and the power of the Holy Spirit transforming us (by grace) - which thereby "perfects what is lacking" (lacking in us as it relates to Christ's sufferings).Just to toss this out there as I brainstorm. Since the Apostles equiped those in the faith (or church), do you feel that they took the heat in those days and welcomed such persecution onto themselves, or in Paul's case, himself?

Maybe taking some pressure off the birthing church in that area?

v24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church,

So in the part I underlined... so what is the,what is "filling" up in his flesh? I understand that obedience must be one, looking at the chapter... to be presented holy and blamelessness, then both of those must be a "filling". Blamelessness is all about righteousness to my understanding. I read the word steadfast also... thus my reply for post #4 and #7. Seems "steadfast" is a quality of or an enablement for obedience.

Or is the "filling" all about persecution (any form) as we see when we present other scriptures for context and dividing this one scripture from Colossians? It's for Christ's "sake" of His body which is the "church", per context of that single OP scripture, so is it only about persecution?

Anyway... thank you for your answer.

keck553
Feb 10th 2011, 03:36 AM
But Paul's words state that his sufferings complete what is lacking in Christ's suffering, and this for the Church. Is Paul saying, my sufferings complete for the church, what is lacking in Christ's own sufferings for the church?
I think we passed each other at the speed of light.

Dani H
Feb 10th 2011, 04:12 AM
But Paul's words state that his sufferings complete what is lacking in Christ's suffering, and this for the Church. Is Paul saying, my sufferings complete for the church, what is lacking in Christ's own sufferings for the church?

No.

Paul was lacking.

Not Jesus.

Paul was acknowledging that compared to the Lord, he hadn't gone through some things yet.

Jesus' sufferings lacked NOTHING.

Paul's sufferings lacked plenty, comparatively speaking. But he was willing to endure whatever it took, for the sake of Jesus' church, in honor of Jesus' supreme sacrifice.

That's it. No deeper meaning. Stop looking cause it ain't there.

Diggindeeper
Feb 10th 2011, 04:28 AM
I sometimes wish Paul could be here today, in our time. I think he'd have even more to say about something lacking. How fortunate we are to live where we do. We don't know yet what suffering is, in regard to our faith. Perhaps Paul was lacking, but I know we are.

If we can't live for Christ today, how could we die for him tomorrow? Not too many today have a faith they would suffer for. Much less die for. But Paul did.....

He certainly lacked a lot less than we lack.

the rookie
Feb 10th 2011, 06:34 AM
Just to toss this out there as I brainstorm. Since the Apostles equiped those in the faith (or church), do you feel that they took the heat in those days and welcomed such persecution onto themselves, or in Paul's case, himself?

Maybe taking some pressure off the birthing church in that area?

I don't think so - I think that, as it relates to the beatitudes in Matt. 5, the apostles saw suffering as a natural consequence to "peacemaking", the fruit of message + power as it = societal (i.e. social, economic, political) disruption, i.e. Acts 19. Secondly, it seems as if Paul understood it as a key part of his calling as an apostle and being first in calling and serving but last in privilege and honor, taking the most beatings and hardships for the most impact (2 Cor. 11). It was part of the job, in other words, but a key benefit was the manner in which the suffering "completed what was lacking" in him.


v24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church,

So in the part I underlined... so what is the,what is "filling" up in his flesh? I understand that obedience must be one, looking at the chapter... to be presented holy and blamelessness, then both of those must be a "filling". Blamelessness is all about righteousness to my understanding. I read the word steadfast also... thus my reply for post #4 and #7. Seems "steadfast" is a quality of or an enablement for obedience.

Or is the "filling" all about persecution (any form) as we see when we present other scriptures for context and dividing this one scripture from Colossians? It's for Christ's "sake" of His body which is the "church", per context of that single OP scripture, so is it only about persecution?

Anyway... thank you for your answer.

"Filling up" seems internal (godly character and mature love, mature thinking, mature lifestyles of obedience) versus external (persecution, suffering, etc.). The external fills the internal and completes what is lacking in Paul, in other words:

3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope

One could switch the word "hope" with "certainty" or "confidence" to get the point Paul is making. Paul’s point was that our trials do not contradict the fact that our life is successful in our "assignment" to grow into mature love for Jesus; or that we have God’s blessing / favor on our lives; rather, they can help us increase our success in growing in love.

heir
Feb 10th 2011, 01:03 PM
In Colossians 1:24, Paul makes a statement which, at face value, makes one's eyebrows rise when reading it:

I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church... (New King James)

another version translates it, "that I may complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions."

It seems so out of place coming from Paul who lays great stress on the supreme sufficiency of the atoning suffering and death of Jesus Christ, i.e.,that nothing is lacking.

What is Paul's meaning here? How are we to understand it?Colossians 1:23-24 KJV If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; 24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:

This in no way is saying that what the Lord Jesus Christ did on the cross was lacking. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them...(2 Corinthians 5:19 KJV). How is this possible if the wages of sin is death? (Romans 6:23 KJV) Because Jesus Christ was made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV). God is not imputing them to the world. They were placed upon Jesus Christ (Romans 4:25 KJV)

Paul, did not die for your sins. Jesus Christ died for your sins (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV). Jesus Christ became a ransom for all to be testified in due time.

1 Timothy 2:5-6 KJV For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

But in order to get the message out, the apostles would suffer. Now while the 12 suffered, they suffered to get the message out to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 10:5-6 KJV These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Paul who could not have been forgiven in that world (the time of Jesus' earthly ministry and that of the 12 apostles)

Matthew 12:32 KJV And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

was saved on the road to Damascus as a pattern of the longsuffering of our Lord to them that would believe on Him to life everlasting thereafter:

1 Timothy 1:13-16 KJV Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

Remember that Jesus came unto His own and His own received Him not (John 1:11 KJV) They crucified the Lord, as they would have no man to rule over them, but Caesar (John 19:15 KJV). They did not believe that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. Only a little flock believed. The world was ripe for God's judgment at the rejection of His Son and at the stoning of Stephen (the last straw-so to speak), but rather than judgment coming (the wrath to come) God saved the chief of sinners (Acts 9 KJV, 1 Timothy 1:13-16 KJV), His biggest enemy (Galatians 1:13-16 KJV) and through His apostleship/his "office" (Romans 11:13 KJV, 1 Timothy 2:7 KJV, 2 Timothy 1:11 KJV) by the unscheduled appearance(s)/revelations from the risen, glorified Lord Jesus Christ began a mystery body, time, gospel and destination. Through the FALL of Israel (not the RISE) salvation has come unto the Gentiles. Romans 11:11 KJV I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. (a mystery)Romans 11:25 KJV For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,


Paul suffered for the church, the body of Christ (for you):

2 Corinthians 11:23-28 KJV Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

Acts 20:22-24 KJV And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

(the gospel of the grace of God was the extension of the gospel of Christ to ALL men/Paul was going to be SENT far hence unto the Gentiles-Acts 22 the Gentiles that Paul became a prisoner for, like that of the Ephesians, people like you and me who were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, without hope and without God in the world, BUT NOW... Ephesians 2:11-13 KJV)

All these things he suffered and yet later he says he rejoices in his sufferings for the church, the body of Christ:

Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:

Why rejoice? 2 Timothy 4:6-8 KJV For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.


This mystery body, His body, the church, the body of Christ, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all (Ephesians 1:20-23 KJV, Ephesians 5:30 KJV, Ephesians 5:32 KJV, Colossians 1:24 KJV) was created before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1)

Without the form of sound words in Romans-Philemon (2 Timothy 1:13 KJV) we would not know how God is operating in this age of grace, the power of God unto salvation in this age, that we are saved from the wrath to come when we receive the love of the truth~all mysteries revealed by the risen, glorified Lord Jesus Christ to and through the apostle Paul.

Colossians 1:26-28 KJV Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Without the ministry of Paul~who fulfilled the word of God,

Colossians 1:25 KJV Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

we would not have ALL SCRIPTURE:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

This is why Paul exhorts us to follow him as he follows Christ:

1 Corinthians 4:16 KJV Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

1 Corinthians 11:1 KJV Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

To consider what he says:

1 Corinthians 3:10 KJV According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

2 Timothy 2:2 KJV And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

2 Timothy 2:7 KJV Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. 8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:

(see also "doctrine"-1 Timothy 4:13 KJV, 1 Timothy 4:16 KJV, 1 TImothy 6:3 KJV, 2 Timothy 3:10 KJV, 2 Timothy 4:2-5 KJV,

We must rightly divide the word of truth:

2 Timothy 2:15 KJV Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


We are to be partakers of the afflictions of the gospel:

2 Timothy 1:8-11 KJV Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: 11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

2 Timothy 3:12 KJV Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

We will suffer when we tell someone that they are saved BY GRACE through faith; by the faith and finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ if they would just believe ON the Lord Jesus Christ, believing the gospel of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV) and receive the gift of eternal life.

Romans 6:23 KJV For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

I know this was long, but I hope it helped :)

WSGAC
Feb 10th 2011, 01:28 PM
I appreciate the replies, and how Paul's words are to be understood as a "sanctification" point, not a "justification" point. That was a good point! But as the discussion continued, after that distinction was made, the words of Paul, "what is lacking in Christ's afflictions" suddenly morphed into "what is lacking in Paul." But the text doesn't state there is any lack in Paul. Instead it states that Paul's own affictions fill or complete what is lacking in Christ's, and that Paul's own afflictions are for the sake of the body...ie., the Church, suggesting that the Church somehow is benefitted by his afflictions.

Firefighter
Feb 10th 2011, 01:37 PM
I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church...

I am happy to be at the gas station, and fill up in my truck what is lacking in the fuel of the tanks, so I can continue to go, which is to move...

Now I ask, is the fuel tanks at the gas station empty, or is my truck empty?

WSGAC
Feb 10th 2011, 01:57 PM
And if Paul's words are to be understood as a "sanctification" point, and not a "justification" point, why didn't Paul say something like, "My afflictions fill up and complete what is lacking in me, and this for the sake of service to the church of Christ who is my savior." ?

Firefighter
Feb 10th 2011, 02:09 PM
You are awesome at not answering a question. :yes:

RabbiKnife
Feb 10th 2011, 02:21 PM
A number of translations provide a thought that says that Paul is delighted to carry the load of suffering that the church continues in the vein of the suffering that Christ suffered.

Put another way. In Phil 3, Paul talks about the joy and his desire to know the sufferings of Christ. Not masochistic, but wanting to understand what Christ suffered.

What was lacking in Jesus' affliction? Nothing-- except that it was not some vicarious, miraculous suffering that meant that we would not suffer for the sake of the Gospel. Everytime a rod hit Paul's back, and everytime he was whipped, and everytime he was stoned and left for dead, and everytime his back ached when he got up in the morning, he experienced and learned just a bit more of the suffering of Jesus. Jesus' suffering was personal to Jesus' body. Paul notes that his suffering, his joy, is in "up-filling in his body of flesh", not some spiritual thing. He hurt.

He rejoiced that the suffering of Jesus was not some spiritual suffering that meant that when Paul was beaten he did not miraculously feel no paid. He rejoiced that he was deemed worth to hurt.

That's all he's saying. It is not a thought unique to this one verse. It is a theme of Paul's life and ministry.

WSGAC
Feb 10th 2011, 02:35 PM
You are awesome at not answering a question. :yes:

I apologize. I thought you were giving an analogy and then raising a rhetorical question. Your analogy, though, suggests the lacking is in the gas tanks (ie. Paul), when the text speaks of what is lacking in Christ.

heir
Feb 10th 2011, 02:44 PM
I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church...

I am happy to be at the gas station, and fill up in my truck what is lacking in the fuel of the tanks, so I can continue to go, which is to move...

Now I ask, is the fuel tanks at the gas station empty, or is my truck empty?I am complete in Him :)

Colossians 2:10-14 KJV And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Galatians 2:20 KJV I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

heir
Feb 10th 2011, 03:11 PM
I appreciate the replies, and how Paul's words are to be understood as a "sanctification" point, not a "justification" point. That was a good point! But as the discussion continued, after that distinction was made, the words of Paul, "what is lacking in Christ's afflictions" suddenly morphed into "what is lacking in Paul." But the text doesn't state there is any lack in Paul. Instead it states that Paul's own affictions fill or complete what is lacking in Christ's, and that Paul's own afflictions are for the sake of the body...ie., the Church, suggesting that the Church somehow is benefitted by his afflictions.

I believe I at least attempted to address this in my post to you, post #21 (even though it was quite long :))

WSGAC
Feb 10th 2011, 03:20 PM
.

From the responses, I understand folks to be saying something like this regarding their understanding of the text:

Paul suffers for Christ. His afflictions are the result of being a follower of Christ. Just as Christ was afflicted, so Paul too was afflicted for the cause of Christ. But Paul can rejoice, however, for this affliction is not meaningless. Indeed, Christ uses Paul's afflictions to complete His work in Paul, a work begun at the cross, but now continues through the sanctifying work of the Spirit. Paul's afflictions, then, are part and parcel to the sanctifying work of the Spirit in his life. Through Paul's afflictions, and a proper response to them, Christ completes/fills-up what is lacking in Paul, so that he might grow up into maturity in Christ.



But as I read the text, from the various versions, it appears to read like this:

Paul suffers for Christ. His afflictions are the result of being a follower of Christ. Just as Christ was afflicted for the sake of His Church, so too is Paul afflicted for the sake of Christ's Church. Paul can rejoice then, for his affliction is not meaningless, because he suffers for the Church. Indeed, in his flesh Paul's afflictions complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the Church, and thus Paul too, like Christ, suffers for the sake of Christ's body the Church.

heir
Feb 10th 2011, 03:24 PM
I appreciate the replies, and how Paul's words are to be understood as a "sanctification" point, not a "justification" point. That was a good point! But as the discussion continued, after that distinction was made, the words of Paul, "what is lacking in Christ's afflictions" suddenly morphed into "what is lacking in Paul." But the text doesn't state there is any lack in Paul. Instead it states that Paul's own affictions fill or complete what is lacking in Christ's, and that Paul's own afflictions are for the sake of the body...ie., the Church, suggesting that the Church somehow is benefitted by his afflictions.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Paul was the "due time" testifier.

Galatians 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

1 Corinthians 15:8 KJV And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

Acts 20:24 KJV But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Colossians 1:25 KJV Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

Dani H
Feb 10th 2011, 03:27 PM
I appreciate the replies, and how Paul's words are to be understood as a "sanctification" point, not a "justification" point. That was a good point! But as the discussion continued, after that distinction was made, the words of Paul, "what is lacking in Christ's afflictions" suddenly morphed into "what is lacking in Paul." But the text doesn't state there is any lack in Paul. Instead it states that Paul's own affictions fill or complete what is lacking in Christ's, and that Paul's own afflictions are for the sake of the body...ie., the Church, suggesting that the Church somehow is benefitted by his afflictions.

Yes, the text very clearly states that the lack lies with Paul.

If Jesus lacked anything, how can He save anyone? If you truly believe that, how can you be saved?

Jesus lacked NOTHING. The resurrection is proof of that.

the rookie
Feb 10th 2011, 03:35 PM
Yes, but there is the parallel verse (amongst others) in Romans 5: rejoicing in afflictions because of what they produce in him and in us, related to perseverance, character, and hope that does not disappoint - because of the assurance from the Holy Spirit now that dignifies our suffering and makes it work for us.

Because the original Greek was without punctuation, one could read it your way (Christ's suffering was lacking) or the other way (Paul was lacking). Theologically, it makes no sense to say that Christ's suffering was lacking and that our suffering fills a gap and produces something externally, or in others around us. Suffering is almost always presented in the New Testament as a means to an "internal" end, versus "external" fruit.

The exception, of course, is the book of Revelation and the manner in which the suffering and the martyrdom of the saints produces a faithful witness amongst the nations and a context for divine justice and judgment.

heir
Feb 10th 2011, 03:39 PM
Yes, the text very clearly states that the lack lies with Paul.

If Jesus lacked anything, how can He save anyone? If you truly believe that, how can you be saved?

Jesus lacked NOTHING. The resurrection is proof of that.Amen to that. Paul is in no way saying that what the Lord Jesus Christ did on the cross was lacking. Paul, did not die for our sins. Jesus Christ died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV). Jesus Christ suffered once for all~Jesus Christ became a ransom for all to be testified in due time.

1 Timothy 2:5-6 KJV For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

But in order to get the message out, men would suffer. And Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles (Romans 11:13 KJV) filled up the sufferings for the church, which is His (Christ's) body.

Colossians 1:24-25 KJV Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: 25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

WSGAC
Feb 10th 2011, 03:45 PM
by WSGAC -

But as I read the text, from the various versions, it appears to read like this:

Paul suffers for Christ. His afflictions are the result of being a follower of Christ. Just as Christ was afflicted for the sake of His Church, so too is Paul afflicted for the sake of Christ's Church. Paul can rejoice then, for his affliction is not meaningless, because he suffers for the Church. Indeed, in his flesh Paul's afflictions complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the Church, and thus Paul too, like Christ, suffers for the sake of Christ's body the Church.



Yes, but there is the parallel verse (amongst others) in Romans 5: rejoicing in afflictions because of what they produce in him and in us, related to perseverance, character, and hope that does not disappoint - because of the assurance from the Holy Spirit now that dignifies our suffering and makes it work for us.

Because the original Greek was without punctuation, one could read it your way (Christ's suffering was lacking) or the other way (Paul was lacking). Theologically, it makes no sense to say that Christ's suffering was lacking and that our suffering fills a gap and produces something externally, or in others around us. Suffering is almost always presented in the New Testament as a means to an "internal" end, versus "external" fruit.

The exception, of course, is the book of Revelation and the manner in which the suffering and the martyrdom of the saints produces a faithful witness amongst the nations and a context for divine justice and judgment.


True, the original Greek is without punctuation, and true it doesn't make sense theologically, but all those versions I posted several posts up translate it in the theologically incorrect way.

RabbiKnife
Feb 10th 2011, 03:55 PM
Or perhaps is it just our reading of the English translation that is flawed.

I still like my analysis, as I should.

heir
Feb 10th 2011, 04:25 PM
Or perhaps is it just our reading of the English translation that is flawed.

I still like my analysis, as I should.I'm a Bible believer. I believe the words of the Lord are pure words and preserved.

Psalms 12:6-7 KJV The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Psalms 138:2 KJV I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

There's nothing wrong with the English in a King James Bible. :)

BroRog
Feb 10th 2011, 04:46 PM
What is lacking is not suffering but people. Paul is not talking about filling up the sufferings; he is talking about filling up the church. He rejoices in his sufferings, not for their own sake, but due to his sufferings people are coming to believe in Jesus Christ and this increase in the number of his followers is filling up his church. And technically, Paul isn't talking about "sufferings" as such, but "troubles".

Remember the current issue surrounding Paul's ministry. As he was traveling around the known world, preaching the gospel, there were groups of men following behind Paul, telling Christians that God wanted them to become Jewish. Some were even saying that a person couldn't be saved unless he converted to Judaism. Paul has been teaching people that salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ and that being in Christ there is no Jew or Gentile. The fullness of the church will include both Jews and Gentiles.

In Colossians 1:19, he tells them that it was God's good pleasure for the "fullness" to dwell in Christ, which is a term Paul coined to refer to the entire church, both Jews and Gentiles together. All people in the body of Christ comprise this "fullness." And it was God's good pleasure to reconcile this entire "fullness" through the blood of the cross, as opposed to the Jewish rituals and practices.

When Paul went around preaching this idea, he found opposition wherever he went. And troubles followed him wherever he went. He would go to a region of the world and preach the gospel and many converts were added to the church. But right behind him would come self-important Jewish "teachers" who would attempt to bring these new converts under Moses, saying that unless they converted to their form of worship, they couldn't be saved. Paul is saying that he rejoices in these troubles, not because he likes them, but because through these troubles, more people are being added to the church everyday. The "mystery that has been kept hidden for ages" is that God intended all along to bring Gentiles into the church and to give them eternal life outside the camp where they need not become naturalized citizens of Israel. They enter the church apart from the law, apart from the rituals, and apart from circumcision.

Our translations make it sound as if Christ's sufferings were lacking. But in fact, what was lacking were members of the church, who were coming to find salvation even in the midst of Paul's troubles from trouble makers, and physical hardships from both man and nature.

The English has " I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church." But the prepositional phrase "in regard to" is not explicit in the text. Rather, I think what Paul meant to say was something like this: "I Suffer for the sake of his body, the church, through my being persecuted for the sake of Christ, so that I might have a part in filling up the rest of the church with the remaining people who are yet to believe."

dagar
Feb 11th 2011, 12:54 AM
But Paul's words state that his sufferings complete what is lacking in Christ's suffering, and this for the Church. Is Paul saying, my sufferings complete for the church, what is lacking in Christ's own sufferings for the church?Hi WSGAC. I haven't reading every word in the thread but most and skimmed the rest. I don't think anyone has posted this.

Act 3:18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

dagar
Feb 11th 2011, 01:05 AM
And if Paul's words are to be understood as a "sanctification" point, and not a "justification" point, why didn't Paul say something like, "My afflictions fill up and complete what is lacking in me, and this for the sake of service to the church of Christ who is my savior." ?It has nothing to do with either sanctification or justification. It has to do with

Act 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

Athanasius
Feb 11th 2011, 02:23 AM
There's nothing wrong with the English in a King James Bible. :)

What about the English in my NASB, or ESV, or NRSV, or...? Do you believe that every translation of Scripture is inerrant, or just the KJV?

Firefighter
Feb 11th 2011, 05:18 PM
I'm a Bible believer. I believe the words of the Lord are pure words and preserved.

There's nothing wrong with the English in a King James Bible. :)


What about the English in my NASB, or ESV, or NRSV, or...? Do you believe that every translation of Scripture is inerrant, or just the KJV?

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb301/sosministries/not_this_again.jpg

:lol:

PneumaPsucheSoma
Feb 11th 2011, 06:34 PM
Paul is writing to an audience being influenced by an early form of Judaistic Gnosticism that was ascetic and worshipped celestial intermediaries, progressing through initiations and levels of wisdom in spiritual mysteries.

Paul is substantiating the physical suffering of Christ as Deity, and showing its application to us physically as a part of His completed work. It's an illustration of the personal consummation of His physical death within Paul and continuing on in the church as the body.

He's emphasizing WE are the body and Jesus' sacrifice, though once, will be continuously in-wrought throughout His body... the church.

That*which*is*behind is husterema (G5303), from hustereo (G5302), which refers to being last, behind, in a posterior place; figuratively for dignity, condition, strength, or to lack.

Paul fills up (makes good by application) that which was the last POWER OF DEATH for the body. Asceticism didn't accomplish putting off the death (evil) of the flesh; only Jesus BEING lack as our sacrifice in the face of physical death that His Divine nature had power over.

Paul is defining that Jesus' sacrifice must be completed in us while in the body, which these Gnostics were de-emphasizing and looking past His physical suffering and bodily death. "Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus."