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What Was Lacking in Christ's Afflictions?

Discussion in 'Doctrinal Discussions' started by Chopper, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. 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: (KJV)

    Col 1:24 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, (ESV)

    I have often considered this verse of Scripture and pondered just what does it mean? I realize that as Christ Jesus has suffered, if we identify with Him thru Salvation, we are to suffer as well. Does this mean, as individuals we will suffer? Or does it mean that the "Church" that we identify with will suffer as a Church? If so, where is the suffering Church? Certainly not in the USA, right?
  2. I guess it depends on what you think of as suffering. The Church in the USA is not suffering persecution of a physical nature. But there is a change happening causing much worry. Declining attendance mainly through old age attrition, not enough young families joining and too many "seasoned citizens" passing away. It feels like a slow death.
    It seems the churches who are doing well attendance wise, are more entertaining to the younger generations, using a rock music format in worship services. I don't see anything wrong with that, but is that what most churches will become since that is the way to reach out to this generation?

    I have only heard of Christian movements building up in certain parts of the world, staying mostly underground. It is too dangerous in China and Islamic areas around the world.

    Do you have an idea of the type of sufferings being spoken of in those passages?
    Chopper likes this.
  3. Thanks so much, you Big Moose, I was hoping you would comment on these verses....When I think of some of Paul's persecution, I think of these.
    2Co 11:23 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.
    2Co 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
    2Co 11:25 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;
    2Co 11:26 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;
    2Co 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
    2Co 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

    Then of course we see a demon beating Paul up because of his visit to the heavenly home of Jesus. "A messenger of Satan."
  4. I think the sufferings spoken by Paul is for the entire Church. But it would still apply individually also, since Church is nothing but the body of believers!

    I sometimes think if we people in USA are simply avoiding persecution. I was born and brought up in India. Lived there until 9 years ago. Spiritually things are somewhat different there in India. There is a great revival and pouring out of Spirit in India. There is great persecution also. I will give some examples. If government looks at passing something against Biblical principle, the spiritual leaders would get together and take initiatives in arranging massive fasting prayers. Some 24 hour fasting prayers, some 3 day fasting prayers. We openly pray that God's will be accomplished and he will defeat man's ideas. And the secular politicians in power would then start persecuting the Christians. Eventually we will get the prayers answered!

    Sometimes I feel we don't stand for Bible strongly and may be avoid persecution. Not saying always.. In some occasions. How strongly do we stand for God?
    Juk, Chopper and Big Moose says Amen and like this.
  5. I think it possible Paul was referring to the sufferings Jesus said he would happen to him in Acts 9:15-16 as a result of his spreading the gospel. If this is the case, he was saying he was gladly willing to endure all suffering in fully accomplishing the work God had for him (2 Corinthians 11:23-33, 12:7-10, 2 Timothy 4:7).
  6. Thank you so very much my Brother for your response. I wondered, by your name, if you were from India. I have a precious pastor friend who ministers in India. His name is B. David Dayasagar who is the Pastor of the "Hebron Believers Assemblies of India", in Neelagiri Sangam, Nellore, AndhraPradesh, S.India 524 003.

    Pastor David comes for a visit to a church in Town every year and comes to my home to spend a day with me. I love him very much in the Lord. I cherish his emails and pictures of his Wife and two Sons.

    You are absolutely right in stating that Americans avoid persecution. They'd rather be happy and prosperous than persecuted. Me? I've been pushed around some in the 40+ years of Salvation and preaching.

    It is an honor for me to meet you. I have great respect for you because of your decision to receive Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior being that you are from a Country that persecutes Christians. Bravo my Brother, Bravo! I love you! (y)
    Juk likes this.
  7. Doesn't the title of this thread lead one to think that there is some sort of lack in Christ's afflictions?

    Her is what the Amplified version of the bible has to say:
    Colossians 1:24 AMP
    [Even] now I rejoice in the midst of my sufferings on your behalf. And in my own person I am making up whatever is still lacking and remains to be completed [on our part] of Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the church.
  8. My intent was to point out that there was some "afflictions" that remained. My question was, other than what Paul experienced, what remains? Afflictions that the Church of Christ Jesus must suffer?
  9. I know that God has said that we will suffer persecutions and hardships for Christ's sake and He doesn't promise to deliver us out of them, but as He did Paul, He promises to be our strength to endure.
    Chopper likes this.
  10. That was my thinking as well!
  11. Amen!
  12. I think Chopper is getting to the point of whether this persecution is meant to be at individual level or talks about entire body of Church.. We don't see persecution in US like what we see in middle east.. I doubt how many of us here in this forum has faced any severe persecution.. I mean serious persecution..
    Chopper likes this.
  13. Hold onto your hat...global hatred is heading our way.
    Ravindran and Chopper say Amen and like this.
  14. It's an interesting verse. I do find it tricky to understand. As a member of the body of Christ Paul is filling up what's lacking in the Church by others... so what's that? Faith. We as individuals are treated the same as a group. When one lacks faith, he must stir it up in ourselves, so goes the same as a group, and Paul was doing just that in his flesh as an intercessor - for without need there can be no faith to lean upon to fill that need. This is just like what a parent does for their kids, suffering for the lack their kids have though sacrificing themselves for their children. In fact, the word in Greek for sufferings is literally miscarriage, torture. All done for the edification of the church. Just like when intercessors are called upon God to suffer physically for those who cannot carry the burden they're enduring, to suffer on behalf of the sufferer and pray for them as if they are that person praying. As Jesus was our substitute on the cross, we become the sufferer for those that are too weak to endure the trials of life here on earth, as an intercessor, 1 Tim 2:1. This isn't so much about persecution but also includes crucifying our flesh, overcoming sin, enduring hardships on behalf of others, picking up the burden of those too weak to carry on. We are all one body, so when the legs give out, the arms hold on tighter. When a cell is being attacked, other cells, stronger cells, cells with more power, come to the rescue to defeat the enemy. Just my four cents :D
    Chopper and Big Moose say Amen and like this.
  15. Knowing the Bible helps us so much. God planted this in my brain.
    1 Peter 4:1 So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. 2 You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. 3 You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.
    Jump to :
    12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.

    14 If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. 15 If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. 16 But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! 17 For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? 18 And also,
    “If the righteous are barely saved,
    what will happen to godless sinners?”

    19 So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.

    Never fail you.
    Always love verse 12, one of my favorites. Don't be surprised, expect it.
    Please respond with thoughts on verses 1 and 2 which are highlighted.
    Here is a couple other versions of the same selection.
    NKJV-for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
    NIV- because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
    ESV- for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.
    If we have not suffered, what does that mean?
  16. I agree! Here is what Dr. John MacArthur says about that...."The Bible teaches that the world is headed inexorably not toward peace and unity, but toward a final cataclysmic war, the battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:14-16). Until that climactic holocaust, things will continue to deteriorate as the worlds falls deeper and deeper into chaos, confusion, and sin."
    Euphemia likes this.
  17. I have to sadly agree with you Euph

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