Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bits & Pieces: The Church As the Church

"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 that which is lacking in Christ's afflictions," (Colossians 1:24).

* By comparing this verse with other passages, such as Romans 3 and Hebrews 10, we know that Paul is not saying that Christ's death was insufficient. Rather, the union of the church with Christ is such that Paul's suffering could be considered Christ's afflictions. Since the church is Christ's body, He is affected when it is affected.

* The language Paul uses here indicates that he does not mean Christ's death was somehow insufficient. No, it's simply that the identification of the Lord Jesus with His church is such that, when Paul suffered the Lord Jesus ached.
To the degree that we suffer for Christ's sake is the extent to which He is also affected.

* Oh, how great is the identification of the Lord Jesus with His body, the church. When we suffer for His sake, He is affected, as well. Paul's sufferings for the Colossian Christians' sakes, even as our sufferings in Jesus' name, serve as extensions of our Savior's afflictions.

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