Sunday, February 12, 2017

Colossians 1:24

Paul at this point turns to the subjective (pertaining to or characteristic of an entity) work of Christ – His preeminence in the Church. Paul in verse 24 – 27 is giving a charge to the Colossian believers. It culminates in his phrase “Christ in you.” 

Paul speaks of rejoicing (Greek chairo) which means to have an abundance of joy by suffering for them. Paul wrote this letter while in prison in Rome. He was suffering for his stand and convictions about Jesus Christ. He speaks about suffering for himself and for the church, or assembly, at Colossae.

Some try to make a contradiction of Paul’s teachings in this passage. They question whether Paul is teaching that we need to do more for our salvation when he is speaking of “filling up (Greek antanapleroo) what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.” The term means to fill up in turn, or on one’s part. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary says, “The point of the apostle’s boast is that Christ, the sinless Master, should have left something for Paul, the unworthy servant, to suffer.”[1]

More about this apparent contradiction will be discussed at the end of the chapter in the section on Bible Difficulties.

Prayer: Father, help me to learn the truth that I need to be like Paul and seek to have a more perfect identification with the sufferings of Christ. Father, the suffering I endure today is becasue of my identification with my Savior. May I stand strong in Him. Amen.

[1] W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996). Page 236.

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