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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:Col 1:24
This verse seems christ sufferings has not sufficient for our salvation...left something?

Answer
hi Alex,

thnx for ur question.

God intends for the afflictions of Christ to be presented to the world through the afflictions of His people. St. Paul envisions himself and others filling up this lack in his "flesh." Our calling is to make the afflictions of Christ real for people by the afflictions we experience in bringing them the message of salvation. Since Christ is no longer on the earth, He wants His body, the church, to reveal His suffering in its suffering.

Children of God experience afflictions in the place of Jesus, afflictions that Jesus otherwise would have endured were he on earth. By doing so St. Paul is convinced that he is providing an example of endurance and faith that will encourage and be of benefit to the Colossians.

Everything done to the body of Christ, the church, is done to Christ himself, and vice versa.
There is a spiritual union between Christ and his people. We read of something similar in Paul's encounter with Jesus on the Damascus Road "And falling to the ground he [Saul/Paul] heard a voice saying to him, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?' And he said, 'Who are you, Lord?' And he said, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting'" (Acts 9:4-5).

The afflictions of St. Paul were the afflictions of Christ: he suffered in and with the Lord because of their spiritual union. The sufferings of St. Paul (and of all Christians) are simply the continuation of the world's quarrel with our Lord. Lord Jesus, because of the brevity of his earthly life, did not bear the full brunt of the world's hatred and animosity. Thus, we are the objects of it in his place.

The world hated and afflicted Jesus without ceasing. But since he is not here, their arrows of persecution, meant especially for him, strike his followers. By virtue of our spiritual union and identity with him, as well as our commitment to him, we endure the persecution and affliction which he otherwise would experience. What the world believes is lacking in his suffering, we fill up. We bear the afflictions which are still intended for him. as Mark 13:13 states, "You shall be hated by all men for my name's sake."

u can read more about the subject in
http://www.enjoyinggodministries.com/article/filling-up-the-afflictions-of-chris

ur questions and follow ups r always welcome.

in Christ,

ashraf

Eastern Orthodox

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Ashraf Nisseem

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Peace be with you. I am an Egyptian Coptic Orthodox. I can answer questions about the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox beliefs, especially Coptic beliefs.

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I teach children in my church how to read the Holy Book and other sacred books used in holy services.

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