New American Standard Bible
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.
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:
Darby Bible Translation
Now, I rejoice in sufferings for you, and I fill up that which is behind of the tribulations of Christ in my flesh, for his body, which is the assembly;
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,
Colossians 1:24 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you - For you as a part of the Gentile world. It was not for the Colossians alone, but he regarded himself as suffering on account of his labors in preaching to the pagan at large. His trials at Rome had come upon him because he had maintained that the wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles was broken down, and that the gospel was to be preached indiscriminately to all mankind; see this illustrated in the introduction, Section 5.
And fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ - That which I lack of coming up to the sufferings which Christ endured in the cause of the church. The apostle seems to mean:
(1) that be suffered in the same cause as that for which Christ suffered;
(2) that he endured the same kind of sufferings, to some extent, in reproaches, persecutions, and opposition from the world;
(3) that he had not yet suffered as much as Christ did in this cause, and, though be had suffered greatly, yet there was much that was lacking to make him equal in this respect to the Saviour; and,
(4) that he felt that it was an object to be earnestly desired to be made in all respects just like Christ, and that in his present circumstances he was fast filling up that which was lacking, so that he would have a more complete resemblance to him.
What he says here is based on the leading desire of his soul - the great principle of his life - to be just like Christ; alike in moral character, in suffering, and in destiny; see the notes at Philippians 3:10. Having this strong wish, he had been led to pursue a course of life which conducted him through trials strongly resembling those which Christ himself endured; and, as fast as possible, he was filling up that in which he now fell short. He does not mean that there was anything lacking or deficient in the sufferings which Christ endured in making an atonement which was to be supplied by his followers, so that their merits might be added to his in order to secure the salvation of men, as the Romanists seem to suppose; but that there was still much lacking on his part before he should be entirely conformed to the Saviour in his sufferings, and that his present condition was such as rapidly to fill that up. This seems to me to be the fair meaning of this expressions though not the one commonly given. The usual interpretation is, "that which remains to me of affliction to be endured in the cause of Christ." But this seems to me to be cold and tame, and not to suit the genius of Paul.
In my flesh - In bodily sufferings.
For his body's sake, which is the church - See the notes at Ephesians 1:23.
LibraryTwenty Fourth Sunday after Trinity Prayer and Spiritual Knowledge.
Text: Colossians 1, 3-14. 3 We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have toward all the saints, 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in the heavens, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which is come unto you; even as it is also in all the world bearing fruit and increasing, as it doth in you also, since the day ye heard and knew the grace of God …
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III
Saints, Believers, Brethren
and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
1 Corinthians 12:27
Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it.
2 Corinthians 1:5
For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.
2 Corinthians 6:10
as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.
2 Corinthians 12:15
I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less?
which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.
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