Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Value of Pain and Suffering (Douglas Kelly)

Let us be clear that we do not pay for our sins. The blood of Jesus Christ on the cross is the propitiation for our sins - not for ours only but for the whole world. The sins of all God's people of all ages are paid for in the blood of Christ. Yet in another sense a costly stand which hurts you and your family (such as maintaining the truth in a relativistic culture fiercely intolerant of truth-claims) can have a redemptive value because the cross you are experiencing becomes a doorway to let through the Lord's resurrection power into other lives. Paul seems to be speaking of this when he says in Colossians 1:24, 'I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.' Sometimes when you are feeling the nails, that may be the only way that others can see the glory.

Douglas F. Kelly, New Life in the Wasteland: 2 Corinthians on the Cost and Glory of Christian Ministry (Ross-shire: Christian Focus Publications, 2003), p. 26 (emphasis mine.