- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Questions about Friends and Family Relationships
- Published on Thursday, 19 November 2009 11:53
Perhaps the best way to consider this question is to differentiate suffering with the heart of Christ from suffering for the name of Christ.
God has always intended that His messengers will not only know the message they deliver but also understand the heart that sends the message. As God’s messengers - and all people - become better acquainted with their God, they are grieved for the things that grieve the heart of God. This includes the groaning of creation, the eternal grief of the lost, and the lack of development, discernment, and Christ-likeness in ourselves and other believers. This is suffering with the heart of Christ.
This does not, however, seem to be what Paul refers to in this passage. Rather, he is suffering for the name of Christ. Paul suffered both as a result of man’s resistance to the gospel (Acts 16:16-23) and also because of the Jews animosity against the Gentiles and the truth of Jew and Gentile’s being united in the Church the Body (Acts 22:21, 22; Colossians 1:24). This seems to better fit the context, which includes the possibility of martyrdom.