Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Essence of Christian Hedonism

The apostle Paul once said in Colossians 1:24, "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of His body..." We know as Christians that we are to glorify God with our lives. It is our chief end. Christ said to take up your cross daily and follow Him. He also said, " Blessed are the persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God."
Suffering is an integral part of our faith and, strange as it may seem, beautiful consummation of our relationship with Christ. In Isaiah 50 we are given an example of Christ's suffering. Even though He was beaten and tortured He honored God and stood by the truth. This selfless act of sacrifice glorified God more than anything else in history, it was the fulfillment of His purpose. When Christ said, "It is finished.", God the Father had been satisfied.
There is a saying, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." Every martyr for the gospel found all their fulfillment in Christ knowing that they were made to glorify Him and through this they found their joy. It is the essence of Christian Hedonism, to know Christ in the fellowship of His suffering.

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