A few follow-up questions and points from my friend. I’ll put his in black, and my pre-responses in blue. Ihave not sent this back to him yet. Some of these I’m not 100% sure about.
- It seems to me that 1 Colossians 1:24 is about Paul suffering for the betterment of the Church and spreading the Church, not as a result of someone’s sin?
I would not doubt that he suffered exactly for the betterment and spreading of the Church. In fact, the entire chapter seems to read that way. But is that the whole of it? What does Paul say in that sentence? He says, “*Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church *…” Paul framed that statement with “the afflictions of Christ” and “in my flesh *”.
**-Why was Christ afflicted?
-What was lacking in Christ’s afflictions?
-And why is Paul “suffering for [our] sake”, in regards to “what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions” if Christ paid the debt for our sins?
-But more to the point, does this passage being applied to anything other than ‘suffering as a result of sin’ take away the fact that there are consequences for sin? Is that window still broken after I was forgiven for breaking it? And who is responsible for fixing it [and why]? ***
- In Hebrews 12, I think this is a good example for the point of Catholics, but am wondering is there anything in that chapter that says punishment from God is a direct result of sin?
-What else would God be punishing us for?
-What need is there for discipline?
- In your points about the OT, do you mean that there are many examples in the OT of people making reparations to God for evil doings and that yes, Christ is the once-sacrifice for sins that removed the need for us to sacrifice continually but that does not mean He took away the other parts of the OT process like reparation? Remember He came to fulfill the OT law, not abolish it.
That’s what I’m saying, and it’s what Scripture shows us. Nowhere does Christ say that we no longer have a need to repent. Nowhere does Scripture say that we should no longer fast, give alms, or any other act of penance…in fact Christ tells us how to do it the right way! (When you fast, do it like this…)
-If Jesus paid the price for our sins, and forgave sins of people in the Bible, why is He teaching us to make reparations? (Lk 12:58-59; Mt 5:25-26; Lk 19:1-9)
-Why is Zaccheus still going to recompense his victims if “salvation has come to [his] house”?
-Do I, or do I not, need to settle accounts with those I’ve sinned against before approaching the Judge, despite the fact that I am a saved Christian? Will I, or will I not, be held in prison until I have paid the last penny? WHY? (Mt 5:23-26)
- The point of Paul shaving his head in Acts 18:18, isn’t this in relation to the Nazarite vow in Numbers 6:18 which is about making a dedication to God, not a punishment for a sin? Isn’t the point in Acts 21 about helping someone to participate in a vow so as to not create stumbling blocks for the local church? Isn’t 1 Corinthians 9:14 a metaphor about overcoming the bodies desire for sin? I do not see how these examples relate to punishment for sin.
I have no doubt that Paul was taking the Nazirite Vow of Numbers 6 (did you read the whole chapter 6?). Yes, he’s helping someone to avoid stumbling blocks and yes about desires of the body (that’s my whole point). But aren’t you only looking at the surface?
Again, temporal punishment is a *consequence *of sin. Did your sin bring you sorrow? Do you feel sorrowful every time you even remember your sin…or does that memory of your sin make you want to avoid it in the future? Did your sin hurt someone else? Do you need to repair the damage you’ve caused? Those are consequences of sin. Our responsibility to repair the damage we inflicted, settle with our accuser, or fix the broken window, is called “temporal punishment”.
-WHY was there a Nazirite Vow, and why would people take this vow which involved a Purification Offering at its end?
-Why would Paul, a saved Christian, no longer under the old law, who was ALREADY set apart by Christ Himself, as an Apostle to the Gentiles, be taking this vow again? Why would ANY Christian subject themselves to this discipline?
-Why would a saved Christian need to buffet his body in order to "exercise self-control in all things" for an imperishable wreath, and be concerned to “punish [his] body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others [he himself] should not be disqualified”? (1Cor 9:25-27)
-Doesn’t Paul know that Christ paid the debt for his sin? Why is Paul doing these acts?
But more to the point: Does my sin, even as a saved Christian, cause suffering to others or myself? Is that window broken or not, and whose responsibility it is to fix it? WHY?