A Deep Insight
Text: Colossians 1:24
Paul shared a deep insight as to how he saw his suffering in the following text:-
“I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up
in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ,
for the sake of His body, which is the church.”
1. “Fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ”
These words can be misunderstood. Let us examine these words carefully:-
a) “The afflictions of Christ”
i) They were necessary for our atonement.
ii) Christ had to endure much affliction to obtain our redemption/salvation.
iii) His afflictions as far as our salvation is concerned are complete!
b) What Paul did not mean.
i) He was not saying that Christ’s afflictions were inadequate for our salvation.
ii) He was not saying that his suffering had to be added to Christ’s afflictions in order for salvation to be made possible.
iii) Paul’s context was not with reference with Christ’s salvation plan.
c) What Paul did mean
i) His context was the establishment of the church.
ii) He knew that much suffering must be endured if the church was to be established.
iii) It was not easy to establish a new institution – the Church.
iv) He expected resistance and suffering would be heaped upon him.
2. “For the sake of His body, which is the church”
a) Paul had a very strong theological understanding concerning the church.
b) He did not see it as a man-made institution.
c) He saw the church as the “body” of Christ.
d) This deep and personal perception of the church gave him the strength to endure his sufferings with great courage and joy.
A GREAT CHALLENGE
What an example the apostle Paul has set for us! Let us seek to emulate his example of enduring hardship for the sake of the Church. Let us seek to deepen our understanding of what it means to see the Church as the Body of Christ! This is a profound concept that we need to comprehend with deeper appreciation!