Articles

cart 0
Article Inner
Articles

I Fill Up In My flesh What Is Still Lacking In Regard to Christ's Afflictions

Articles

I Fill Up In My flesh What Is Still Lacking In Regard to Christ's Afflictions

Share:
Jul 12, 2021

Colossians / Chapter 1 / V24


“Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and 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.” ~Col 1:24


The greatest affliction that Christ suffered could be none other than His death on the cross for the sins of all mankind. In the quoted verse above, Paul seemed to suggest that Christ’s death on the cross was incomplete and still lacking; therefore help was required of him to make up for what was missing. This then raises another question in our mind: is the death of Christ insufficient to redeem us from our sins? Do we need to be like Paul and suffer for Christ to make up for what is lacking, so that our salvation may be made complete? If this is the case, then how much suffering exactly do we need in order to save our soul?

Let us look at Hebrews 10:11-14 and we would understand that Paul was not referring to the insufficiency of Christ’s death on the cross, but something else.

“Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”

Our Lord Jesus Christ as the Eternal Son of God, offered His life, a life that is sinless, holy and unblemished; He offered Himself once on the cross and became the eternal sacrifice for sin. This one-time sacrifice is sufficient to eternally save anyone who is willing to repent of his sins and to acknowledge Christ as his personal saviour. The death of Christ is not only capable of cleansing all the sins of an individual, should the whole of mankind that existed since the beginning of time repent before Him, the Lord’s death would be more than sufficient to cleanse them of all their sins. If there is anyone who thinks that he can add anything more to the Lord’s salvation, then, he must be extremely arrogant and thinks too highly of himself. This is merely his wishful thinking, to presume that he as a sinner is even remotely capable of adding anything to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. We have to conclude that it is not possible Paul could ever make such a grievous mistake.

In verses 28-29 of Colossians chapter 1, Paul made mention of his labour for the believers: “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labour, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.” And verse 24 also speaks of Paul’s suffering for the church: “Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and 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.”

What has been found lacking in Christ, is in fact the afflictions and labours that accompany the building of the church, which has been filled up by Paul. However, it is not solely the responsibility of Paul, but every believer has a part in building the church – to fill up what is still lacking in Christ’s afflictions. This was what the Lord commissioned His disciples before His ascension:

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." ~Mt:28:18-20

The Lord has entrusted the world’s most glorious task unto us, so that we as believers may all enjoy this privilege of building the church. It is also according to His purpose that we may all have a part in His afflictions, by partaking in His sufferings, we may also be exalted together with Him.

Our Lord is the creator of all creation, the sovereign of the whole universe, how could He be lacking in anything? This is just Paul’s unique writing style and does not actually mean there is something lacking in Christ that requires him to fill up.

​​​​​​​