July 7, 2024

“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, that is, the church (Colossians 1:24).”

Have you ever read that and wondered, “How could Paul or any other redeemed sinner fill up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions? What could possibly be lacking in Christ’s afflictions?”

I think John Piper’s clarification on this is exactly right.

“He does not mean that he fills up by his sufferings what is lacking in the atoning worth of the death of Christ. When Jesus says, ‘It is finished’ on the cross, all that had to be done to pay for the sins of all God’s people was done. And nothing could be added.”

“What he means is that the one thing lacking in the sufferings of Christ is the offer of those sufferings in person to those for whom he died. So in essence he is saying, ‘Alright, I will take the message of the cross—where Christ suffered for lost people—and in my own missionary sacrifices I will take that message to them and say, “In me behold the love of God, as I sacrifice to come to you and preach to you, and risk my life and imprisonment to preach the gospel.”’ That’s the thing that he provides that is lacking.”

This Sunday in the Book of Acts, we will see the first follower of Jesus “fill up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions” as Stephen pleads with his “brothers and fathers” to recognize their sin in betraying and murdering The Righteous One and to repent and believe in Christ. He makes the ultimate sacrifice and, as we will see in future weeks, Saul (later renamed Paul) would never forget beholding the love of God in the face of Stephen (see Acts 26:11 and 1 Timothy 1:13!).

Scott Rosenkranz will be preaching Acts 6:8-8:3 this Sunday and Kenny Clark will be leading our sung worship. Would you take some time this week to read the passage and pray for each as they prepare?

And join us in the evening at 6pm for our monthly Lord’s Supper service. Jason Tresser will be giving the communion meditation and we have a number of great family time items to hear about.

See you Sunday, Grace. Come hungry!



Help Us See Christ by Sovereign Grace Music

Open our eyes, help us see Christ
May we behold His majesty
Open our eyes, Spirit we cry
Show us the glory of our King
Help us see Christ