Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Are there contradictions in Colossians 1?

Colossians 1:24 Does this verse teach that Christ’s death was lacking in being sufficient for salvation?


The Bible declares that Christ’s death on the Cross was sufficient and final for our Salvation.[1] Yet Paul has made the statement in this verse that we are to be “filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions.” The issue appears to be how can Christ’s sacrifice be all-sufficient and still be lacking in suffering?


The point we need to clarify at the start, is that the sufferings of Paul were not redemptive. He cannot suffer for himself, or for others, to provide redemption. Paul is careful in his wording, when he speaks of redemption he does not use terms such as suffering, but he speaks of a cross, a death, or His blood.

J. Vernon McGee speaks of two types of suffering.[2] He calls these ministerial and mediatorial. The sufferings of Christ were mediatorial. Some of His sufferings we cannot share in, His suffering as a man, His suffering as the Son of God, and His sacrifice for the sin of the world. On the other hand, we can share in His suffering for righteousness (see 1 Peter 3:14), and His suffering as we identify ourselves with Christ in the proclamation of the Gospel (consider 1 John 4:17; John 15:18 – 19; Acts 9:4; and 1 Peter 4:12 – 13).

So, there is a difference between the mediatorial work of Christ (our redemption) and the ministerial work that we can share in, when we are active in proclaiming and standing for the righteousness given by our redemption.

Prayer: I will sing Your Praises! I will offer my worship with my mouth! Glorious and ever present Savior, I shout and sing that there is nothing lacking in Your provision of salvation. No one will ever be able to say that Your provision just wasn't enough to save them. If I accept You, I have everything that I need to be reconciled with the Father. Never, never, never, never let me forget what great thing You have done for me. In all my wildest dreams and imaginations, I can never see all the majestic provision! Amen!!

[1] John 19:30; Hebrews 1:3 
[2] McGee, J. Vernon. Thru the Bible. Vol. V. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983. V vols. Pages 343 - 345.

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