“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.”
If the cause of Christ is going to advance, it will cost something. God wants us to pay a price in the service of the local Church.
“for the sake of His body, which is the church”
The Bible depicts the church with the analogy of the “body” (cf. v18). The head (Christ) gives direction to the body. The body takes orders from the head. The completion of Christ’s sufferings closely connects to the preaching of the gospel (vv. 23, 25). Paul paid the price for preaching the gospel, especially where Christ was not named (Rom. 15:15-21). When a preacher or person goes against the pluralism of society and preaches with conviction and confidence, they will be labeled a bigot or dogmatic. The gospel challenges people to face themselves, and they may not like what they see.
The gospel is an offense to the world.
The person who preaches the gospel will pay a price. Are you afraid to go against the tide of public opinion? Are you more concerned about what the world thinks of you than the mission God has given you? Has the culture of pluralism intimidated you so that it mutes your testimony?
If we accept rejection for preaching the gospel, we will go a long way toward spiritual maturity. As long as we feel we must be acceptable to a Christless world, our ministry will be ineffective. We need to dare to be a Daniel, “Dare to stand alone.”