“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:17)
The tiny word “if” has enormous implications in scripture. It places a condition on many a promise. Would we be “heirs of God”? Would we be “joint-heirs with Christ”? Would we be “glorified” with Christ? Then there is something we must do: we must suffer with Him.
Some will argue with the clear words of the apostle Paul in the above verse, and claim that it is not our sufferings, but the sufferings of Christ that give us entrance into glory. But, in making our glorification conditional upon our suffering, Paul is not “undoing” all he has taught concerning justification by faith. He is simply stating that the path of the disciple cannot be different from his Master.
Christ had His cross and we have ours. In bringing many sons to glory, God made the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. And “both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Hebrews 2:11)
There would have been no crown for Jesus, except He endured His cross. There will be no crown for us, except we bear ours.
Because so much depends upon it, let us diligently learn what it means to “suffer with Christ.”
“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him …” (2 Timothy 2:12)