And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him…
I. WHAT BECOMES OF GOOD MEN IN THE FUTURE? They are "glorified with Christ." We have here —
1. A positive conception of the blessedness of heaven. Elsewhere we are told what heaven is not, rather than what it is. We seem more frequently to have promised to us relief from sufferings — no more sickness, night, curse, nor death — all of which we shrink from as if their absence was enough to make our bliss. But here heaven is presented as "glorification with Christ."
2. A striking contrast to those carnal views which unspiritual men hold upon this subject.
3. A heaven already realised — in the person of our Lord. He is already glorified. In the glorifying of Christ, our glorifying is involved.
4. A most consolatory and satisfactory prospect therefore. It is the fellowship, not the place, that makes up our happiness. With Christ fully revealed to us we could be happy anywhere.
II. WHAT PRECEDES THIS BLESSEDNESS? "Suffering with Him." "To suffer with" is to sympathise (1 Corinthians 12.).
1. Christ's sufferings were —
(2) Caused by sin.
(3) The result of the contrariety of His pure nature to the depravity of men amongst whom He came to live.
2. We partake of them —
(1) Beneficially. There is a sense in which this is the only way whereby we can be partakers of His suffering — in which, therefore, lie is alone in suffering (Isaiah 63:3).
(2) In consequence of our contact with the world. "As He was, so are we in this world." They who are like Christ must expect to have His sorrows and His treatment repeated.
(3) Non-meritorious. Suffering for Christ as martyrs do is really suffering with Him, and finds its joy in the suffering itself. Only such minds could suffer with Him, and the having such a mind is itself the blessed thing.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.