Suffering: The Path to Future Glorification

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” – Romans 8:16-17 (ESV)

“[T]his glorious inheritance is attained only through suffering. Because we are one with Christ, we are his fellow heirs, assured of being “glorified with him.” But, at the same time, this oneness means that we must follow Christ’s own road to glory, “suffering with him” (cf. also Phil. 1:29; 3:10; 2 Cor. 1:5)… [T]he suffering Paul speaks of here refers to the daily anxieties, tensions, and persecutions that are the lot of those who follow the one who was “reckoned with the transgressors” (Luke 22:37). Paul makes clear that this suffering is the condition for the inheritance; we will be “glorified with” Christ (only) if we “suffer with him.” Participation in Christ’s glory can come only through participation in his suffering… the glory of the kingdom of God is attained only through participation in Christ, and belonging to Christ cannot but bring our participation in the sufferings of Christ. Just as, then, Christ has suffered and entered into his glory (1 Pet. 1:11), so Christians, “fellow heirs with Christ,” suffer during this present time in order to join Christ in glory.”
– Douglas Moo, Romans (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 505-506.

“Suffering is the path to future glorification.”
– Thomas Schreiner, Romans (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), 428

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The Inheritance: Reality Through Union

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” – Romans 8:16-17 (ESV)

“To say that believers are [only] heirs of God, however, leaves out a major motif in Paul’s thinking, for believers are also “fellow heirs with Christ.” This statement does not function as a corrective to the previous one but elucidates the means by which believers are heirs of God. The inheritance becomes a reality through union with Christ, the true seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:16). Those who are united with Christ share in the inheritance that he has gained for them.”
– Thomas Schriener, Romans (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), 428.

“Paul is… reminding us that Christians inherit the blessings of God’s kingdom only through, and in, Christ. We, “the sons of God,” are such by virtue of our belonging to the Son of God; and we are heirs of God only by virtue of our union with the one who is the heir of all God’s promises (see Mark 12:1-2; Gal. 3:18-19; Heb. 1:2).”
– Douglas Moo, Romans (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 505.

God: The Supreme Benefit of the Covenant

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” – Romans 8:16-17 (ESV)

“Paul asserts that believers have inherited the promise of Abraham (Gal. 3:14, 29), and this promise is an astounding one, for Abraham is heir of the world (Rom. 4:13…). Here he says something even more stunning: believers are “heirs of God” himself. The wording suggests not merely that believers are heirs of what God has promised but of God himself. The supreme benefit of the covenant with Abraham is not inheriting the land but having God as one’s God (Gen. 17:7).”

– Thomas Schreiner, Romans (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), 427-28.

“Divine love is love for the undeserving.”

“Paul’s meaning is that, in dying for us, Christ died for those who were helpless, ungodly, sinners, enemies. What Paul is here concerned to bring out is the fact that the divine love is love for the undeserving, love that is not the result of any worth in its objects but is self-caused and in its freedom itself confers worth upon them.”

– C.E.B. Cranfield, The Epistle to the Romans, Ed. J.A. Emerton, Vol. 1 (International Critical Commentary; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1975), 264.

God Helps the Helpless

“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” – Romans 5:6

“Christ’s work was not according to the ‘God helps them that helps themselves’ of Poor Richard’s Almanac. He did not wait for us to start helping ourselves, but died for us when we were altogether helpless.”

– C.E.B. Cranfield, The Epistle to the Romans, Ed. J.A. Emerton, Vol. 1 (International Critical Commentary; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1975), 263-64.

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