17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
if indeed [as is the fact] we suffer with Him,
Christianity involves more than privileges provided by God. It also involves suffering. Suffering unique to becoming a Christian will come our way. It is a fact that we must accept.
that [purpose] we may also be glorified together [with].
After sharing suffering in time, Christians will share eternity together with Christ in a glorified state. Suffering with Christ allows the believer to be “glorified with” Christ. “Glorified” describes the radiance of the eternal state with God. We lost this glory by Adam’s fall, but we regain it by our association with Christ. Believers will participate in and enjoy God Himself. God is the portion of our inheritance and He is all-sufficient.
Justification is the beginning of salvation, and glorification is the end of salvation. Once God begins the salvation of a soul, He sees it to completion (8:38-39). There is a process of glorification and an ultimate glorification. As a Christian grows in Christ, God transforms him or her “from glory to glory” (2 Co 3:18). That is a ministry of the Holy Spirit in time on earth. Christians grow from one level of glory to a greater level of glory. This verse speaks of an ultimate glory, the glory of God’s presence.
Note that glorification is not meaning glorified together but glorified “with.” Christians will share in all things that belong to Christ. This will especially be true at His return.
God will glorify the believer in eternity when He glorifies Christ in a unique sense in eternity.
It should be of no surprise that the Christian will suffer; neither should it be a surprise that the believer will be jointly glorified with Christ. All Christians sooner or later will suffer for Christ. We live in a defiant world of paganism—the unbelief of those who deny God and His values. There is a price to pay for becoming a Christian. Yet, God is open to hear our prayer.
That Christians will suffer is a surprise to the health-and-wealth crowd. God does promise to meet our need (Php 4:10ff), but He does not promise every Christian perfect health or abundant wealth in this life.
All this will result in a wonderful sequel—our joint glorification with Christ. This is more than being glorified, for we will share (“with”) His glory. As the hymn says, “O that will be glory for me.”
We have the honor of being glorified together with Christ. In addition to that, Jesus will accompany us in our glorification as our guarantee with the Father. That is of the highest sort of consolation. What an honor to us as individuals.