“If so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him” is the condition upon which the attainment of the inheritance is contingent (cf. vs. 9). There is no sharing in Christ’s glory unless there is sharing in his sufferings. Sufferings and then glory was the order appointed for Christ himself. It could not have been otherwise in terms of his messianic undertaking and design (cf. Luke 24:26; Phil. 2:6–11; 1 Pet. 1:11). The same order applies to those who are heirs with him. It is not only, however, that they must suffer and then enter glory; it is more than a parallelism of order. It needs to be noted that they suffer with him and this joint participation is emphasized in the case of suffering as it is in the case of glorification. This is both the reason for and the import of the emphasis which is placed in the New Testament and particularly in Paul upon the sufferings of the people of God as the sufferings of Christ (cf. 2 Cor. 1:5; Phil. 3:10; Col. 1:24; 2 Tim. 2:11; 1 Pet. 4:13; cf. Mark 10:39). Believers do not contribute to the accomplishment of expiation, propitiation, reconciliation, and redemption. Nowhere are their sufferings represented as having such virtue or efficacy. The Lord laid his people’s iniquities upon Christ alone and in him alone did God reconcile the world to himself. Christ alone redeemed us by his blood. Nevertheless there are other aspects from which the sufferings of the children of God are to be classified with the sufferings of Christ himself. They partake of the sufferings which Christ endured and they are regarded as filling up the total quota of sufferings requisite to the consummation of redemption and the glorification of the whole body of Christ (cf. Col. 1:24). Again union and communion with Christ are the explanation and validation of this participation.
John Murray | The Epistle to the Romans in Two Volumes : Volume I Chapters 1 to 11; Volume ll Chapter 9 to 16 . New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1968, 1969), 1.299.
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