Suffering is the Christians
Path to Glory
Our hope as Christians is our future glory. We will have a new
body patterned after the glorified body of Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:21). Our hope of
glory is guaranteed by the present dwelling of Christ within the believer (Col.
At the parousia, the second coming of Christ, those who died
in Christ and the living believers will be given the final and full redemption of
our body (Romans 8:23). That body will be prepared for and suited to the final state
of the Christian believer (1 Cor. 15:23, 26, 54). When Christ, who is our life, is
revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory (Colossians 3:4).
The apostle Paul tells us that we shall be included in the
radiance of the coming glory, which will put into perspective the present sufferings we
experience. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy
to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us (Romans 8:18).
As co-heirs with Christ
(vv. 15-17) we are recipients of all spiritual blessings now (Eph. 1:3), and in the future
we shall share with Him in all the riches of Gods kingdom (Jn. 17:24; 1 Cor.
3:21-23). In Romans 8:15-18 the apostle is stressing the assurance of the believers
salvation, and in doing so says if we are true Christians we will also suffer with Christ.
We will participate in Christs sufferings if we are believers. Being co-heirs with
Christ requires that we share in His sufferings (Jn. 15:20; Col. 1:24; 2 Tim. 3:12; 1 Pet.
4:12). After suffering with Christ the believer will share in the glory of Christ (2 Tim.
2:12; 1 Pet. 4:13; 5:10).
There is no sharing in Christ’s glory unless there
is sharing in His suffering. However, at the same time we must keep
clearly in mind we do not contribute to the saving work of Christ Jesus
such as the expiation, propitiation, reconciliation, and
redemption. Only the sinless Substitute could ever accomplish such
efficacy. Christ alone redeemed us by His blood.
However the apostle Paul does make it clear there
are non redemptive sufferings from which the sufferings of the children
of God are to be classified with the sufferings of Christ Himself”
We should also remember the only suffering that
fulfills the condition is, "suffering with Christ. Only
those who share in Christ's sufferings now will share in His glory
hereafter. In order to share in that glory we must share in His
sufferings here and now.
We share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in
His glory. The apostle Paul expresses the same idea in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18.
Suffering is necessary in the Christian life (Jn. 15:20; 16:33).
Suffering paves the road to glory for the Christian. It proves to us
that we are the children of God (Matt. 5:11-12; Jn. 15:18-20). It is a
badge of discipleship.
Suffering is used of God to purify the believer. Some suffering comes
to us from the hand of a loving heavenly Father to produce holiness and spiritual growth
in us. God uses suffering to perfect us in the likeness of Christ. God purifies us until
He can see the face of Jesus Christ in our lives.
Because He loves us God uses suffering to chasten and discipline us
to become good soldiers of the cross (Heb. 12:7-11; 2 Tim. 2:3; 1 Cor. 9:27). God also
uses these experiences in our lives to prepare us to minister in the lives of others who
Glorification is our perfect unquestionable
standing before God in the day of judgment. It is the perfection of our
progressive sanctification. One day our inner character will be like
that of Christ.
Suffering for Jesus Christ also enhances our Christian testimony.
When we are suffering for Jesus Christ lost people will watch us carefully and listen to
what we have to say.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I
have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness,
which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but
also to all who have loved His appearing (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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