Question on Romans 8:17b

Text: ”… if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” (Romans 8:17)

Greek: ”ει δε τεκνα και κληρονομοι κληρονομοι μεν θεου συγκληρονομοι δε χριστου ειπερ συμπασχομεν ινα και συνδοξασθωμεν”

My question is about this phrase, “if indeed we suffer with Him” … “ειπερ συμπασχομεν” and specifically with this conjuction, “ειπερ”

The same conjuction is found in Romans 8:9, “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”

My quesion is this:

  1. Does it mean “if perhaps you suffer with Christ” (as if some will suffer with Christ and some perhaps will not) OR
  2. Does it mean “if indeed you suffer with Christ” (as if you certainly do participate in His sufferings) OR
  3. Am I completely missing the point altogether?
1322 reads
Jim's picture

Those suffer with Christ who suffer as he did, and for his sake. They are thus partakers of the sufferings of Christ.
We suffer as Christ suffered, not only when we are subject to the contradiction of sinners, but in the ordinary sorrows of life in which he, the man of sorrows, so largely shared. We are said to suffer with Christ

Commentary available here:

From p 421

Charlie's picture

The Greek conjunction ειπερ is similar to the Greek first-class condition (hypothetical assumed to be true). It approaches the meaning of our English "granted" or "since."

For example, Rom. 3:30 is ειπερ εισ ο θεος "since God is one" not "if God is one."

Also, 2 Thess 1:6 ειπερ δικαιον παρα θεω "since it is a righteous thing before God" not "if it is...."

It is used to show that a certain situation has a condition which the author assumes will be fulfilled or is already fulfilled. (Now, it can be used more broadly than that, but that's basic.)

So in Romans 8:17, the amplification would be something like this: We will be glorified with him, on the condition that we suffer with Him, and of course we suffer with Him.

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Cor meum tibi offero Domine prompte et sincere. ~ John Calvin

Stephen Schwenke's picture

I believe the key word here is "with." We can only suffer WITH Him if we follow Him. The world will hate us like that hated Him if we live our lives according to the Bible. It is difficult to define the term "suffering" in America because of our political liberties. However, the Bible speaks consistently about self-denial and separation. There will be a price to pay if we give everything we have and are into the hands of the Lord. SOMEBODY will not like it, and we will be forced to choose either the Lord or our family, friends, career, or (fill in the blank.)

In Christ,

Pastor Steve Schwenke
Liberty Baptist Church
Amarillo, TX