If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
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Accordingly, I beseech you, let us so perform all our actions that we may not fail to obtain such glory as this. To obtain it is by no means difficult, if we desire it, or arduous, if we apply ourselves to it. For, “If we endure, we shall also reign.” What is the meaning of “If we endure”? If we patiently bear tribulations and persecutions; if we walk the narrow path. The narrow path is unattractive by nature but becomes easy when we choose to follow it, because of our hope for the future.
Then on the other side he exhorts him, not from the good, but from the evil. For if wicked men were to partake of the same things, this would be no consolation. And if having endured they were to reign with Him, but not having endured were not indeed to reign with Him, but were to suffer no worse evil, though this were terrible, yet it would not be enough to affect most men with concern. Wherefore he speaks of something more dreadful still. If we deny Him, He will also deny us. So then there is a retribution not of good things only, but of the contrary. And consider what it is probable that he will suffer, who is denied in that kingdom. Whosoever shall deny Me, him will I also deny. Matthew 10:33 And the retribution is not equal, though it seems so expressed. For we who deny Him are men, but He who denies us is God; and how great is the distance between God and man, it is needless to say.
In him therefore is our hope of eternal life, and in him also is the pattern of our patience. “If we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him,” since, as the apostle says, “those who claim that they remain in Christ ought themselves to walk just as Christ walked.” Otherwise we are appearing under the likeness of a false profession if we do not follow the commands of him in whose name we glory. And these would indeed not be burdensome to us and would free us from all dangers, if we would only love what he commands us to love.