The Position and Condition of the Believer in Christ

  1. POSITION AND CONDITION DEFINED
    1. PositionThe perfect, unchangeable relationship to God into which every believer enters at the moment of saving faith. Example: King’s son; marriage; father/son
    2. ConditionThe imperfect and changeable state of a believer’s life at any given moment. 
    3. Similar Terms: Position/Condition Standing/State Union/Communion
      • SOME IMPORTANT DISTINCTIONS

      POSITION 

      CONDITION

      1. Ours as a gift by grace through faith 1. Ours through works & effort
      2. God’s work FOR us  2. God’s work IN us
      3. Perfect  3. Imperfect
      4. Finished  4. Never finished till glory
      5. Unchangeable  5. Changeable
      6. Same for all believers  6. Different for every believer 
  2. THE CORINTHIANS: HOLY, YET UNHOLY
    • Note that these items were not what the Corinthians might “become” but what they already were! It was true of every one of them!
    1. The Corinthians were Perfectly Holy (Passages from I Cor.)
      1. 1:2
      2. 1:8-9
      3. 1:30
      4. 3:23
      5. 6:9-11
      6. 6:19
      7. 12:13
    2. The Corinthians Were NOT Holy (at all!)
      1. 1:10-14
      2. 3:1-4
      3. 5:1-5
      4. 6:1-8
      5. 11:17-29
  3. THE DISCIPLES: COMPLETELY CLEAN, YET DIRTY (John 13:3-10)
    1. The Disciples Were Clean
      • vs.10 – the first “wash” = to bathe (λούω – louo)
      • They had already received a complete “washing of regeneration.” (position)
      • That was complete and unchangeable and did not need repeating.
    2. The Disciples Needed Cleansing
      • Vs.10 – the second “wash” = to wash, esp. a part of the body (νίπτω – nipto)
      • Condition: their feet were dirty from their “walk”
      • That requires “forgiveness.” (I John 1:9)
  4. APPARENT CONTRADICTIONS EXPLAINED (By Distinguishing Between Positional & Conditional Truth) 
     

    POSITION

     

    CONDITION

    1.) Holy – Col. 1:22; 3:12; Eph. 1:4 1.) Unholy – II Cor. 7:1; I Pet.1:15-16
    2.) Sanctified – I Cor. 6:11; Heb.10:10 2.) Not Sanctified – I Thess. 4:3-4
    3.) Clean – I Cor. 6:11 3.) Unclean – Eph. 5:3-4
    4.) Perfected – Heb.10:14 4.) Not Perfected – Phil. 3:12
    5.) Sins Already Forgiven – Eph. 1:7 5.) Sins Need Forgiving – (I John 1:9)
    6.) Made Near to God – Eph. 2:13 6.) Must Draw Near to God – Jas.4:8
    7.) Have Overcome the World –  I John 5:4-5 7.) Love Not the World – I Jn.2:15
    8.) Accepted in the Beloved – Eph.1:6 8.) Disciplined By God – Heb.12:6-10; I Cor. 11:27-32
    9.) Child of Light – Eph. 5:8 9.) Walking in Darkness – Eph.5:8,11; I John 1:6-7
    10.) Righteous – II Cor. 5:21; I Cor. 1:30 10.) Unrighteous – I John 1:9
    11.) New Man – II Cor. 5:17 11.) Renewed Day by Day – II Cor. 4:16
    12.) In Christ – Eph. 1:1,4 12.) At Ephesus – Eph.1:1
    13.) In the Heavenlies & Citizens of heaven – Eph.2:6 & Phil.3:20 13.) At Ephesus – Eph.1:1 – and citizens of the Roman empire.
  5. POSITION & CONDITION IN PAUL’S EPISTLES
    1. His Format
      1. The early chapters: Paul deals with our position 
      2. The last chapters: Paul deals with our condition
    2. Ephesians
      1. Position
        1:1 – saints 1:3 – blessed with all spiritual blessings
        1:4 – chosen, holy, blameless 1:6 – accepted
        1:11 – heirs 1:13 – sealed
        2:1 – made alive 2:6 – raised 
      2. Condition
        4:25 – lying 4:28 – stealing
        4:29 – corrupt speech 4:31 – anger, bitterness
    3. Colossians
      1. Position
        1:2 – saints 1:13 – in the kingdom
        1:21 – reconciled 2:10 – complete in Him
        2:11-13 – spirit baptized; sins forgiven
      2. Condition
        3:1-2 – mind earthly things 3:8-9 – sins of the flesh
        3:13 – quarrels 3:18-20 – family problems
    4. Romans
      1. Position
        1:7 – called saints 5:1 – justified
        8:1,15-17 – no condemnation; sons; heirs 8:37 – victors
      2. Condition
        12:2 – worldliness 12:3 – pride
        12:9 – hypocrisy
    5. Key Verses
      1. Eph.4:1 – Make your condition (walk) worthy of your position (vocation – calling)
      2. Col.3:1 – You ARE risen already. Live like it!
      3. Rom.12:1-2 – You already have received God’s mercy (Position). Live like it!
  6. GOD’S METHOD FOR BRINGING OUR CONDITION INTO CONFORMITY WITH OUR POSITION
    1. The Holy Spirit – II Cor.3:18 – there should be a constant growth in our Christian life – so that our condition is constantly being made more and more like our position in Christ! 
    2. The Word of God – II Tim.3:16-17; II Pet.3:18 – GROW in knowledge, which results in more Christlikeness – when applied!
    3. Trials – II Cor.12:7 – “Lest I should be lifted up.”
      • John 15:2 – They keep us humble & fruitful!
    4. Chastening – Heb.12:6,10-11
    5. Our condition CANNOT alter our position. But that is not a license to sin! Note the BUT’s in Rom. 6:1,15; I John 5:16-17
    6. Our Position CAN & SHOULD alter our condition.  The motivation is thus indwelling LIFE, love, grace & gratitude – not law!