Every believer has a wonderful standing in grace: “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2). A believer’s standing has to do with his POSITION or status as a child of God, how God sees him in Christ. It has to do with all that is true of the believer because he is saved by grace. It is important to make a distinction between a believer’s POSITION (STANDING) and a believer’s PRACTICE (STATE). What is the believer’s PRACTICE? When we speak of a believer’s PRACTICE we are referring to the actual spiritual STATE or CONDITION that he is in at any given point of time. (Some use the terms STANDING versus STATE; POSITION versus CONDITION; GRACE versus FAITH to describe the same distinctions).
There seems to be faulty interpretations being made as to a believer’s responsibility now that he is under grace and wrong impressions being left from modern grace teachers because of not distinguishing between a believer’s position in Christ and his practice. The truths from the word of His grace address these two realms of truth and realms of existence. There are those who see the truths of our position in Christ and leave the impression there is nothing we should do now that we are under grace. There are others who see the truths addressing our practice or responsibilities in Christ but do not present them as something we should do as a response to what God has already done.
OUR POSITION OR TRUTH THAT DEALS WITH OUR STANDING (sometimes called positional truth)
Is the result of the work of Christ on the Cross.
It becomes ours by faith in Jesus the moment we are saved.
It is perfect and cannot be improved upon.
Our position and standing is the same as every other child of God.
Our position and standing is wholly based on grace.
OUR PRACTICE OR TRUTH THAT DEALS WITH OUR STATE (sometimes called temporal truth)
Is the result of our work, faithfulness, walk, and practice.
It is what we are exhorted to do from various truths of Scripture to match our position and standing.
Our practice/state falls short of perfection; it can improve or it can get worse.
Our practice/state is not the same as every other child of God.
Our practice/state is the basis of rewards.
Examples: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new 2 Cor. 5:17 (POSITION). Yet Ephesians 4:24 says, “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (PRACTICE).”
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ Rom 5:1 (POSITION) Rom 5:1. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful (PRACTICE) Colossians 3:17.
Ephesians 1:6 says: “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved (POSITION).” “Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him” (PRACTICE) (2 Cor. 5:9).
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast (POSITION).v.10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS (PRACTICE), which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.