The Christian Standing verses the Christian State
[Preached at Community Bible Chapel in Hico, TX by Andy Neckar]
The Christian's standing with God through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ is forever settled. Once an enemy of God, he is now a child of God. Once at war with God he is now at peace with God.
Let us read Romans 5:1-2 "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
Our standing with God is the position God places us in His sight because of the finished work of Jesus Christ, His Son. The believers' victory over sin does not effect his standing with God. It was Christ that gained the victory over sin in our behalf.
OUR victory over sin does not add to our standing with God and neither does OUR occasional defeat, or failure to resist the temptation to sin does not diminish out standing with God.
Our standing with God is NOT determined by what WE do. It is determined by what CHRIST did. We are given the victory that Christ gained by believing the gospel of Christ, the power of God unto salvation. That gospel will convict the person that acknowledges it and confesses that it is true, and that conviction will bring the sinner to repentance before God, and it will bring him to faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ, and because of that his standing with God is eternally secure by the work of Christ.
Now just because our justified standing with God is eternally secure is not to be an excuse to sin. A truly saved person WILL NOT justify sin because of his secure standing before God.
The Bible speaks CLEARLY on this matter. The Epistle of James deals with this matter in detail.
Now what a believer has to do is recognize the difference between his STANDING before God and his present STATE.
The believers standing is secure and unchanging, but his state changes day by day.
The believers' state is the daily living out of the Christian life in which he stands. Our Christian state of walk does not compare with our Christian standing.
Out standing is perfect, but out state is imperfect. Additional perfection cannot be added to our standing. NOTHING can be added to the work of Christ wherein we stand, but MUCH is to be desired of our state.
The state of the flesh is detestable. Spiritual failure, sin, and disobedience are all common to our state. We should never be satisfied with our state. The Christian should always be trying to rise our state to the level of our standing in Christ. This is called the Christian walk.
While trying to raise our state to the level of our standing we should be careful to not allow our state to doubt our standing. This can be easily done. A Christian can be brought to the conclusion that "all is lost" and therefore stop trying to live a godly like at all.
Many believers have resorted to prayer and fasting and a rigorous disciplining of the flesh only to find that the flesh is unyielding. Flesh and blood cannot enter the Kingdom of heaven. This body of flesh must be destroyed and changed to get to heaven.
See-those who cannot discern sanctification and justification have the problem of thinking that the believer is justified in Christ and so his standing is secure but that his state needs sanctification in this life.
We have been justified in the sight of God as we read in Romans 5:1-2 and now let us read about our sanctification
Heb 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
1 Cor 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
The believers' state has no bearing on his standing. You see, our spirits and our souls are justified and sanctified already. Our bodies are in a different state though.
When we die our spirits and our souls will enter the presence of God but our degenerate bodies will suffer corruption never to rise again. A body will be resurrected one day but it will be changed. It will be a new, born again body.
Then and only then will our state be justified and sanctified. Christ will do this when He comes again and no sooner. There is NOTHING we can do to justify or sanctify our state although we are told to work at it.
We are to work out the salvation of our bodies and bring them under subjection in fear and trembling.
Phil 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
1 Cor 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
The devil will try and make us doubt our salvation and take our eyes off Christ because of out state. ANYTHING to get our focus off Jesus and directed back towards ourselves again. Satan want us to focus on what we are in the flesh rather than what we are in Christ.
The devil knows he cannot take us out of our Father's hand, but he also knows that he can take away some of the glory that would come to God should the believer be convinced of his salvation through the work of Christ.
You see-out standing can never be established on a process of improving the flesh. God cannot make the flesh acceptable to Himself, so why should we think we can.?
Let us read Romans 8:3 "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:"
The flesh has been disqualified. It is worthless for God's purposes. Our standing is established upon our new life in Christ and that standing in Christ is based on God's grace. It is not based on what we are in the flesh but on what we are in Christ.
It is NOT on what we are doing, but on what Christ has already done. It is NOT what WE think of ourselves but what CHRIST thinks of us that matters where our salvation is concerned.
The apostle John speaks of a heart that can falsely condemn a believer.
I Jn 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
God knows things our heart does not know.
1 John 3:21Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
We have confidence toward God and He gets the glory.