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Position and Practice

God is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.
1 Corinthians 1:30

“Position” and “Practice”. “Position” and “Practice”. “Position” and “Practice”. Those two words have meant so much to me over the years, and continue to tell me more and more of what it means to a Christian.

I first learned about “Position” and “Practice” when I was seventeen years old and very aware of my weakness and failings as a Christian. I was discouraged and disillusioned. That is when the man who became my spiritual mentor, Rev. Dr. John Mitchell, explained Position and Practice to me: I felt launched into the adventure of Christian living.

Dr. Mitchell took a piece of paper and drew a straight horizontal line across the paper, then beneath that straight line he drew a zig-zag line across the paper that looked to me like the up and down lines of an electrocardiogram. The Position line was straight, without a bend or curve. He then explained to me that the straight horizontal line represented my unchanging eternal Position in Christ; it never bends, curves or wavers.  The zig-zag line represented my Practice of the daily Christian life, which might be up one day and way down low the next.  

Then, with great emphasis, Dr. Mitchell pointed to the straight line representing my Position in Christ, saying: “Your Position in Christ never changes as the Son of God is your righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.” Dr. Mitchell acknowledged that on a day-to-day basis my Practice of the Christian life might have it have its many ups and downs, but my Position in Christ never ever changes.

As Dr. Mitchell talked about Position and Practice, began to do that with my earthly father I knew my Position as his beloved son, even on days my Practice might disappoint or hurt him.

Now, many years later, I am seeing how increasingly the Holy Spirit teaches us our eternal Position in Christ so that we rejoice and rest in being in Christ. As today’s scripture tells us, in our Position God has made Christ our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. By the Holy Spirit, we recognize that we have no righteousness to present to God. We have no sanctification or holy living apart from Christ, and we have no redemption apart from Christ.

Thus, the Holy Spirit who is sent to point us to and glorify Christ delights in teaching us the riches of our Position in Christ. Consider the apostle Paul’s rich words:

But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ —by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.                                                   

[Ephesians 2:4-7]

God in Christ has saved us. He has raised us up with Christ and seated us with Christ at God’s right hand so that He might show forth the immeasurable riches of His grace toward us. That is, our Position in Christ never changes. Now God calls us to so live that we show forth in our daily Practice, however erratic, the truth of who we are: God’s beloved children.

“Position” and “Practice”. Two words to remember.

A fellow traveler,
Tim

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