Condition or Position, which is your foundation?
Based on my experiences, I believe many self-professed believers live a life of conditional faith. They make decisions and life applications based on the conditions they see, feel, and experience. If they feel close to God, they tend to act more Godly. But, if they feel un-Godly or things happen to them that appear to be un-Godly, they tend to act un-Godly.
These two different reactions are equally dangerous for the believer and while they might appear to be in opposite directions, they are in fact going in the same direction; away from God. The person who feels Godly, will develop a sense of pride and self-worth which will separate him from God. The one who feels un-Godly will develop a sense of unworthiness which will also separate him from God.
The result is a body of believers who are on a spiritual roller coaster. One day they are on top of the world because they led someone to the Lord, and the next day they are in a dark depression because they sinned. This has two equally negative results. First, those in the church see this and start to believe it is normal and those outside the church see it and wonder what is the point of Christianity.
Why does this happen? I believe the short answer is ignorance; ignorance on the part of the believer for not knowing the whole truth and ignorance on the part of the corporate church for not teaching the whole truth. The truth I am talking about is your condition prior to Christ and your position after Christ. In order to live the life that Christ died for you to live, it is imperative that you understand these two foundational truths.
Let’s start with the truth about condition. Before Christ you weren’t bad, you were dead! And after Christ, you are not better, you are alive! Many believers think they were bad and now they are good or at least getting better. They think they are constantly improving and one day they will be just right. That is a lie the enemy uses to keep believers immobilized.
Secondly, while most believers understand Christ died for them, they don’t understand that they also died with Christ. They are missing the truth that because they died with Christ, then their old self is also dead. All of their old desires, feeling, and lusts are therefore dead too. Unfortunately many believers try to revive the old self, make it better, and live like a “new and improved” version of the old person. They try to do things that appear Godly, they try to think and say things that appear Godly, but at the end of the day, they are corpses trying to act like they are alive. This leads to continual discouragement and defeat which is what Satan wants to see in believers.
This means everything that happens in a believer’s life must be evaluated according to their position with Christ! The positions we must understand are that we were with Christ on the cross and in the grave. Galatians 2:20 and Romans 6:6 tell us that we were crucified with Christ. Romans 6:4 tells us that we were buried with Christ and therefore our old selves were crucified and buried. If my old self has been crucified and buried, how can it possibly live again? Why would I want it to? Trying to bring something that was dead and buried back to life sounds like a bad horror movie. But that is exactly what many believers try to do.
But, if my old self is dead, who is it that is living in my body? The answer to that is a crucial building block of the believer’s life. Galatians 2:20 tells us that the life living in my body is none other than the life of Christ. We get more confirmation on this from 1 Corinthians 3:1, 6:17, 19.
So, why is this so important? If a believer is trying to do things through the power of his old self, he will continually fail. This is because there is no good thing in my old body. Paul confirms this in Romans 7:18. Therefore, we are unable to produce any good thing from our old selves. In fact, Paul gives us a perfect example of this in Galatians 5:16-25. In this passage, we are told that our sinful nature (old self) is incapable of producing anything of moral value.
In fact, the only thing the sinful nature can produce is sin. So, even if you are trying to do something righteous, and you use your old self (sinful nature) to accomplish it, it will be tainted by sin. But, if you allow the new you (filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit) to accomplish a deed, it will be righteous.
So, in order for us to live the life of holiness that God has placed before us, we must first understand that it isn’t us living at all, but Christ living in and through us. Then we must allow Christ to lead the way in our daily experiences. Each time we are faced with a choice or an opportunity to respond to a situation, we must understand that we (our old self) have no choice because we are dead. Then we must allow Christ who is living in us to make the choice for us. Only when we willingly follow the choices that Christ makes for us, are we living a life of faith.
Dear friend, please ask yourself, are you a conditional or positional believer?