Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Position and Condition

The one, perfect; the other, improving - hopefully.

...therefore every perfected virtue which is inseparably fixed in the mind is truly and properly called a condition.

  - Eriugena, Periphyseon, Irish, 9th century

And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight…

  - Colossians 1.21, 22

Theologians discuss our relationship to Christ in terms of position and condition. Everyone who believes is characterized both by a position in Christ, as well as by a condition.

Position relates to our standing in Christ, in the grace of the Lord and the hope of glory (Rom. 5.1, 2). Our position in Christ is that we possess and are heirs to eternal salvation. Our lives are hidden with Christ in God, and we are permanently secure in Him. Our position in Christ cannot be improved; we are forgiven, renewed, sanctified, and bound for glory. No small part of our prayers each day should be devoted to praising and thanking the Lord for this miracle of grace.

Our condition relates to the temporal state of our salvation, where we stand in the process of being sanctified. In the New Testament, some believers were regarded as babes in Christ, while others were more mature. None of us should be content with the former, and all of us should be pressing on toward maturity day by day. Our condition can, and must improve, as we apply ourselves to growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3.18).

Hopefully, we are working to improve our condition day by day, through the disciplines and means God graciously provides – His Word and prayer chief among them. This is what Paul had in mind when he instructed us to work out our salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2.12).

This is the work of sanctification, which God accomplishes in us by His Word and Spirit (Jn. 17.17; Phil. 2.13). We have a part to play in this lifelong process, and we must never grow weary of the struggle. We are reconciled to God, and we are being reconciled in holiness and blamelessness, so that we may not be a reproach to God.

Moving toward holiness (2 Cor. 7.1) is a matter of commitments and practices which enable us to make progress, in the power of God’s Spirit, in becoming more like Jesus Christ. Persistence in these disciplines and practices brings virtue into our souls – more of the mind of Christ, more of the heart of God’s Spirit, and more of the will of the Lord, as revealed in His Word. The more such virtue becomes “perfected” in us, the more our condition improves in the direction of our position in Christ.

For example, consider how we use our tongues. Scripture spells out appropriate practices for our tongues: speak with grace, for edification, avoiding all vulgar talk, and striving to spread the peace of Christ. When we become convicted of the truth of these practices, and make a commitment to practicing them, we move toward improving in the use of our tongue before the Lord in prayer, seeking His help to be able to carry them out.

Then, still in prayer, we consider (plan) how we will carry out these practices during the day ahead, trusting the Lord in each situation, as we by faith obey Him in the use of our tongue, to meet us with the power to accomplish what we have prayed for and planned.

The more we do this, the more virtuous speech becomes a facet of our character, and the more our condition improves in the direction of our position, at least in this area of our lives. This is working out your salvation in fear and trembling, God working in you to will and do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2.12, 13).

This is what it means to bring holiness to a greater stage of completion (2 Cor. 7.1).

But it’s a daily task. Including today. Our purpose is to help you examine your condition in a wide range of areas, and to commit to whatever next steps will allow you to grow more toward your position in Christ.

Let the Word of God illuminate the state of your condition in Christ, in the light of what it reveals about Him, in Whom Your life has been hidden. Then press on to bring your condition more into line with your postion in everything you do.

For Reflection
1. What commitments and practices will you take up today to bring your condition to reflect more of your position in Christ?

2. What can you do to keep focused on your position while you’re working on your condition?

Psalm 84.5-7 (Holy Manna: Brethren, We Have Met for Worship)
Blessed are they whose strength is founded in Your strength, O Lord above.
All whose hearts in You are grounded journey in Your strength and love.
Though we weep with tears of sadness, grace shall all our way sustain.
In Your Presence, filled with gladness, we shall conquer all our pain.

Teach me, Lord, how I may make conditional steps toward positional holiness in all my ways, especially today as I…

Thank you
Thanks so much to those of you who faithfully support the work of The Fellowship of Ailbe. God uses your gifts and prayers to reach thousands of people every day in over 160 countries. We praise the Lord for His having moved and enabled you to share with us in this ministry.

If you’re not a supporter of this ministry, won’t you please prayerfully consider making a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe? Only God can move you to do this, and we believe He intends to support this ministry from within the ranks of those who are served by it. If this includes you, please seek the Lord in this matter. You can click here to donate online with your credit card or through PayPal, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

T. M. Moore, Principal
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All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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