Position and Practice
There are two ways that any one of us stand before God. We stand before Him positionally and we stand before Him practically. A good way to think about this is when you think of family. You have a son or a daughter, a father or a mother. That person will continue to be your son, your daughter, your father, or your mother. That is his or her position. He or she cannot lose that position. The positional relationship cannot be lost, but the practical one can. It’s hard to compare, because it’s still not exactly the same. When someone receives Jesus Christ, truly receives Him, John 1:12 says he becomes a son or a child of God. According to many passages of scripture, once a person is a son of God, he cannot lose that position. He will always be a son. This is the idea of being born of God that you can read at the beginning of 1 John 5. When someone is a son, he will also live for the Lord as a characteristic or lifestyle. That’s what is different between the divine relationship with God in position and the family position with an earthly father or mother. The positional relationship someone has with God also brings positional righteousness, that scripture calls, justification. Before God, a person has the righteousness of Jesus Christ, which is perfect, standing in the grace of God. For believers, the question becomes, what is their practical relationship with God? True believers will strive to have their practical relationship match their positional one. They do this through the church, the Bible, prayer, and many other spiritual resources.