Positional and Dispositional Aspects of Christian Life

Christ is lifeBeginning from Genesis 3, God’s glory, holiness, and righteousness prevented man from receiving eternal life (symbolized by the tree of life). This exclusion persisted until Christ’s redemption. Now everyone who believes in Jesus Christ receives eternal life. With this life, we have God’s glory, holiness, and righteousness.

We have the divine attributes in two stages. The first is positional, accounted to us the instant we believe. The second is dispositional, worked into our being practically as we grow through our entire Christian life.

An example of these two stages is the army. A citizen who takes the oath of enlistment becomes a member of the army, a soldier. This happens in a minute and is positional. However, this person does not yet live, act, and think like a true soldier. Therefore, the person needs training and practice. These continue through the entire time the person is in the army; this is dispositional.

In the human realm we are born as babies and then have a long period of growing and developing. It is the same spiritually. When we believe in the Lord Jesus, we are born again (John 3:3) and become children of God (John 1:12). At that time we are babies, so 1 Peter 2:2 encourages us to drink the spiritual milk so that we may grow. Then we should grow until we are “full-grown in Christ” (Colossians 1:28). “Let us be brought on to maturity” (Hebrews 6:1).

Regardless of how much anyone may have grown, even if to some degree “full-grown,” let us follow the example of Paul not to count ourselves to have laid hold but rather stretch forward to “pursue toward the goal” (Philippians 3:13-15).

As we grow in the divine life, as the divine life fills and saturates us, we are being constituted dispositionally with what is of God. In the next post we will consider our positional and dispositional experience of God’s glory, holiness, and righteousness.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

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  1. The flame means fire, and fire in typology signifies the holiness of God. God is a consuming fire (Deut. 4:24; 9:3; Heb. 12:29 ). Anything common, unclean, or sinful is consumed by Him. This consuming fire signifies God’s holiness, and without holiness no man shall see Him (Heb. 12:14).


  1. God’s Glory in our Christian Life | New Jerusalem – A Biblical View
  2. God’s Holiness and Righteousness in our Christian Life | New Jerusalem – A Biblical View
  3. New to Match New Jerusalem | New Jerusalem – A Biblical View

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