Positional Sanctification

posted Sep 26, 2019, 3:23 PM by Basic Bible Doctrine

    The doctrine of sanctification teaches that God’s purpose is to make each Church Age believer like the humanity of Christ. Each is “conformed to the image of His Son,” the glorified Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:29). God accomplishes the Church Age believer’s sanctification in three stages: positional, experiential, and ultimate.

    Positional sanctification is the Church Age believer’s union with Christ, accomplished by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Permanently identified with Christ from the moment of faith in Him, the Christian retroactively shares in the victory of our Lord’s spiritual death on the cross (Rom. 6:3; Col. 2:12a) and currently shares His exalted position in heaven “crowned with glory and honor” (Ps. 110:1; Rom. 6:4-5; Col. 2:12b; Heb. 1:13; 2:9-11; 10:12).

    The phrase “in Christ,” found throughout the New Testament epistles, is a technical term for the Church Age believer’s astounding, absolutely unprecedented union with Christ (John 14:20). In Christ each Church Age believer is positionally superior to all angels, including the chief fallen angel, Satan (Heb. 1:4, 13-14; 2:9-11). This fact of mystery doctrine signals the defeat of Satan, which is why Christ’s unexpected announcement of the Church, just prior to the cross, had such a powerful impact on the angels. Also, union with Christ gives equal position and privilege to every Church Age believer, eliminating any basis for prejudice, antagonism, or racial discrimination among Christians (James 1:9-10). Obtained at the moment of salvation, positional sanctification defines the nature of the Christian’s way of life after salvation as he walks “in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).