Bible Study Outlines
Volume 3, Lesson 12
by C.I. Scofield
The Believer's Standing and State
A distinction of vast importance to the right understanding of the Scriptures, especially of the Epistles, is that which concerns the standing (position) of the believer, and his state (practice).
Standing is the result of the work of Christ, and is perfect and entire from the very moment that Christ is received in faith. Nothing adds in the smallest degree to the believer's title to God's favor, nor to his perfect security. Faith alone gives a believer his standing in God's sight, and before Him, the weakest, most ignorant, most infirm and fallible man on earth, if he be but a true believer on the Lord Jesus Christ, has precisely the same title as the most illustrious saint.
- What is the standing of the believer?
Every one of these marvelous things is true of every believer on the Lord Jesus Christ. Not one item in this glorious inventory is said to be gained by prayer or by diligence in service, or by church going, or by alms giving, or self-denial, or holiness in life, or by any other description of good works. All is the gift of God, through Christ, through faith, and therefore belongs equally to all believers. The very instant that the brutal jailer of Philippi believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, he became a child of God, a joint heir with Christ, a king and a priest, and the owner of an incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading inheritance.
- How believers receive their standing
State refers to the day-to-day walk of a believer. It is determined by daily choices regarding obedience or disobedience, as well as the manner of living of the believer. State often affects the believer's joy, peace, and contentment while on earth.
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- Colossians 3:8,9 - "Put off all anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communications"
- Philippians 2:12-15 - "Shine as lights in this world"
- Galatians 5:16 - "Walk in the Spirit"
- Colossians 3:12-25 - "Put on... kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another... let the peace of God rule in your hearts"
- Philippians 3:14 - "Press toward the mark"
- Philippians 2:12 - "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." The believer is not exhorted to work for his own salvation, but to work out, in service and testimony, what God works in him.
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