Standing and Standing Firm in Christ

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Written by Louis Roth

Key passages: 1 Corinthians 15:1–3 and Romans 5:1–5

I. The principles of standing and standing firm are critical for the Christian Way of Life.[1]

  1. Positionally, believers are “having stood ones” (Rom. 5:2; 1 Cor. 15:1)

  2. Experientially, believers must fight the good fight standing firm (1st Cor. 10:12; 16:13; Gal. 5:1; Eph. 6:11,13,14; Col. 4:12; 1st Thess. 3:8; 2nd Thess. 2:15)

  3. ltimately, all believers will stand for reward (Rom. 14:4; Jude 24).

  4. “Positional. This is a sanctification, holiness, and sainthood which comes to the believer by the operation of God through the offering of the body and shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who are saved have been redeemed and cleansed in His precious blood, forgiven all trespasses, made righteous through the new headship in Him, justified, and purified. They now are the sons of God. All of this indicates a distinct classification and separation, deep and eternal, achieved through the saving grace of Christ. It is based on facts of position which are true of every Christian. Hence, every believer is now said to be sanctified positionally, holy, and by so much a saint before God. This position bears no relationship to the believer’s daily experience more than that it should inspire him to holy living. His position in Christ is, to be sure, according to the Scriptures, the greatest possible incentive to holiness of life.”[2]

II. Salvation can entail widely different issues.

  1. Positionally, salvation references the believer’s conversion from spiritual death to eternal life (Rom. 1:16; 1st Cor. 1:21; 9:22; Eph. 1:13; 2:5, 8; 1st Tim. 1:15; Tit. 3:5).

  2. Experientially, salvation references deliverance from operational death to the abundant life (2nd Cor. 1:6; 7:10; Phil. 2:12; 1st Tim. 4:16; Heb. 7:25; Jas. 1:21; 5:20).

  3. Ultimately, salvation references our victorious homecoming to the Father (1st Cor. 3:15; 2nd Tim. 4:18; 1st Pet. 1:5).

  4. Rescue from temporal dangers (Mt. 8:25, 14:30, 27:40, 42, 49; Phil. 1:19).

III. Eph. 2:4–9 Example.

Besides being made alive, former unbelievers also have been raised … up with Christ. This speaks of their being positionally resurrected. Christ’s post-resurrection state was new, powerful, and unique. So to Christians, in whom Christ dwells, have a new, powerful, and unique life and position. This new life, power, and position demand that believers have a new set of values, as Paul stated in his companion letter to the Colossian believers: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your heart on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Col. 3:1–2).[3]


  1. Bob Bolender. (n.d.). Austin Bible Church Sermon Series: 1 Corinthians.

  2. Chafer, L. S. (1993). In Systematic theology (Vol. 7, pp. 279280). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

  3. Hoehner, H. W. (1985). Ephesians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 623). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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