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Eternity 30 - That Christ Might Dwell In Our Hearts

(Ephesians 3:17 NKJV) that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

(2 Corinthians 3:3 NKJV) clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.

(Colossians 2:2 NKJV) that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ,

According to the above verses the heart is where Christ dwells and where we are encouraged in the faith and where we grow in understanding of God.

The heart, simply put is not a physical organ but "the very centre of our being", its the inner part of the inner man. Its where our deepest decisions are made and where our truest self is formed.

The heart is a place of knowledge (Colossians 2;2, Cor 4:6), of thoughts and intents (Hebrews 4:12), of will (Acts 13:22), of compassion (Colossians 3:12), and where the Spirit of God dwells Romans 2;29, 5:5, 2 Corinthians 1:22) in the most private and holiest part of us.

It is the "holy of holies" of His temple - your body. It is the heart where Christ dwells, where the new person is formed, where the new creation is being renewed and where the Spirit instructs us in the things of God (1 Cor 2:9-16). The heart is much more than a place for romantic emotions, it is the furnace of the self, the central core from which our being is formed and forged.

The heart is referred to over 180 times in the New Testament, the NT is thus a movement of religion from the law and outward performance - to the Spirit and inward heart-directed faith.

In the NT the law is not written on tablets of stone "but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart." (2 Corinthians 3:3). Thus the Christian life is a "hearty" life - lived not by compulsion or by outward observance of external rules but from the heart.

Living from the heart means living completely and fully, without masks, pretense or inner compromise. It is the authentic life. We are to believe with our hearts (Romans 10:9), forgive with our hearts (Matthew 18:35) work with all our hearts (Ephesians 6:5,6) and give as we have purposed in our hearts (2 Corinthians 9:7).

This authentic hearty life that is centred in Christ is not a dead legalistic performance but a gracious living stream of spiritual life. Jesus says: (John 7:38 NKJV) "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."

The rivers of living water flow from the person who has Christ dwelling in their hearts through faith and who has given up religious pretense for a life of grace and rejoicing. The living waters flow when we decide that living from the heart is more important than pleasing people - even people in high religious positions.

The freedom of life lived from the heart requires us to leave behind the yoke of the Pharisees and to take on the humble, lowly, authentic and energetic life of Christ. (Matthew 11:29)

When Paul writes to the Ephesians he says: "(Ephesians 3:16-17 NASB) that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; {17} SO THAT (emphasis mine) Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; ...."

The "so that" points to the connection between a strong inner man and Christ dwelling in our hearts through faith. It seems we must nourish our inner life in Christ if we want the streams of living water to flow from us.

Christ in us is a powerful, life-transforming spiritual presence and it takes a) the ministry of the Holy Spirit and b)our faith - to fully activate Christ dwelling in our hearts.

Thus Christian spiritual growth is a living experience of Spirit to spirit ministry in our hearts, free from outward pretense, and activated by faith.


John Edmiston
Asian Internet Bible Institute


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