Our Conduct as Christian
Category : General
Ephesians 3: 17 (KJV)
17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” ― G.K. Chesterton
“We are the Bibles the world is reading; We are the creeds the world is needing; We are the sermons the world is heeding.” ― Billy Graham
Paul affirm that the persons who are endowed by God with spiritual vigor are those in whom Christ dwells. He points to that part in which Christ peculiarly dwells, in your hearts, — to show that it is not enough if the knowledge of Christ dwell on the tongue or flutter in the brain.
We have two expression to consider, “May dwell through faith” and “In your heart.” The first is the method by which so great a benefit is obtained is also expressed. What a remarkable commendation is here bestowed on faith, that, by means of it, the Son of God becomes our own, and “makes his abode with us!” (John 14:23.) By faith we not only acknowledge that Christ suffered and rose from the dead on our account, but accepting the offers which he makes of himself, we possess and enjoy him as our Savior. This deserves our careful attention. Most people consider fellowship with Christ, and believing in Christ, to be the same thing; but the fellowship which we have with Christ is the consequence of faith. In a word, faith is not a distant view, but a warm embrace, of Christ, by which he dwells in us, and we are filled with the Divine Spirit.
Christ dwelling in Christian hearts is one and the same thing as the Spirit’s dwelling in them. The first fruit of the Spirit is love (Gal.5:23); and here the great result of the “indwelling Christ” is that of the Christian’s being “rooted and grounded in love.” Again reference is made to the comment on this under Galatians 5:23. Significantly, in Ephesians 3:14-17 there are references to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and although the names seem to be used almost interchangeably, yet there is a preeminence pertaining to the Father, as well as distinct differences between the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The next important expression, “In your hearts”; is of great import. It is in the central region of our moral life, that region in which thought springs up, the region of affection and desire, the region in which purposes are formed, in which future actions have their birth; may Christ dwell there. The firm heart is figurative to denote the highest and purest part of man. It may be compared to a house divided into apartments. Christ must dwell in every room or division. He must dwell in our thought, affection, reason, understanding, judgment, conversation, action, whole life; He must dwell in motive, desire, purpose, will; must have more than the tongue, or to flit through the brain: the heart, the whole of man, He wants. And no transient stay, but constant residence.
Here is the sum and substance of Christianity: “That Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith.” It is the whole of Christianity; that is to say, it is the whole of it in the same way that an acorn is the whole of a tree. “That Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend, with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know”–what? The whole nature of God? The whole science of human government? The whole moral theory of the world? “and to know the love of Christ,” which passeth knowledge. That is, no intellectual can ever follow the out gush of experience, and reproduce it in the form of ideas. While the intellect may interpret the experience of the heart, it after all stands afar off from it, and never can partake of the experience itself. It passes knowledge. “And to know the love of Christ, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” This is the very supreme of philosophy. It touches the lines and foundation elements of Christianity. Christianity differs from all other religions, not in the fact that it commands a worship–for all do; not simply in the superior view which it gives of God; but by demanding a peculiar condition of heart toward Christ. Other religions demand reverence, and worship, and obedience, and uprightness–that is all. Christ is said to be “the end of the law.” In other words, that which the whole law means is comprised in Him. Christ in a man, that is the Christian religion. It is Christ dwelling by love in his heart–dwelling in his heart by faith.
“We must remember that the test of our religious principles lies not just in what we say, not only in our prayers, not even in living blameless lives – but in what we do for others” ― Harry S. Truman
Have a Great and God filled Day