Ephesians 3:17a Christ At Home In Your Heart

by | Jun 5, 2023 | Ephesians, New Testament

Martin Lloyd Jones– We are here face to face with the highest heights of the Christian life and for what is possible for us as Christian people. It is therefore not an easy portion of scripture. But there is nothing which is more glorious. People who climb mountains tell us that the higher you get, the more difficult it is to climb; and yet, it becomes more & more exhilarating and wonderful. The same applies to the Scriptures. And here we are certainly on the very mountain top of Christian experience.

I. Who Paul Is Writing To

A. He Is Not Writing To Unbelievers
B. He Is Writing To Christians

1. 1:1; 1:7; 1:13; 1:15; 2:1; 2:8; 4:1
2. Paul wasn’t praying for their salvation or justification. They had that.
3. He prayed for a deeper dynamic of Christ in their lives. A deeper experience.
4. NOTE- This experience is for all Christians.

a. He is not writing to the super saints at Ephesus.
b. He does not write to church leaders, pastors, or “special Christians”.
c. He writes to all the saints at Ephesus.
d. The experience he writes is for all Christians, not just some.

II. What Paul Is Writing About

A. A Deeper Experience With Jesus V. 17a

1. The Ephesian Christians had Christ in their hearts by faith.
2. When a person commits their life to Christ, Christ enters into that person.
3. You cannot be a Christian without having Jesus in you.
4. They had the Holy Spirit in them. You cannot be a Christian without the Holy Spirit.

a. Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

5. Jesus was “in” these people, yet they were not experiencing Him deeply.

B. “Christ Dwelling In Your Hearts By Faith”

1. Dwell- oikeo: to dwell, to live, to reside.
2. Katoikeo: Has the prefix “kata”, which means “to settle down and be at home”.
3. It’s the difference between living somewhere and feeling at home living there.
4. There are two types of Christians in this sense:

a. One is saved, forgiven, justified, and believes right theology, but doesn’t have Jesus dwelling in their hearts by faith. Jesus isn’t “at home”.
b. The other Christian is saved, and Christ is “at home” in that person.

5. Revelation 3:14-22 Example of Christians where Christ isn’t “at home”.

a. This was a church that Jesus addressed.
b. Jesus asked to re-enter their lives and have fellowship with them.
c. Their carnality had pushed Jesus outside. He wasn’t “at home” with them.
d. These Christians were in a very weak spiritual condition, very immature.
e. They had salvation thru Jesus, but He was not at the center of their lives.
f. They were not greatly comforted, strengthened, influenced, or changed.
g. They knew Jesus, but in a deeper sense they did not know Him.
h. In the same way, Paul thanked God for the Ephesians salvation, but prayed for a deeper experience for them with Jesus.

C. Examples Of Jesus Being “At Home” In Someone

1. Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
2. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
3. Colossians 3:1, 2 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2Set your mind (affection) on things above, not on things on the earth.
4. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 18Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
5. Philippians 3:10, 11 “…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
6. John 14:23 “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”
7. The one in whom Christ dwells by faith is one who has Jesus at the center of their lives. Jesus influences the mind, the heart, the emotions, the will.
8. That person knows Jesus more intimately than simply in the realm of the mind. Their inner man is strengthened (see 3:16), touched, comforted, encouraged, corrected. Jesus is real in every area of life, and not just known in a distant way.
9. That person is not easily shaken; they have deeper faith for Jesus is more real.

D. “By Faith”

1. There is saving faith which believes in Christ as Savior and Redeemer

a. Such a person puts their faith in Jesus for salvation
b. They understand that they have sinned against God, and deserve judgment
c. They understand & believe in Jesus for His payment and pardon of sins
d. This person can be saved, and have Christ indwelling them, and yet not experience the fuller relationship of deep fellowship and interpersonal relationship with Jesus. They may be young in faith, lethargic, indifferent.

2. There is a faith that one can have who depends on Christ for salvation, but often chooses to walk in the flesh, yield to sin, and be double minded.

a. That one can live like a Laodicean Christian. In church, but without Jesus.
b. Lukewarm, self-sufficient, and not realizing their poor spiritual condition.
c. That person will not experience Jesus settling down at home in their heart.

3. There is a faith that says…

a. I want You to live in me. I know You do, but I want You to be in control.
b. I want You to strengthen me to do things that I cannot do.
c. I want to set my mind & affections on things above. Help me do that.
d. I want to remember that You dwell in me. I want to not sin w/my body.
e. I want to know You, and Your power, and have fellowship with You.
f. I want to love You, keep Your words, & have You make Your home in me.
g. Regardless of how I feel, I want to believe that You are in me by faith.
h. By faith, I want to come to know You deeper, and experience friendship and constant companionship with You, and be changed because of that.