EPH 3:14-19: The indwelling of the Holy Spirit and Christ.
I have been crucified with Christ; and 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 delivered Himself up for me.
Make yourself the subject of that sentence and read it again.
Last time we saw in the Lord’s prayer in Joh 17:
The Lord Jesus, the Spirit, the Father, and the love of the Father to the Son are all in the believer. The potential of spiritual power is enormous.
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ's afflictions. 25 Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29 And for this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf, and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love [the great defense against false teaching], and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge [in 3:3, your life is hidden with Christ in God].
"The force of this passage then is this: all, and not merely some of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are contained in Christ; therefore the search for them outside of Him is doomed to failure. But not only are they in Christ, but they are contained in a hidden way. Therefore they do not lie on the surface, but must be sought for earnestly, as men seek for hidden treasure. They are not matters of external observances, such as the false teachers enjoined, but to be apprehended by deep and serious meditation." [Expositors]
Paul’s prayer in EPH 3:16-19
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 [the] Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge.
Why would we need strength to discover “the Christ” in our hearts?
We need to study the scripture and we need to live the life that it teaches us. We need to endure the test of every truth, which God will test by bringing circumstances in our lives as He chooses - then we will comprehend Christ, all of this demands strength.
Every promise will be tested and we must endure, not being disqualified (1CO 9:27 I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.). Through all of this, from study to testing, will we come to know Christ; and all of it requires strength. Such strength can only come through the Holy Spirit within. No formula or ritual is given to us in the scripture for turning on this power. The promises given are that the Spirit is in every believer, that the believer has been made the type of man, a new man, who walks in the Spirit, and that if we set our minds to be and do that which the Father wills, the Spirit will supply the power to succeed.
The breadth and length and height and depth in Paul’s prayer would refer to all the hidden treasures in Christ.
attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge
If we choose to be strengthened with power by the Holy Spirit within us, by obeying God’s word and devoting every aspect of our lives to God’s way, then the promise is that we will comprehend all these treasures. It’s not continual sinlessness. It’s devotion from a son or daughter to their holy Father.
Jesus told us to be perfect as our Father is perfect. This wasn’t gas. He meant it. But none of us can be perfect continually. What He meant is that He would not help us in any other endeavor. We must give our whole selves to Him. After all, 1CO 6:19-20
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Half measures, trying to keep our personal desires as our foundation and giving to God some part of our self, i.e. trying to be good and chaste and charitable while hoping in the end to get back to our self-life is keeping our lives while hoping to gain Christ’s life as well, and is a path on which one will not have the strength of the Holy Spirit. However, the Spirit will never turn His back on us, and will always lead us, but in that case just stated; He will be leading you to get off that path by opening the eyes of your heart to the necessity of full devotion of our entire selves to God. We will still make mistakes, still sin at times, but we will not abandon our commitment to perfection. Jesus told us to lose our lives and pick up our cross, which is death to the old life, the self life. I would think that God would be delighted with the first feeble unsteady steps of the believer who has concluded he must devote his entire life to God. This will eventually lead to a strong and confident adult stride. What so many are trying to do, give God some of their life while keeping some for their own desires, are attempting something much harder, for it is in fact impossible.