Ephesians overview – 3:14-19, Our understanding of Christ makes a home for Him in our hearts.

Thursday July 23, 2020


For the last several classes we have been seeing in the word of God the value of obeying God in everything, losing our lives, denying ourselves daily and following Christ. God sets that life against the life of ungodliness throughout His word, in many different contexts; in historical narrative (Saul vs. David; Pharaoh vs. Moses), in poetry (Psa 1-2), in instruction (Eph 4-6), and in the wisdom literature of Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes.


When God sets the life of righteousness based upon faith and wisdom against the ungodly life based on human tradition, impulse, and sin, it is glaringly obvious that God’s life is the only life and is far superior. Then, as God mixes in with that plain contrast His promises of blessing to the righteous and judgment to the ungodly alongside the fact that the Son of God through love has alone earned the victory, sitting at the right hand of power, we not only understand the superiority of God’s life but are comforted with steadfast hope, and inner satisfaction and joy.


It is one of these rewards that we turn to next, which is a full understanding of the Person of Christ, which is concurrent with a deep, personal walk with Him through life.


A man will either accept God’s values or laws in His word, and move with them, or he will reject them and be run over by them. Nothing will stop them or eliminate them.


Isa 44:6-11

"Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel

And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:

'I am the first and I am the last,

And there is no God besides Me.

7 'And who is like Me?

Let him proclaim and declare it;

Yes, let him recount it to Me in order,

From the time that I established the ancient nation.

And let them declare to them the things that are coming

And the events that are going to take place.

8 'Do not tremble and do not be afraid;

Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it?

And you are My witnesses.

Is there any God besides Me,

Or is there any other Rock?

I know of none.'"


9 Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame. 10 Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit? 11 Behold, all his companions will be put to shame, for the craftsmen themselves are mere men. Let them all assemble themselves, let them stand up, let them tremble, let them together be put to shame.


The graven image is really no different from the humanly devised value. Both are constructed by man and both are worshipped by those who have rejected the absolute authority of God.


The point is that nothing is worthy of living by than the word of God. Everything else that calls itself truth or valuable is created by man, and by God’s judgment they are futile.


Therefore, we can spend our time senselessly, being foolish, walking as unwise men, or we can walk wisely and all the while discovering more and more of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Christ. The good walk is empowered by the Holy Spirit within, meaning also that the Spirit will fill you for this purpose, meaning that you lack nothing.


Christianity is the moral absolute from God who came into the world. We do not compromise the virtues or ethics of Christ. A moral absolute is an objective (not subjective) moral duty that is for all men and at all times. It is not progressive nor is it dependent on culture or race or gender.


Now we return to Paul’s prayer in Eph 3 and find what it means to have Christ dwell in your hearts through faith.


Eph 3:14-17

For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every [the whole] family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 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 Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;


“so that the Christ may dwell [katoikeo = to settle down in a dwelling; to make a home] in your hearts through faith” [in the doctrines concerning Him].


The Holy Spirit within will provide the strength and power when we choose to obey His will. It is in the spirit of complete dedication and devotion to God our Father as His children. As we do so, we continually discover the wonderful truths concerning the Person and work of Christ and those truths, which are really Him, find a home in our hearts.


Katoikeo is used significantly in Col 2:9 and 2Pe 3:13


2Pe 3:8-13

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.


Righteousness will dwell at home in the new heaven and earth. When Christ dwells at home in our hearts, our hearts will be like the new heavens.


This is the significant blessing in the Christian way of life.


Col 2:9-12

For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells [katoikeo; same as Eph 3:17] in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.


All the fulness of Deity dwells at home in the body of Christ.


The understanding of Christ dwelling in our heart is illustrated beautifully by Paul in Col 2.  


Don’t miss the words that Paul uses: “all the wealth,” “full assurance of understanding,” “true knowledge of God’s mystery,” “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”


Col 2:1-3

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].


If the life of the born-again believer is hid with Christ in the heavenlies and hid in Christ are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, then our lives are to be composed of all that particular wisdom and knowledge.


The Spirit’s ministry in you is to strengthen you in the endeavor of comprehending all that is Christ.


Col 2:4-5

I say this in order that no one may delude you with persuasive argument. 5 For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.


Good discipline [taxis] and stability [stereoma] are military terms. A life ordered unto God’s authority and steadfast faith are a phalanx or solid front line to the believer.



Jer 17:7-8

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord

And whose trust is the Lord.

8 "For he will be like a tree planted by the water,

That extends its roots by a stream

And will not fear when the heat comes;

But its leaves will be green,

And it will not be anxious in a year of drought

Nor cease to yield fruit.


Psa 1:3

And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,

Which yields its fruit in its season,

And its leaf does not wither;

And in whatever he does, he prospers.


The world is ordered [kosmos] for the delusion of man. Our phalanx, the locked shields of the front line, is our obedience to a life ordered by God’s will. If we compromise obedience to the plainly stated will of God from the scripture, then we open a weak point in our front line and the longer it remains weak the more Satan’s cosmos will exploit it to delude us with some falsehood.


It would be a great exercise to list all the rewards that may come with complete commitment to God’s authority. We have emphasized seeing and understanding the full knowledge of Christ, and here, protection from the world’s persuasive arguments of delusion.


Col 2:6-7

As you therefore [in the same manner] have received [the] Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.


“the Christ Jesus the Lord” – emphasis on His identity.


In the context of the passage [delusion with persuasive argument], as well as the words used in vs. 6, Paul is not talking about their receiving Christ at salvation, but receiving their instruction about Him.


“received” – paralambano = to take to one’s side. The context points to the true doctrines concerning the Person and work of Christ.


Take to your side, like button-holing someone, the true doctrines concerning Christ. All that is revealed of Him, take them to your heart, meditate on them, delight in them, and never stop trying to learn the complete depth of them. And then… in the same manner, so walk!


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