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Holy Sprit Part 8

 

The Holy Spirit Forming Christ Within Us

 

Let's look at Eph 3:14-19 Paul is writing here again with words that really show that the Spirit is here to form Christ within us.

 

 14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

 

Those are some beautiful verses. Paul speaks of 4 things in these verses.

 

1. Christ's dwelling in our hearts

2. We will be rooted and grounded in love

3. We will be made strong to comprehend and know the true size of Christ's love for us

4. We will be filled with all the fullness of God

 

I like all those things. I want all those things.

 

Let's take a close look at Christ dwelling in our hearts.

 

The word in the Greek that is translated as dwell is katoikeô—

"cot tow kay o" It means to house permanently, to reside forever, to permanently inhabit. It is the work of the Spirit to form Christ within us in such a way the He will be so engrained in our very being that there will be no way for Him to ever not be part of us. I think that is cool. Back about a hundred years ago when this Holy Spirit study began I showed you some of the names of the Spirit used in the bible. The one that applies here is the Spirit of Christ. That is found in Romans 8:9

 

9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

 

We know and accept gladly that Christ died on the cross for us but we sometimes seem to have a much harder time with the fact that the Holy Spirit is here to cause Christ to live again in us. This is the secret of a Christlike life. Letting the Holy Spirit lose in us to make us like Christ is a little bit scary. It was to me anyhow. Any of you feel that way? We hear all the time about doing whatever like Christ would do it WWJD and all that. But if we attempt to live like Christ using our own strength we are doomed to disappointment and failure. The more I study Christ, the more I understand that I can not be like Him in my own strength. I can not even come close and to think that I can be like Him or that you can be like Him without allowing the Spirit to do it for us is only fooling ourselves.

 

Let's look at John 2:6 

 

6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

 

God expects us to walk as Jesus walked. Another preaches easier that it lives deal. I am so glad that God does not expect us to imitate Christ in our own strength. He offers us something much better. He offers to form Christ in us by the Spirit's power. The catch is the same as it was in the satisfaction lesson, we have to be willing the let Him do it. Once we accept that fact and actually do it the rest is relatively simple. Christ can live though us without us having to struggle trying to be like Him on our own.

 

2. We will be rooted and grounded in love.

 

Rooted is like a tree that sends it's roots down deep in the ground and getting a firm hold of it. Grounded is like a huge building with it's foundation laid deep in the earth on the Rock. Paul is trying to tell us that the Spirit will send the roots of our life deep into love and the foundation of our character will be built on the rock of love. Love is what we need the most in our relationship with God. Love is what we need the most in our relationship with God, with Jesus and with one another.

 

1 Cor 13:13 says...

 

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

In Mark 12:28-29  Jesus told us that loving our God and loving our neighbor as ourself were the greatest commandments....

 

28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
29"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
32"Well said, teacher," the man replied. "You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
34When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

 

End of story. I love that. From then on no one dared to ask Him and more questions. It's love folks. Love is the key. There can be the most intimate relationship you can imagine formed inside you between you and Christ if you will only allow the Spirit to do it.

 

3. We will be made strong to comprehend and know the true size of Christ's love for us

 

18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge

 

It is not enough to just love; we must actually know the love of Christ. But the scripture says that love surpasses knowledge. It is a love so big, so broad, so big, so deep that no one can comprehend it. But the Spirit can show us how to grasp it. With the power of the Holy Spirit we can grab hold of it. We can make it our own. We can make it the object of our wonder and joy. It blows my mind to just sit and meditate on how much Christ loves us, on how big His love really is. The Spirit makes us strong enough to grasp Christ's love in all it's splendor and glory.

 

4. We will be filled with all the fullness of God

 

In the KJ the "b" part of Eph 3:19 says....

 

that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

 

The "b" part in NIV says....

 

that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

 

There is a huge difference in being filled with the fullness of God and being filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Think of it this way. Filling a cup with the fullness of the ocean is easy. You just dip the cup in and fill it up. One single dip will do it and the fullness of the ocean is filling the cup. Filling one cup with the measure of all the fullness of God would be impossible. The fullness of God simply won't fit in that space. Make sense? When I first read about this tit took me a while to get it too. Think about it. It is also a seemingly impossible task for the Holy Spirit to take all the fullness of God and put it inside of us but that is what Paul wrote when he penned these verses in Ephesians.

 

What does this all mean? It is the work of the Holy Spirit to apply to us what is already ours. It is His job to make all God has and all God is ours. It is His job to consume us with God. Filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. This work is not something that is done in a moment or a day or a week. It is a process. Day by day the Holy Spirit dips His cup into that fullness of God and then pours it into us. Little by little we become closer to what He wants us to be. Little by little we become closer to being like Him.

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