Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith: what does this mean?

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love (Ephesians 3:17, KJV)

We know that Christ comes into our hearts at the time of salvation by faith in His finished work. Every Christian by definition, has Christ dwelling in their hearts. Why then will the Apostle Paul pray that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith? Have you ever wondered what this verse is talking about? 

The secret to unlocking the mystery of this verse lies in understanding what Paul calls “heart” here, which is the soul. The heart means the inner life of a person. It has two parts, the human spirit and the soul. What Paul calls heart here is the soul. When you believed the Gospel, Christ came into your heart, this time  your spirit. However, whatever is in your spirit cannot be experienced or expressed by YOU until it becomes a reality in your soul. If you have not fully understood the mystery of spirit and soul, please ensure you listen to the entire series I did on the human spirit. It is free. Just get the Word in!

Some scholars have suggested that the word Christ here means the Christlike character. Well, the context immediately tells us it is more than just character. Christ dwells somewhere by His Spirit, that is, the Holy Spirit. In fact, as I have taught before, the Christ in you is the Holy Spirit! Just as He has filled your spirit, He wants to fill your soul. Christ, with all His attributes and His very presence wants to fill or dwell in your soul. This is the meaning of the fullness of God filling you mentioned in verse 19 of same chapter. When Christ fills your soul, His presence, power, attributes become tangible in your life. Remember, the soul is the center of human experience and expression here on the earth. Christ’s power is in your spirit but you do not automatically experience or express it, right? But when that power fills your soul, it becomes naturally palpable! That is when you can speak and power is manifested. This is the reason Christ wants to fill your soul or dwell in your heart! He wants your very life to be a visible expression of His fullness. What a life! This is why you should renew your mind in the Word. 


Is Christ dwelling in every believer’s spirit? Is He dwelling in every believer’s soul? Do you see why believers are different? It is not because God wants it but because we yield ourselves to Him differently.


If Christ dwells in your heart(soul), it means His presence can be tangible in your life. That is when you can touch someone and power flows through your body. Imagine your life like this, being a carrier of God’s fullness, presence, power, love and wisdom to show to the world. I have good news for you. This is exactly what the Father wants for you. Renew your mind in the Word. Yield to the Spirit and glory will result!


Ask the Spirit to help you let Christ dwell in your heart and truly make your life His home.

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