17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Verse 17 is a corollary to verse 16. We need the Spirit of God to empower us to get out of spiritual lethargy and we need to let Christ live at home in our hearts. We need His personal presence in our lives.
“That” is infinitive of purpose—so that. Some manuscripts have a word for purpose (hina) here. The Spirit of God strengthens us so that Christ might do something in us.
Christ may dwell in your hearts
“Dwell” comes from two Greek words meaning down and to inhabit a house. Combining the two words gives the idea of to settle down at home. The indication of “dwell” then means to be at home in. It is the idea of staying permanently somewhere.
The dwelling here is experiential dwelling rather than positional. Christ indwelling our hearts means He is “at home” there. This is not a salvation truth but a sanctification doctrine. Christ can dwell in the deeply rooted areas of the believer’s life. He can live comfortably in our lives if we yield to our privileges and ministry of the Spirit on a regular basis.
We can have the experiential dwelling of Christ in our hearts by faith. Faith is what makes Christ’s dwelling in us experientially acceptable to God. We languish in our spiritual lives because our faith has shriveled. We need to fully reengage our faith again. Ongoing faith allows us to have constant dependence on Him
The purpose of Christ indwelling our innermost being is that we will be rooted and grounded in Christ’s love and filled with God’s fullness (v. 19).
being rooted and grounded in love,
If Christians allow their faith to rekindle over a period of time, then they will be “rooted and grounded in love.” It is one thing to love, but it is another thing to have mature love.
The grammar is important here. The Greek indicates that the believer is already rooted and grounded in love—“having been rooted and grounded” (perfect tense).
Paul mixed his metaphors here. This phrase contains two metaphors: biology and archeology. The Christian is rooted like tall tree and established like a towering building. The idea is that the edification construct of the believer is established by love. This is the result of being strengthened by the Holy Spirit.
Christ will take up a home of fellowship in our hearts when He becomes dominant in our lives.
Our Christians lives are governed and rooted by the love we find in Christ. We need a foundation to our spiritual life. It is not enough to have an anemic love, a love that will blow away with the winds of difficulties.
It is important that Christ become dominant in our lives. When we allow this, all our attitudes and behavior center on our Lord.
There is a difference between the indwelling of the Spirit and the indwelling of Christ. One is positional, and the other is application of the principle—or experiential. This is when God takes up a residence of fellowship in our hearts. We welcome His presence “by faith.” When we do this in a progressive manner, we become “rooted and grounded” or mature in Christ.
Have you lost heart for fellowship with God or serving Him? Then you need two things:
The Spirit of God to strengthen you in the inner man.
For you to allow Christ to live at home in your spirit.