“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith…” (Eph. 3:17a).
The above Scripture is an excerpt from Paul’s prayer showing how he prayed for power and spiritual maturity for Christians. What has perplexed many thinking students of God’s Word is why he would request that “Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” when the Bible plainly teaches that all believers have already been indwelt by Christ. Paul exclaimed, “Christ liveth in me” and concluded, “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Gal. 2:20; Rom. 8:9).
Indeed Scripture instructs us that we are indwelt by all three members of the Trinity. (See I Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Ephesians 4:6; 2:21,22). This is true of the saints individually as well as the church body corporately. That the context addresses believers only is proven by the fact that this epistle is addressed to “the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 1:1). Also the previous verse in the context beseeches the Father to strengthen them “with might by His Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16). This is not the regeneration of the sinner, but the empowerment of the saint.
This article was published by the Berean Bible Society in the free monthly Bible study magazine,The Berean Searchlight. We have included a few paragraphs of the article here, but you can read the entire article using the link above.