God empowers your faith so that Christ's power is at work in you.
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Read Ephesians 3:16-21
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 76
Q. What does it mean
to eat the crucified body of Christ
and to drink his poured-out blood?
A. It means
to accept with a believing heart
the entire suffering and death of Christ
and by believing
to receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
But it means more.
Through the Holy Spirit,
who lives both in Christ and in us,
we are united more and more
to Christ’s blessed body.
And so, although he is in heaven
and we are on earth,
we are flesh of his flesh
and bone of his bone.
And we forever live on
and are governed by one Spirit,
as members of our body are by one soul.
The first three chapters of Paul's letter to the Ephesians is one of the greatest summaries of Christian theology in the Bible. After expressing these glorious truths, Paul concludes with these beautiful verses that are part intercessory prayer (prayers given on behalf of others), part benediction (a Latin word that literally means 'good words,' which comprise a blessing), and part doxology (a Greek word that literally means 'words of glory,' directed to God).
Though an entire book could be written to unpack the awesome truths in this short passage, today we're going to focus on just two aspects.
First, notice that Paul prays that God would "strengthen you with power... so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith." Two things stand out here. First, you're not strong enough in your own power to host Christ in your life. You need God the Father to intervene and provide you the strength to make this possible, since as Paul goes on to mention, Christ's power will be at work within you.
Secondly, notice how it is that Christ dwells within you: He "dwells in your heart through faith." It's critical to get this order correct. Conventional wisdom says that if you display enough godly strength and power, Christ will come to dwell in you. But the opposite of that is true. Christ's power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9), because a weak person realizes how much they must trust another.
Regular participation in the Lord's Supper is key to both of these important concepts. In the past few weeks we've been reminded that the tiny portions of bread and wine nourish and strengthen your soul for eternal life. In other words, by eating at the Lord's Table, you are being strengthened by your Father through His Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your heart (v16-17a).
We've also seen that the sacraments are one of the ordinary means God uses to give you faith, which is the one thing you need in order for Christ to dwell in your heart.
So it quickly becomes clear that participation in the Lord's Supper is not just an optional 'extra' that you can take or leave. Rather, this simple exercise has been commanded to you to strengthen, equip and maintain Christ's presence in your heart.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: We kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and earth derives its name;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you live in such a way that demonstrates you've been filled to the measure of all the fullness of God;
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Luke 12