The Signs of the Times


September 3, 1896

That Christ May Abide in Your Hearts by Faith


“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” ST September 3, 1896, par. 1

This scripture sets forth the comforting fact that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith. For Christ to abide in our hearts means that we shall contemplate Christ, behold Christ, and ever cherish the dear Saviour as our best and most honored friend, one that we would not on any account grieve or offend. Thus cherishing Jesus, we shall have grace divine; “for by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” ST September 3, 1896, par. 2

The time will never come when the hellish shadow of Satan will not be cast athwart our pathway, to obstruct our faith, and eclipse the light emanating from the presence of Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness. But our faith must not stagger; it must cleave through the shadow. Our faith is not in feeling, but in truth. The inspired apostle speaks of our being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. The church of Christ is represented as being builded for “an habitation of God through the Spirit.” If we are rooted and grounded in love, we shall be “able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” O precious possibilities and encouragement! In the human heart cleansed from all moral impurity, dwells the precious Saviour, ennobling, sanctifying the whole nature, and making the man a temple for the Holy Spirit. ST September 3, 1896, par. 3

Christ therefore is a personal Saviour. We bear about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus, which is life and salvation and righteousness to us. Wherever we go, we bear the abiding presence of One so dear to us; for we abide in Christ by a living faith. He is abiding in our hearts by our individual, appropriating faith. We have the companionship of the divine Jesus, and as we realize his presence, our thoughts are brought into captivity to him. Our experience in divine things will be in proportion to the vividness of our sense of his companionship. Enoch walked with God in this way; and Christ dwells in our hearts by faith when we appreciate what he is to us, and what a work he has wrought out for us in the plan of redemption. Then we shall be most happy in cultivating a sense of this great Gift of God to our world, and to us personally. ST September 3, 1896, par. 4

Thoughts of this order have a controlling power on our character. O, that every Christian might realize that he has a divine Companion with him always! “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” As the mind dwells upon Christ, the character is moulded after the divine similitude. The thoughts are pervaded with a sense of his goodness, his love. We contemplate his character, and thus he is in all our thoughts. His love incloses us. If we gaze even for a moment upon the sun in its meridian glory, when we turn away our eyes, the image of the sun will appear in everything upon which we look. Thus it is when we behold Jesus; everything we look upon reflects his image, the Sun of Righteousness. We can not see anything else, or talk of anything else. His image is imprinted upon the eye of the soul, and affects every portion of our daily life, softening and subduing our whole nature. By beholding, we are conformed to the divine similitude, even to the likeness of Christ. To all with whom we associate, we reflect the bright and cheerful beams of his righteousness. We have become transformed in character; for heart, soul, mind, are irradiated by the light of Him who loved us, and gave Himself for us. Here again there is a realization of a personal, living influence dwelling in our hearts by faith. ST September 3, 1896, par. 5

When his words of instruction have been received, and have taken possession of us, Jesus is to us an abiding presence, controlling our thoughts and actions. We are imbued with the instruction of the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. A sense of human accountability and the value of human influence gives character to our views of life and of daily duties. Jesus Christ is everything to us,—the first, the last, the best in everything. Jesus Christ, his Spirit and character, colors everything; it is the warp and the woof, the very texture of our entire being. The words of Christ are spirit and life. We can not then center our thoughts upon self; it is no more we that live, but Christ that liveth in us, and he is the hope of glory. Self is dead, but Christ is a living Saviour. Continuing to look unto Jesus, we reflect his image to all around us. We can not stop to consider our disappointments, or even to talk of them; for a more pleasant picture attracts our sight,—the precious love of Jesus. He dwells in us by the word of truth. ST September 3, 1896, par. 6

What said Christ to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well? “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” The water to which Christ referred was the revelation of his grace in his word. His Spirit, his teaching, his love is as a satisfying fountain to every soul. Every other source to which men resort proves unsatisfying; but the word of truth is as cool streams, represented as the waters of Lebanon, which are always satisfying. In Christ is fulness of joy forevermore. The pleasures and amusements of the world are never satisfying, or healing to the soul. But Jesus says, “Whosoever eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life.” ST September 3, 1896, par. 7

Christ's gracious presence in his word ever speaks to the soul, representing him as the well of living water to refresh the thirsting. It is our privilege to have a living, abiding Saviour. He is the source of spiritual power in us, and his influence will flow forth in words and actions that will refresh all within the sphere of our influence, begetting in them desires and aspirations for strength and purity, for holiness and peace, for that joy which brings no sorrow with it. Such an experience will be the result of having Christ as an indwelling Saviour. ST September 3, 1896, par. 8

Jesus says, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” He walked once a man on earth, his divinity clothed with humanity, a suffering, tempted man, beset with Satan's devices. He was tempted in all points like as we are, and he knows how to succor those that are tempted. Now he is at the right hand of God, he is in heaven as our Advocate, making intercession for us. We must always take comfort and hope as we think of this. He is thinking of those who are subject to temptations in this world. He thinks of us individually, and knows our every necessity. When tempted, just say, He cares for me, he makes intercession for me, he loves me, he has died for me. I will give myself unreservedly to him. We grieve the heart of Christ when we go mourning over ourselves as tho we were our own saviour. No; we must commit the keeping of our souls to God as unto a faithful Creator. He ever lives to make intercession for the tried, tempted ones. Open your heart to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and let not one breath of doubt, one word of unbelief, escape your lips, lest you sow the seeds of doubt. There are rich blessings for us; let us grasp them by faith. I entreat you to have courage in the Lord. Divine strength is ours, and let us talk courage and strength and faith. Read the third chapter of Ephesians. Practice the instruction given. Bear a living testimony for God under all circumstances. ST September 3, 1896, par. 9