By Richard Moore
I was fellowshipping with a brother one day on the subject of grace. This fellow did not know the message of Christ in us. He brought up the term “divine influence upon the heart,” which I recognized as a definition from Strong’s. Later that day, as I thought about our conversation, the Holy Spirit led me in some very clear thoughts concerning grace, the Strong’s definition, and this message of Christ in us. I would like to share them.
Grace obviously has many facets. Ultimately, it is the saving work of Christ, which is all of Him (John 19:30) — his death and resurrection (for us and as us). But we are looking specifically at grace as His divine enabling in our lives. Grace is a perfect system (from start to finish) but how does it all work?
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” (Eph. 3:17). Contrary to much popular teaching we’ve been exposed to, we do not get a new heart at salvation. We get a new spirit (Christ). This spirit has to enter our heart. This comes through relationship—yielding to, learning, obeying, loving God (1 Peter 1:22; Rom. 5:5). Scripturally, this is called the revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal. 4:6), and men would do themselves a great service if they understood the gospel in this way. The heart is the seat of affection and desire. When Christ is dwelling in the heart (through unreserved trust), He produces the transformed desires where we only want to do what pleases God. This is the spirit of Christ reigning in man as his very own spirit; the two have become one (1 Cor. 6:17) as the liberation of the human being (Eph. 3:17–19).
So, back to my conversation with my brother. “Divine influence upon the heart?” You bet. But grace is simply and finally Christ in you; God’s gift in whom all fullness dwells and in whom we are complete (John 1:16; Col. 2:9-10). It is a person we received in His fullness the moment we believed (Col. 2:6). That’s grace! Sad to say, most people are ignorant of this because the Holy Spirit has not had the liberty to reveal Christ within them. Most people think the Holy Spirit is Christ, but this is not so. This is why the true grace of God remains hidden to most believers. Be that as it may, the culmination of God’s grace is Christ dwelling in the heart — which is a human who is free to do what he wants (astounding!). Oh, how far religion and humanity are from understanding the true grace of God and the greatness of our Father. These are the sacred truths of grace —which is God changing who we are based upon his kindness towards us (Gal. 2:20; 2 Cor. 5:17), in spite of ourselves. To God ever be the glory.
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