Through regeneration Christ has come into our spirit to be our life (Col. 1:27; 3:4). According to John 3:6, “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit,” and Romans 8:10 reveals that if Christ is in us, our spirit is life because of righteousness. On the one hand, it is a wonderful fact that Christ is in our spirit and that we are one spirit with the Lord (1 Tim 4:22; 1 Cor. 6:17); on the other hand, we need to realize that the Lord desires to spread from our spirit into our heart. For this reason, Ephesians 3:16-17 speaks concerning the Father strengthening us, the believers, into our inner man, which is also our regenerated spirit, so that Christ may make His home in our heart. This process of Christ making His home in our heart is His spreading and increase in us; it is also the growth of Christ as life in us.
The New Testament is full of the revelation concerning Christ as life growing in us. The parable of the sower in Matthew 13 portrays the word as a seed that is sown into our hearts so that it may grow. First Corinthians 3:6 speaks concerning God causing the growth of the believers. Then Ephesians 4:13 speaks concerning the believers arriving at a full-grown man, at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Furthermore, verses 15 and 16 show that by holding to truth in love, we the believers may grow up into Christ in all things and that all the Body grows unto the building up of itself in love.
These verses reveal that the Lord desires to grow in us and that this growth is His spreading into our heart. When we see in God’s word that Christ desires to spread into our heart, our response should be to pray for the growth of life, for Christ to grow by spreading from our spirit into our heart. May we allow Christ to spread in us by opening to Him through direct, personal contact with Him. Such an opening will give Him the opportunity to grow in us for the growth and building up of the Body of Christ.
(Most references in the Further Reading can also be viewed on www.ministrybooks.org.)