The Indwelling of Christ

Originally published on The Bible Echo, October 1, 1893, pg. 499

Emphasis in caps added throughout.

THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF CHRIST IS THE RECEPTION OF HIM IN THE HEART. When He who is the power of God, is enthroned in man, the power is there also, but to be used only by his direction, and under his absolute control. God’s power cannot be had for any other purpose than to carry out the will of Him whose power it is. So if man has that power operate in him, it will be when his will has been yielded in subjection to the will of God, through the ABIDING PRESENCE OF CHRIST.

THE RECEPTION OF CHRIST is therefore the all-important point to be gained, rather than an ostentatious display of power. This accomplished, the desire for power will no longer be in mind. That will be left for God to manifest as He wills. The great question to settle first, is, “Am I the Lord’s?” If so, then He can take care of his own, by using his power in our behalf as He wills, even as He uses it through Christ in the plan of salvation as He wills. The great need, therefore, in every case, IS TO HAVE CHRIST ACTUALLY DWELLING WITHIN. THE PROCESS BY WHICH THIS IS DONE, IS STATED BY THE SAVIOUR HIMSELF: “If a man love Me, he will KEEP MY WORDS; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:23. Whoever accepts this promise just as it is given, and fulfils the conditions it enjoins, becomes the house—the dwelling-place—of GOD, AND CHRIST, AS HIS SON, is made head over the house, to control and guide its affairs at all times. Heb. 3:6. This requires the presentation of the body as a living sacrifice to God, that He may transform it into a holy habitation for Himself, wherein He may both will and do according to his good pleasure. Rom. 12:1, 2 ; Phil. 2:13.

HE WHO SUBMITS TO HAVE CHRIST COME IN TO RULE OVER HIS HEART AND MIND, accepts an infinite legacy. He has more than simply the name of belonging to Christ. Christ is his, in fact, with all he possesses. IS CHRIST THE SON OF GOD? HE WHO HAS CHRIST IS ALSO A SON. i John 3:2. IS CHRIST ONE WITH THE FATHER? John 10:30. SO IS HE WHO HAS THE INDWELLING CHRIST. John 17:23. GOD RECOGNIZES THE CALL, “Father,” FROM ALL AS SUCH, because in every case IT IS THE CRY OF HIS OWN BELOVED SON, WHO BY HIS SPIRIT CALLS from the heart of an adopted child. Gal. 4:6.

Every supplication of this kind is sure to meet a response from the throne of God. Had Christ, when on earth, demanded twelve legions of angels, they would have been forthcoming. Matt. 26:53. Will any request from Him now pass unheeded? Impossible. When A PETITION IS INDITED BY THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST DWELLING WITHIN A HUMAN HEART, that petition is sure to be answered. It cannot be otherwise; for the very purpose of giving THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST TO DWELL WITH MEN IS THAT IT MAY MAKE INTERCESSION FOR THEM, and so cause the prayers of their longing hearts to lodge in heaven.

It ought to be counted by all a boundless privilege to be permitted to give their bodies to God as his house—THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT—AND HAVE THEM THUS CONTROLLED BY THE SON OF GOD—JESUS CHRIST. This done, the Lord keeps his own house from all intruders, and so from all defilement. But as CONFIDENCE IN HIS WORD IS THE CONDITION upon which He condescends to make our bodies his house, so the holding fast that confidence is the assurance of his continued abode there. This condition must be met whether one walks in sunshine or shadow— whether he feels it or not. In this way, and this alone, one may hold the rejoicing of his hope firm unto the end.

CHRIST DWELLS IN THE HEART BY FAITH. Eph. 3:17. Hence WHEN FAITH GIVES WAY TO DOUBT, CHRIST IS THEREBY EXPELLED, the light of life is removed, and darkness reigns instead. In this condition fellowship with Christ cannot exist. To retain Christ by faith is to have complete fellowship with Him. i John i:5-7. Thus constant communion is enjoyed, and every petition from a longing heart meets a response in heaven. John 15:7. It is thus seen that the prayer of the petitioner is heard for the sake of Him who dwells within, dictating the request, and so power is bestowed, that Christ may use it in behalf of the house in which He dwells. The use of the name of Jesus in prayer is, therefore, AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT TO GOD THAT HIS SON IS RECOGNISED AS A DWELLER IN THE HEART, and that the blessings asked are expected for his sake alone who does dwell there. Then selfish requests will not be made, but everything asked will be for the GLORY OF THE HEAVENLY GUEST WITHIN. So, in granting what is asked, THE FATHER IS GLORIFIED IN CHRIST, rather than in the house in which He dwells. John 14:13.

But a mere desire or want expressed, does not meet the required condition, since that may be done without the exercise of the will. The use of the will implies action. God acted his will toward men by sending Jesus Christ as a sacrifice of his everlasting covenant in their behalf. Whoever receives benefit from that expressed will must also act his will in fulfilling the conditions it imposes on all. The first demand upon the will of man in this matter is thus stated by the Saviour: “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt 11:28. In responding to this invitation, the will of the individual must act in accordance with the will of God as expressed in the tender words of solicitude toward him. To simply want to come will not meet the case, since one may want a thing and never receive it. But when one says, “I will have it,” then every energy bends in that direction. Nothing will be too dear to give up in order that the will may be carried out. So when one wills to have just what God wills for him, he is justified in making everything yield to the carrying out of that will, because it is God’s will. This makes man a co-worker with God, and as long as he sustains that relation, nothing is impossible to him, from the fact that his will is in perfect accord with God’s will. In this case self knows no desire aside from those expressed by God. Self is reckoned dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Consequently every member of the body, instead of being controlled by sin, is yielded to God as his instrument of righteousness. Rom. 6:11-13. Then God works in the individual both to will and to do of his good pleasure, which is always right. Phil. 2:13.


Here’s an endorsement by Ellen White about brother Corliss:

”Not long ago I took up a copy of the Bible Echo . As I looked it through, I saw an article by Elder Haskell and one by Elder Corliss. As I laid the paper down, I said, These articles must be reproduced. There is truth and power in them. Men spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” RH May 25, 1905, par. 21 – 22

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