January 21, 2016

Christ Living in Our Hearts

Ephesians 3:14-21

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

—  Ephesians 3:16-17

Some people say Billy Graham oversimplified the gospel into a formula that doesn’t do justice to the message of the Bible. I’m of the opposite opinion.

The message of repentance, believing that Jesus bore the punishment for our sin, the necessity of a clear-cut decision to accept Christ, and being born again by the Holy Spirit, is a brilliant summary of the message of salvation, and it is total­ly true to the Bible. It made the Bible understandable to me, whereas earlier I couldn’t grasp its central idea. Reading Billy Graham’s Peace with God became the turning point of my life. Certainly there are biblical themes he doesn’t touch on, but salvation was, for me, the key that opened the lock.

Salvation has been called “the scarlet thread,” a theme in the tapestry of the Bible that runs from beginning to end. “Being saved” isn’t an odd idea left over from the days of backwoods revival meetings. “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith,” says Paul in Ephesians 2:8.

People the world over have built temples for their gods. But, as Paul said to the people of Athens, “The Lord of heaven and earth . . . does not live in temples built by human hands” (Acts 17:24). Christ comes to dwell in our hearts through faith, and we are saved, born again to a new life.

We give overflowing thanks to you, O God, that we may know you because Christ saved us and dwells in our hearts. In his name, Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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