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Ephesians 3:17

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith - In this as well as in many other passages, and particularly that in Ephesians 2:21; (note), the apostle compares the body or Church of true believers to a temple, which, like that of Solomon, is built up to be a habitation of God through the Spirit. Here, as Solomon did at the dedication of the temple at Jerusalem, 2 Chronicles 6:1, etc., Paul, having considered the Church at Ephesus completely formed, as to every external thing, prays that God may come down and dwell in it. And as there could be no indwelling of God but by Christ, and no indwelling of Christ but by faith, he prays that they may have such faith in Christ, as shall keep them in constant possession of his love and presence. God, at the beginning, formed man to be his temple, and while in a state of purity he inhabited this temple; when the temple became defiled, God left it. In the order of his eternal mercy, Christ, the repairer of the breach, comes to purify the temple, that it may again become a fit habitation for the blessed God. This is what the apostle points out to the believing Ephesians, in praying that Christ κατοικησαι, might intensely and constantly dwell in their hearts by faith: for the man's heart, which is not God's house, must be a hold of every foul and unclean spirit; as Satan and his angels will endeavor to fill what God does not.

That ye, being rooted and grounded in love - Here is a double metaphor; one taken from agriculture, the other, from architecture. As trees, they are to be rooted in love - this is the soil in which their souls are to grow; into the infinite love of God their souls by faith are to strike their roots, and from this love derive all that nourishment which is essential for their full growth, till they have the mind in them that was in Jesus, or, as it is afterwards said, till they are filled with all the fullness of God. As a building, their foundation is to be laid in this love. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, etc. Here is the ground on which alone the soul, and all its hopes and expectations, can be safely founded. This is a foundation that cannot be shaken; and it is from this alone that the doctrine of redemption flows to man, and from this alone has the soul its form and comeliness. In this, as its proper soil, it grows. On this, as its only foundation, it rests.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith - see the notes, Ephesians 2:22. Expressions like this often occur in the Scriptures, where God is said to dwell in us, and we are said to be the temples of the Holy Spirit; see the John 14:23, note; 1 Corinthians 6:19, note.

That ye being rooted - Firmly established - as a tree is whose roots strike deep, and extend afar. The meaning is, that his love should be as firm in our hearts, as a tree is in the soil, whose roots strike deep into the earth.

And grounded - θεθεμελιωμένοι tethemeliōmenoi- “founded” - as a building is on a foundation. The word is taken from architecture, where a firm foundation is laid, and the meaning is, that he wished them to be as firm in the love of Christ, as a building is that rests on a solid basis.

In love - In love to the Redeemer - perhaps also in love to each other - and to all. Love was the great principle of the true religion, and the apostle wished that they might be fully settled in that.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The apostle seems to be more anxious lest the believers should be discouraged and faint upon his tribulations, than for what he himself had to bear. He asks for spiritual blessings, which are the best blessings. Strength from the Spirit of God in the inner man; strength in the soul; the strength of faith, to serve God, and to do our duty. If the law of Christ is written in our hearts, and the love of Christ is shed abroad there, then Christ dwells there. Where his Spirit dwells, there he dwells. We should desire that good affections may be fixed in us. And how desirable to have a fixed sense of the love of God in Christ to our souls! How powerfully the apostle speaks of the love of Christ! The breadth shows its extent to all nations and ranks; the length, that it continues from everlasting to everlasting; the depth, its saving those who are sunk into the depths of sin and misery; the height, its raising them up to heavenly happiness and glory. Those who receive grace for grace from Christ's fulness, may be said to be filled with the fulness of God. Should not this satisfy man? Must he needs fill himself with a thousand trifles, fancying thereby to complete his happiness?
Ellen G. White
Child Guidance, 66

From the rules that God has given for the guidance of parents and children, there can be no sinless swerving. God expects parents to give their children a training that is in accordance with the principles of His Word. Faith and works are to be combined. Everything that is done in the home life and in the school life must be done decently and in order.10 CG 66.1

To the Law and the Testimony—The work of education in the home, if it is to accomplish all that God designs it shall, demands that parents be diligent students of the Scriptures. They must be learners of the great Teacher. Day by day the law of love and kindness must be upon their lips. Their lives must reveal the grace and truth that was seen in the life of their Example. Then a sanctified love will bind the hearts of parents and children together, and the youth will grow up established in the faith and rooted and grounded in the love of God. CG 66.2

When the will and ways of God become the will and ways of Seventh-day Adventist parents, their children will grow up to love and honor and obey God. Satan will not be able to gain control of their minds, for they have been educated to regard the Word of the Lord as supreme, and they will test every experience that comes to them by the law and the testimony.11 CG 66.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 75

God calls for men and women of stability, of firm purpose, who can be relied upon in seasons of danger and trial, who are as firmly rooted and grounded in the truth as the eternal hills, who cannot be swayed to the right or to the left, but who move straight onward and are always found on the right side. There are some, who, in time of religious peril, may almost always be looked for in the ranks of the enemy; if they have any influence, it is on the wrong side. They do not feel under moral obligation to give all their strength to the truth they profess. Such will be rewarded according to their works. 4T 75.1

Those who do little for the Saviour in the salvation of souls and in keeping themselves right before God, will gain but little spiritual muscle. We need continually to use the strength we have that it may develop and increase. As disease is the result of the violation of natural laws, so is spiritual declension the result of a continued transgression of the law of God. And yet the very transgressors may profess to keep all of God's commandments. 4T 75.2

We must come nearer to God, place ourselves in closer connection with heaven, and carry out the principles of the law in the minutest actions of our everyday lives in order to be spiritually whole. God has given His servants ability, talents to be used for His glory, not to lie idle or be wasted. He has given them light and a knowledge of His will to be communicated to others, and in imparting to others we become living channels of light. If we do not exercise our spiritual strength we become feeble, as the limbs of the body become powerless when the invalid is compelled to remain long inactive. It is use that gives power. 4T 75.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, 355
Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 361

When the law of God is made void, the church will be sifted by fiery trials, and a larger proportion than we now anticipate will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Instead of being strengthened when brought into strait places, many prove that they are not living branches of the true Vine, they bear no fruit, and the husbandman taketh them away.—Letter 3, 1890. Ev 361.1

To Keep a Firm Hold on Bible Truth—The Christian is to be “rooted and grounded” in the truth, that he may stand firm against the temptations of the enemy. He must have a continual renewal of strength, and he must hold firmly to Bible truth. Fables of every kind will be brought in to seduce the believer from his allegiance to God, but he is to look up, believe in God, and stand firmly rooted and grounded in the truth. Ev 361.2

Keep a firm hold upon the Lord Jesus, and never let go. Have firm convictions as to what you believe. Let the truths of God's Word lead you to devote heart, mind, soul, and strength to the doing of His will. Lay hold resolutely upon a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” Let your only argument be, “It is written.” Thus we are to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. That faith has not lost any of its sacred, holy character, however objectionable its opposers may think it to be. Ev 361.3

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