Andrew Murray.

The Spirit of Christ : thoughts on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer and the church online

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ment in love. As the answer comes, the S2:)irit will
first reveal to us the Love of God, the Love of the
Father to Christ as His Love to us, the Love of Christ
to us, the same with which the Father loved Him.
Through the same Spirit this love then rises and
returns to its Source, as our love to God and Christ.
And because that Spirit has revealed that same love
to all God's children around us, our experience of it
as coming from God, or returning up to God, is ever
one with love to the brethren. Just as the water
descending in rain, and flowing out as fountains or
streams, and rising up to heaven again as vapour,
is all one, so the Love of God in its threefold form ;
His Love to us, our love to Him, and the love to
each other as brethren. The Love of God is within
thee by the Holy Spirit: believe it, and rejoice in
it ; yield thyself to it as a Divine fire consuming
the sacrifice and lifting it heavenward : exercise and
practise it in intercourse with every one on earth.
Then thou shalt understand and prove that the
Spirit of God is the Love of God.

Blessed Lord Jesus ! in holy reverence I bow


before Thee as Love Tncarnate. Tlie Father's love
gave Thee. Tliy coming was a mission of Love.
Thy whole life was Love ; Thy death its Divine seal.
The one commandment Thou gavest Thy disciples
was Love. Thy one prayer before the throne is
that Thy disciples may be one, as Thou with the
Father, and that His Love may be in them. The
one chief trait of Thy likeness Thou longest to see
in us is, that we love even as Thou lovest. The
one irresistible proof to the world of Thy Divine
mission will be the love of Thy disciples to each
other. And the Spirit that comes from Thee to us
is the very Spirit of Thy self-sacrificing love, teach-
ing Thy saints to live and die for others, as Thou

Holy Lord Jesus ! look upon Thy Church, look
upon our hearts. And wherever Thou seest that
there is not love like Thine, oh, make haste and
deliver Thy saints from all that is still selfish and
unloving ! Teach them to yield that self, wliich
cannot love, to the accursed cross, to await the fate
it deserves. Teach us to believe that we can love,
because the Holy Spirit hath been given us. Teach
us to begin to love and serve, to sacrifice self and
live for others, that love in action may learn its
power, may be increased and perfected. Oh, teach
us to believe that because Thou livest in us, Thy
love is in us too, and we can love as Thou dost.
Lord Jesus, Thou Love of God ! Thine own Spirit
is within us ; oh, let Him break through, and fill
our whole life with love ! Amen,


1. 'The way whereby the Spirit workeih any grace in the believer is b§
stirring them up to act it. The Spirit of God doth not effectually work love,
or give strength to love, until we act it ; because all inward graces are dis-
cerned by their acts, as seed in the ground by its springing. We cannot
see or feel any such thing as love to God or man in our hearts before we
act it. We know not our spiritual strength, except as we use and exercise

2. 'The love of God,' the fount whence flows love to men, 'hath been shed
abroad in our hearts through the Holy Ghost \which was given unto us.'
1 he love Is there, but we may remain ignorant of it, unless we begin in the
faith that we have the power to obey the command, and to love God and
man with our whole heart. Faith and obedience ever precede the conscious
enjoyment and experience of the Spirit's power. As God is Love to you, be
you Love to all around. '/ beseech you, by the Love of the Spirit.'

3. Let us now seek to keep the two sides of the truth in harmony. On
the one hand, wait much In God's Holy Presence for the quickening of your
faith and consciousness that the Love-shedding Holy Spirit doth dwell in
you, doth fill you. On the other, give yourself, apart from what you feel, to a
whole-hearted obedience to the command of Love, and act out In your life
the gentleness and forbearance, the kindliness and helpfulness, the self-
sacrifice and beneficence of Christ Jesus. Live in the Love of Jesus, and
you will be a messenger of His Love to every disciple of His you meet, to
every one who doth not yet know Him. The more intimate your comma-
.lion with Jesus and the life of heaven is through the Holy Spirit, the
more accurate will your translation of that life be into the intercourse of
daily life.

4. 'No man hath beheld God at any time ! If we love one another, God
abldeth in us!' The compensation for not beholding God is this: we have
one another to love ! If we do this, God abldeth in us ! We have not to
ask if our brother be worthy : God's love to us and to him is love to the
unworthy. It is with this love, the Divine love, the Holy Spirit fills us,
teaching us to love the brethren with it.


Thirtieth Day.

E\}t Sanitg of t\}t Spirit.

'That ye walk with all lowliness and meekness, with long-
suffering, forbearing one another in love; giving diligence to
keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is
one body, and one Spirit.'' — Eph. iv. 1-4.

* Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. . . ,
All these worketh one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one
severally even as He will. For in one Spirit were we all bap-
tized into one body ; and were all made to drink of one Spirit,*
— 1 Coil. xii. 4, 11, 13.

¥E know how, in the first three chapters of the
Ephesians, Paul had set forth the glory of
Christ Jesus as the Head of the Church, and the
glory of God's grace in the Church as the Body of
Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, growing up
into an habitation of God through the Spirit, and
destined to be filled with all the fulness of God.
Having thus lifted the believer to his true place in
the heavenlies, with his life hid in Christ, he comes
with him down to his life in the earthlies, and, in
the second half of the Epistle, teaches how he is to
walk worthy of his calling. And the very first lesson


he has to give in regard to this hfe and walk on
earth (Eph. iv. 1-4) rests on the foundation-truth
that the Holy Spirit has united him not only to
Christ in heaven, but to Christ's body on earth. The
Spirit dwells not only in Christ in heaven and in
the believer on earth, but very specially in Christ's
body, with all its members ; and the full, healthy
action of the Spirit can only be found where the
right relation exists between the individual and the
whole body, as far as he knows or comes into contact
with it. His first care in his holy walk must be,
therefore, to give diligence that the unity of the
Spirit be maintained intact. Were this unity of
the one Spirit and one body fully acknowledged, the
cardinal virtue of the Christian life would be lowli-
ness and meekness (vers. 2, 3), in which each would
forget and give up self for others ; and all would
forbear one another in love amid all differences and
shortcomings. So the new commandment would
be kept, and the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of
Love sacrificing itself wholly for others, would
have free scope to do His blessed work.

The need of such teaching the first Epistle to
the Corinthians remarkably illustrates. In that
Church there were abundant operations of the
workings of the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the
Spirit were strikingly manifested, but the graces of
the Spirit were remarkably absent. They under-
stood not how there are diversities of gifts, but the
game Spirit ; how, amid all difference, one and the
same Spirit divides to each severally as He will ;


how all had been baptized in one Spirit into one
body, and all made to drink of one Spirit. They
knew not the more excellent way, and that the
chief of all the gifts of the Spirit is the Love that
seeketh not its own, and only finds its life and
its happiness in others.

To each believer who would fully yield himself
to the leading of the Spirit, as well as to the
Church as a whole, in its longings for the ex-
perience in power of all that the indwelling of the
Spirit implies, the unity of the Spirit is a truth
fraught with rich spiritual blessing. In previous
writings I have more than once made use of the
expression of Pastor Stockmaier : ' Have a deep
reverence for the work of the Holy Spirit within
thee.' That injunction needs as its complement a
second one : Have a deep reverence for the work
of the Holy Spirit in thy brother. This is no easy
thing : even Christians, in other respects advanced,
often fail here. The cause is not difficult to dis-
cover. In our books on education we are taught
that the faculty of Discrimination, the observing of
differences, is one of the earliest to be developed in
children. The power of Combination, or the ob-
serving of the harmony that exists amid apparent
diversity, is a higher one, and comes later ; as the
power of Classification, in its highest action, it is
only found in true genius. The lesson finds most
striking exemplification in the Christian life and
Church. It needs but little grace to know where
we differ from other Christians or churches, to


contend for our views, or to judge their errors in
doctrine or conduct. But this indeed is grace,
where, amid conduct that tries or grieves us, or
teaching that appears to us unscriptural or hurtful,
we always give the unity of the Spirit the first
place, and have faith in the power of love to main-
tain the living union amid outward separation.

Keep the unity of the Spirit : such is God's
command to every believer. It is the New Com-
mandment, to love one another, in a new shape,
tracing the love to the Spirit in which it has its
life. If you would obey the command, note care-
fully that it is the unity of the Spirit. There is a
unity of creed or custom, of church or choice, in
which the bond is more of the flesh than of the
Spirit. Would you keep the unity of the Spirit,
remember the following things.

Seek to know that in thyself in which the unity is
to find its power of attachment and of victory. There
is much in thee that is of self and of the flesh, and
that can take part in a unity that is of this earth,
but that will greatly hinder the unity of the Spirit.
Confess that it is in no power or love of thine own
that thou canst love ; all that is of thyself is selfish,
and reaches not to the true unity of the Spirit. Be
very humble in the thought that it is only what is
of God in thee that can ever unite with what ap-
pears displeasing to thyself. Be very joyful in the
thought that there is indeed that in thee which can
conquer self, and love even what seems unloving.

Study also to know and prize highly that in thy


brother with which thou art to be united. As in
thyself, so there is in him, but a little beginning,
a hidden seed of the Divine life, surrounded by
much that is yet carnal, and often is very trying
and displeasing. It needs a heart very humble in
the knowledge of how unworthy thou thyself art,
and very loving in the readiness to excuse thy
brother, — for so did Jesus in the last night : ' the
spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is w^eak,' —
to look persistently at what there is in the brother
of the image and Spirit of the Father. Estimate
him not by what he is in himself, but by what he
is in Christ, and as thou feelest how the same life
and Spirit, which thou owest to free grace, is in
him too, the unity of the Spirit will triumph over
the difference and dislike of the flesh. The Spirit
in thee, acknowledging and meeting the Spirit in
thy brother, will bind thee in the unity of a life
that is from above.

Keep this unity of the Spirit in the active
exercise of fellowship. The bond between the
members of my body is most living and real,
maintained by the circulation of the blood and
the life it carries. 'In one Spirit we were all
baptized into one body.' ' There is one body and
one Spirit.' The inner union of life must find
expression and be strengthened in the manifested
communion of love. Cultivate intercourse not only
with those who are of one way of thinking and
worshipping with thyself, lest the unity be more
in the flesh than the Spirit. Study in all thy


thoughts and judgments of other believers to
exercise the love that thinketh no evil. Never say
an unkind word of a child of God, as little as of
others. Love every believer, not for the sake of
what in him is in sympathy with thee or pleasing
to thee, but for the sake of the Spirit of the Father
which there is in him. Give thyself expressly and
of set purpose to love and labour for God's children
within thy reach, who through ignorance, or feeble-
ness, or waywardness, know not that they have the
Spirit, or are grieving Him. The work of the Spirit
is to build up an habitation for God ; yield thyself
to the Spirit in thee to do the work. Eecognise
thy dependence upon the fellowship of the Spirit
in thy brother, and his dependence upon thee, and
seek thy growth and his in the unity of love.

Take thy part in the united intercession that rises
up to God for the unity of His Church. Take up
and continue the intercession of the Great High
Priest for all who believe, ' that they may be one.*
The Church is one in the life of Christ and the
love of the Spirit. It is, alas ! not one in the
manifested unity of the Spirit. Hence the need of
the command : Keep the unity. Plead with God
for the mighty workings of His Spirit in all lands
and churches and circles of believers. When the
tide is low, each little pool along the shore with its
inhabitants is separated from the other by a rocky
barrier. As the tide rises, the barriers are flooded
over, and all meet in one great ocean. So it will
be with the Church of Christ. As the Spirit of


God comes, according to the promise, as floods upon
the dry ground, each will know the power in him-
self and in others, and self disappear as the Spirit
is known and honoured.

And how is this wondrous change to be brought
about, and the time hastened that the prayer be
i'alfilled, ' that they all may be one, that the world
may know that Thou hast sent me, and hast loved
them as Thou hast loved me ' ? Let each of us
begin with himself. Eesolve even now, beloved
child of God, that this shall be the one mark of
your life, the proof of your sonship, the having and
knowing the Indwelling Spirit. If you are to
unite, not with what pleases you, or is in har-
mony with your way of thinking and acting, but
with what the Spirit in you sees and seeks in
others, you must have given yourself entirely up
to His way of thinking and acting. And if you
are to do this. He must have the mastery of your
whole being. You need to abide in the living and
never-ceasing consciousness that He dwelleth within
you. You need to pray unceasingly that the Father
may grant you, according to the riches of His glory,
to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the
inner man. It is in the faith of the Triune God
the Father giving the Spirit in the name of the Son,
and the Spirit dwelling within you ; it is in this
faith brought into adoring exercise at the footstool
of God's throne ; it is in direct contact and fellowship
with the Father and the Son, that the Spirit will taker
full possession, and pervade your entire being. The


fuller His indwelling and the migliticr His working
is, the more truly spiritual your being becomes,
the more will self sink away, and the Spirit of
Christ use you in building up and binding
together believers into an habitation of God.
Christ's Spirit will be in you the holy anointing,
the oil of consecration, to set you apart and fit you
to be, as Christ was, a messenger of the Fatlier's
love. In the humility and gentleness of daily life,
in the kindliness and forbearance of love amid all
the differences and difficulties in the Church, in the
warm-hearted sympathy and self-sacrifice that goes
out to find and help all who need help, the Spirit
in you will prove that He belongs to all the members
of the body as much as to you, and that through you
His love reaches out to all around to teach and to bless.

Blessed Lord Jesus ! in Thy last night on earth
Thy one prayer for Thy disciples was, ' Holy Father,
keep them, that they may be one.' Thy one
desire was to see them a united flock, all gathered
and kept together in the One Almighty Hand of
Love. Lord Jesus ! now Thou art on the Throne,
we come to Thee with the same plea : Oh, keep us,
that we may be one ! pray for us. Thou Great High
Priest, that we may be made perfect in one, that
the world may know that the Father hath loved us,
as He loved Thee.

Blessed Lord ! we thank Thee for the tokens
that Thou art wakening in Thy Church the desire
for the manifestation to the world of the unity of


Thy people. Grant, we pray Thee, to this end the
mighty workings of Tliy Holy Spirit. May every
believer know the Spirit that is in him, and that is
in his brother, and in all lowliness and love keep
the unity of the Spirit with those with whom he
comes into contact. May all the leaders and
guides of Thy Church be enlightened from above,
that the unity of the Spirit may be more to them
than all human bonds of union in creed or church
order. May all who have put on the Lord Jesus
above all things put on love, the bond of perfectness.
Lord Jesus ! we do beseech Thee, draw Thy
people in united prayer to the footstool of Thy
Throne of Glory, whence Thou givest Thy Spirit to
reveal Thy presence to each as present in all. Oh,
fill us with Thy Spirit, and we shall be one ! one
Spirit and one Body. Amen.

7. The health of every member, and even every particle, of my body depends
upon the health of the surrounding portion. Either the healing power of
the sound part must expel what is unhealthy, or this will communicate its
disease. I am more dependent upon my brother than I know. He is more
dependent on me than I bnow. The Spirit I have is the Spirit of Christ
dwelling in my brother too : all I receive is meant for him too. To keep
the unity of the Spirit in active exercise, to live in loving fellowship with
believers around me, is life in the Spirit.

2. ' " That they may be made perfect in one." They approach perfection as
they approach unity. Perfection is impossible in a state of separation.
My life is not wholly given to me, but a part of it is given to my brother,
to be available to me when I abide in him.' — Bowen.

3. It has taken thee time and prayer and faith to know the Spirit of
God within thee; it will take time and prayer and faith, and much love,
to know fully the Spirit of God in thy brother.

4. ' It is only in the unity of the body that the Spirit of God can fully
and mightily display His power, either in the Church or to the world. God
speaks to companies of men as He never speaks to solitary watchers or
students ; there is a fuller tone, an intenser fervour, in Pentecostal revela-
tions than in personal communion, and, as we ourselves know, there is a
keener joy in sympathy than can be realized even in the devoutest solitude.'
— • The Paraclete,' p. 262.


Thirty-first Day.


JFilleti faitfj tl)e Spirit

•Be filled with the Spirit^ speaking to one another.* —
Eph. v. 18.

THESE words are a command. They enjoin
- upon us, not what the state of apostles or
ministers ought to be, but what should be the
ordinary consistent experience of every true-hearted
believer. It is the privilege every child of God
may claim from his Father, to be filled with the
Spirit. Nothing less will enable him to live the
life he has been redeemed for, abiding in Christ,
keeping His commandments, and bearing much
fruit. And yet, how little this command has been
counted among those which all ought to keep !
How little it has been thought possible or reason-
able that all should be expected to keep it !

One reason of this is undoubtedly that the words
have been wrongly understood. Because with the
day of Pentecost, and on more th'an one subsequent
occasion, the being filled with the Spirit was


accompanied with the manifest enthusiasm of a
supernatural joy and power, such a state has been
looked on as one of excitement and strain, quite
inconsistent with the quiet course of ordinary life.
The suddenness and the strength and the outward
manifestation of the Divine impulse were so linked
with the idea of being filled with the Spirit, that it
was thought to be something for special occasions, a
blessing only possible to a very few. Christians
felt as if they could not venture, as if they did not
need, to fix their hopes so high ; as if, were the
blessing given to them, it would be impossible in
their circumstances to maintain or to manifest it.

The message I have to bring to-day is that the
command is indeed for every believer, and that, as
wide as the precept, is the promise and the power
too. May God give us grace, that our meditation
on this His Word may waken in the heart of every
reader, not only strong desire but the firm assurance
that the privilege is meant for him, that the way is
not too hard, that the blessing will in very deed yet
become his own.

In a country like South Africa, where we often
suffer from drought, we find two sorts of dams or
reservoirs made for catching up and storing water.
On some farms you have a fountain, but with a
stream too weak to irrigate with. There a reservoir
is made for collectinjij the water, and the fillino; of the
reservoir is the result of the gentle, quiet inflow from
the fountain day and night. In other cases, again,
the farm has no fountain at all; the reservoir is


built in the bed of a stream or in a hollow where,
when rain falls, the water can be collected. In such
a place, the filling of the reservoir, with a heavy fall
of rain, is often the work of a very few hours, and
is accompanied with a rush and violence not free
from danger. The noiseless supply of the former
farm is, at the same time, the surer, because the
supply, though apparently feeble, is permanent ; in
tracts where the rainfall is uncertain, a reservoir
may stand empty for months or years.

There is the same difference in the way in which
the fulness of the Spirit comes. On the day of
Pentecost, at times when new beginnings are made,
in the outpouring of the Spirit of conversion in
heathen lands, or of revival among Christian people,
suddenly, mightily, manifestly, men are filled with
the Holy Ghost. In the enthusiasm and the joy of
the newly-found salvation, the power of the Spirit
is undeniably present. And yet, for those who
receive it thus, there are special dangers. The
blessing is often too much dependent on the fellow-
ship with others, or extends only to the upper and
more easily reached currents of the soul's life : the
sudden is often the superficial; the depths of the
will and the inner life have not been reached. Other
Christians there are who have never been partakers
of any such marked experience, and in whom, never-
theless, the fulness of the Spirit is no less dis-
tinctly seen in the deep and intense devotion to
Jesus, in a walk in the light of His countenance and
the consciousness of His Holy presence, in the


blame! essness of a life of simple trust and obedience,
and in the humility of a self-sacrificing love to all
around. They have their types in what Barnabas
was : ' a son of consolation, a good man, and full of
the Holy Ghost.'

And which of these is now the true way of
being filled with the Spirit ? The answer is easy.
There are farms on which both the above-named
reservoirs are to be found, auxiliary to each other.
There are even reservoirs, where the situation is
favourable, in which both the modes of filling are
Qiade use of. The regular, quiet, daily inflowing
keeps them supplied in time of great drought ; in
time of rain they are ready to receive and store up
large supplies. There are Christians who are not
content but with special mighty visitations : the
rushing mighty wind, floods outpoured, and the
baptism of fire — these are their symbols. There
are others to whom the fountain springing up from
within, and quietly streaming forth, appears the
true type of the Spirit's work. Happy they who can
recognise God in both, and hold themselves always

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Online LibraryAndrew MurrayThe Spirit of Christ : thoughts on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer and the church → online text (page 19 of 27)