Andrew Murray.

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

. (page 2 of 27)
Online LibraryAndrew MurrayThe Spirit of Christ : thoughts on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer and the church → online text (page 2 of 27)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Let us unite with all who are pleading that God in
His power may grant mighty Spirit workings in
His Church, that each child of God may prove that
, in him the double promise is fulfilled : I will give
I a new spirit within you, and I will give my Spirit
j^ithin you. Let us pray that we may so apprehend
the wonderful blessing of the Indwelling Spirit, as
to turn inward and have our whole inmost being
opened up for this, the full revelation of the Father's
love and the grace of Jesusw

' Within you I ' * Within you I ' This twice-
repeated word of our text is one of the keywords of
the New Covenant. ' I will put my law in their
inward parts, ^ and in their heart will I write it.'
* I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall
not depart from me.' God created man's heart for
His dwelling. Sin entered, and defiled it. Four
thousand years God's Spirit strove and wrought to

by a few isolated Christians, until it pleased God to enlighten the
Church by chosen witnesses, and to bestow on His children the
knowledge of hidden and forgotten treasures. For how long a
period, even after the Reformation, were the doctrines of the Holy
Ghost, His work in conversion, and His indwelling in the believer,
almost unknown !' — Saphir, The Lord's Prayer, p. 179.

^ The word translated ' within ' is not a preposition, but the
same as is rendered here and elsewhere (Ps. v. 9; xlix. 11) * inward
parts/ * inmost thought.'


regain possession. In the Incarnation and Atone-
ment of Clirist the Eedemption was accomplished,
and the kinojdom of God established. Jesus could
say, ' The kingdom of God is come unto you ; ' * the
kingdom of God is within you.' It is luithin we
must look for the fulfilment of the New Covenant,
the Covenant not of ordinances but of life : in the
power of an endless life the law and the fear of
God are to be given in our heart : the Spirit of
Christ Himself is to be within us as the power of
our life. Not only on Calvary, or in the resurrec-
tion, or on the throne, is the glory of Christ the
Conqueror to be seen, — but in our heart: within us,
within us is to be the true display of the reality
and the glory of His Eedemption. Within us, in
our inmost parts, is the hidden sanctuary where is the
ark of the Covenant, sprinkled with the Blood, and
containing the Law written in an ever-living writing
by the Indwelling Spirit, and where, through the
Spirit, the Father and the Son now come to dwell.

my God ! I do thank Thee for this double
blessing. I thank Thee for that wonderful holy
temple Thou hast built up in me for Thyself — a
new spirit given within me. And I thank Thee
for that still more wonderful Holy Presence, Thine
Own Spirit, to dwell within me, and there reveal
the Father and the Son.

my God ! I do pray Thee to open mine eyes
for this the mystery of Thy love. Let Thy words,
within you, bow me low in trembling fear before


Thy condescension, and may my one desire be to
have my spirit indeed the worthy dwelling of Thy
Spirit. Let them lift me up in holy trust and
expectation, to look for and claim all that Thy
promise means.

my Father! I thank Thee that Thy Spirit
doth dwell in me. I pray Thee, let His indwelling
be hi po wer, in the livings fellowship with Thyself,
in the growing experience of His renewing power,
in the ever fresh anointinsj that witnesses to His
Presence, and the indwelling of my Glorified Lord
Jesus. May my daily walk be in the deep
reverence of His Holy Presence within me, and the
glad experience of all He works. Amen.

1. Have we not here the cause why many have failed in the effort to
abide in Christ, to wal/i like Christ, to Hue as holy in Christ ? They know
not rightly the wonderful and perfectly sufficient provision God made to
enable them to do so. They had not the clear believing assurance that the
Holy Spirit would work it in them. Let us seek above everything to get
firm hold of the promise, that God who has given us a new spirit, also
gives His own Spirit within us.

2. The distinction is of the deepest importance. In the new spirit given
to me, I have a work of_ God^ in me ; in God's Spirit given, I have God
Himself, a Living Person, to dwell ^'^^ '"^' What a difference between
having a home built by a rich friend, given me to live in, while I remain
poor and feeble, or having the rich friend himself come to live with me,
and fulfil my every want !

3. ' The Spirit is given both as a Builder and as an Inhabitant of this
temple. We cannot dwell till He build ; He builds that He may dwell.' —

4. JThere must be harmony between a home and its occupant. The more
I know this Holy Guest, the more will I bow in lowly fear and reverence,
giving my inmost being for Him to order and adorn as pleaseth Him.

5. The Holy Spirit is the Inmost Self of the Father and the Son. My
spirit is my inmost Self. The Holy Spirit renews that inmost Self, and
then dwells in it, and fills it. And so He becomes to me what He was to
Jesus, the very life of my personality.. Let me bow in holy silence and
reverence, to say: my Father I I thank Thee: Thy Holy Spirit dwelletk
In me, in my very Self.

24 THE sriKiT of ciikist.

Second Day.


El)e Baptism of ti}r Spirit

* John bare witness, saying, He that sent me to baptize with
water, He said unto nie, Upon whomsoever thou shalt see the
Spirit descending, and abiding on Him, the same is He that
baptizeth witti the Holy Spirif — John i. 33.

THERE were two things that John the Baptist
preached concerning the person of Christ.
The one was, that He was the Lamb of God that
taketh away the sin of the world. The other, that
He would baptize His disciples with the Holy
Ghost and with fire. The Blood of the Lamb, and
the Baptism of the Spirit, were the two central
truths of his creed and his preaching. They are,
indeed, inseparable : the Church cannot do her
work in power, nor can her exalted Lord be
glorified in her, except as the Blood as the founda-
tion-stone, and the Spirit as the corner-stone, are
fully preached.

This has not at all times been done even among
those who heartily accept Scripture as their guide.


The preaching of the Lamb of God, of His suffering
and atonement, of pardon and peace through Him,
is more easily apprehended by the understanding of
man, and can more speedily influence his feelings,
than the more inward spiritual truth of the baptism,
and indwelling, and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The pouring out of the blood took place upon earth,
it was something visible and outward, and, in virtue
of the types, not altogether unintelligible. The
pouring out of the Spirit was in heaven, a Divine
and hidden mystery. The shedding of the blood
was for the ungodly and rebellious ; the gift of the
Spirit, for the loving and obedient disciple. It is
no wonder, when the life of the Church is not in
very intense devotion to her Lord, that the preaching
and the faith of the Baptism of the Spirit should find
less entrance than that of redemption and forgiveness.
And yet God would not have it so. The Old
Testament Promise had spoken of God's Spirit
within us. The forerunner at once took up the
strain, and did not preach the Atoning Lamb
witliout telling whereunto it was that we were to
be redeemed, and how God's high purpose was
to be fulfilled in us. Sin was not only guilt
and condemnation ; it was defilement and death.
It had incurred not only the loss of God's favour ;
it had made us unfit for the Divine fellowship.
And without this the wonderful love that had
created man could not be content. God wanted
really to have us for Himself, — our hearts and
affections, yea, our inmost personality, our very self,


a home for His love to rest in, a temple for His
worship. The preaching of John included both the
beginning and the end of redemption : the blood of
the Lamb was to cleanse God's Temple and restore
His Throne within the heart ; nothing less than the
Baptism and Indwelling of the Spirit could satisfy
the heart of either God or man.

Of what that Baptism of the Spirit meant,
Jesus Himself was to be the type : He would
only give what He Himself had received : because
the Spirit abode on Him, He could baptize with
the Spirit. And what did the Spirit descend-
ing and abiding on Him mean ? He had been
begotten of the Holy Spirit ; in the power of the
Spirit He had grown up a holy child and youth,
had entered manhood free from sin, and had now
come to John to give Himself to fulfil all righteous-
ness in submitting to the baptism of repentance.
And now, as the reward of His obedience, as tlie
Father's seal of approval on His having thus far
yielded to the control of the Spirit, He receives a
new communication of the Power of the Heavenly
Life. Beyond what He had yet experienced, the
Father's conscious indwelling presence and power
takes possession of Him, and fits Him for His work.
The leading and the power of the Spirit become
His more consciously (Luke iv. 1, 14, 22) than
before ; He is now anointed with the Holy Ghost
and with power.

But though now baptized Himself, He cannot yet
baptize others. He must first, in the power of His


baptism, meet temptation and overcome it ; must
learn obedience and suffer, yea, through the Eternal
Spirit, offer Himself a sacrifice unto God and His
will, — then only would He afresh receive the Holy
Spirit as the reward of obedience (Acts ii. 32),
with the power to baptize all who belong to Him.

What we see in Jesus teaches us what the
baptism of the Spirit is. It is not that grace by
which we turn to God, become regenerate, and seek
to live as God's children. When Jesus reminded
His disciples (Acts i. 4) of John's prophecy, they
were already partakers of this grace. Their bap-
tism with the Spirit meant something more. It

/was to be to them the conscious presence of their
glorified Lord, come back from heaven to dwell in
their hearts, their participation in the power of His

\^new Life. It was to them a baptism of joy and power
in their living fellowship with Jesus on the Throne
of Glory. All that they were further to receive of
wisdom, and courage, and holiness, had its root in
this : what the Spirit had been to Jesus, when He
was baptized, as the living bond with the Father's
Power and Presence, He was to be to them :
through Him, the Son was to manifest Himself, and
Father and Son were to make their abode with them.
* Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descend-
ing, and abiding upon Him, the same is He that
baptizeth with the Holy Spirit.' This word conies
to us as well as to John. To know what the
baptism of the Spirit means, how and from whom
we are to receive it, we must see the One upon whom


the Spirit descended and abode. We must see
Jesus baptized with the Holy Ghost. We must try
to understand how He needed it, how He was pre-
pared for it, how He yielded to it, how in its power
He died His death, and was raised again. What
Jesus has to give us, He first received and personally
appropriated for Himself ; what He received and
won for Himself is all for us : He will make it our
very own. Upon whom we see the Spirit abiding,
He baptizeth wdth the Spirit.

In regard to this baptism of the Spirit there are
questions that we may not find it easy to answer,
and to which all will not give the same answer.
Was the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost the
complete fulfilment of the promise, and is that the
only baptism of the Spirit, given once for all to the
new-born Church ? Or is not the coming of the Holy
Spirit on the disciples in the fourth of Acts, on the
Samaritans (Acts viil), on the heathen in the house
of Cornelius (Acts x.), and on the twelve disciples
at Ephesus (Acts xix.), also to be regarded as
separate fulfilments of the words, ' He shall baptize
with the Holy Ghost' ? Is the sealing of the Spirit
given to each believer in regeneration to be counted
by him as his baptism of the Spirit ? Or is it, as
some say, a distinct, definite blessing to be received
later on ? Is it a blessing given only once, or can it
be repeated and renewed ? In the course of our
study we shall find light in God's word that may
help us to a solution of difficulties like these/ But

1 See Note A. -


it is of great consequence that at the outset we
should not allow ourselves to be occupied with
points as these, which are after all of minor import-
ance, but fix our whole hearts on the great spiritual
lessons that God would have us learn from the
preaching of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
These are specially two.

The one is, that this baptism of the Holy Spirit
is the crown and glory of Jesus' work, that we need
J^, and must know that we have it, if we are to live
the true Christian life. We need it. The Holy
Jesus needed it. Christ's loving, obedient dis-
ciples needed it. It is soniething more than the
working of the Spirit in regeneration. It is the
Personal Spirit of Christ making Him present
within us, always abiding in the heart in the power
of His glorified nature, as He is exalted above every
enemy. It is the Spirit of the Life of Christ Jesus
making us free from the law of sin and death, and
bringing us, as a personal experience, into the liberty
from sin to whicli Christ redeemed us, but which to
so many regenerate is only a blessing registered on
their behalf, but not possessed or enjoyed. It is
the enduement with power _to fill us with boldness
in presence of every danger, and give the victory
over the world and every enemy. It is the fulfil-
ment of what God meant in His promise: I will
dwell in them, and walk in them. Let us ask the
Father to reveal to us all that His love meant for
us, until our souls are filled with the glory of the
thought : He baptizeth with the Holy Spirit.


And then there is the other lesson : It is Jesus
who thus baptizeth. Whether we look upon this
baptism as something we already have, and of which
we only want a fuller apprehension, or something
we still must receive, in this all agree : it is only
in the fellowship of Jesus, in faithful attachment
and obedience to Him, that a baptized life can
be received or maintained or renewed. * He that
believeth in. me,' Jesus said, 'out of his belly shall flow
rivers of living water.' The one thing we need is
living faith in the indwelling Jesus : the living water
will surely and freely flow. Faith is the instinct of
the new nature, by which it recognises and receives
its Divine food and drink. In the power of the
Spirit who dwells in every believer, let us trust
Jesus, who fills with the Spirit, and cling to Him
in love and obedience. It is He who baptizes : in
contact with Him, in devotion to Him, in the con-
fidence that He has given and will give Himself
wholly to us, let us look to Him for nothing less
than all that the baptism of the Spirit can imply.

In doing so let us specially remember one thing:
only he that is faithful in the least will be made
ruler over much. Be very faithful to what thou
already hast and knowest of the Spirit's working.
Eegard thyself with deep reverence as God's holy
temple. Wait for and listen to the gentlest
whispering of God's Spirit within thee. Listen
especially to the conscience, which has been cleansed
in the blood. Keep that conscience very clean by
limple childlike obedience, In thy heart there may


be much involuntary sin, with which thou feelcst
thyself powerless. Humble thyself deeply for this
thy inbred corruption, strengthened as it has been
by actual sin. Let every rising of such sin be
cleansed in the blood.

But in regard to thy voluntary actions say, day
by day, to thy Lord Jesus, that everything thou
knowest to be pleasing to Him thou wilt do.
Yield to the reproofs of conscience when thou
failest ; but come again, have hope in God, and
renew the vow : What I know God wants me to do,
I w ill do. Ask humbly every morning, and wait,
for guidance in thy path ; the Spirit's voice will
become better known, and His strength will be felt.
Jesus had His disciples three years in His baptism
class, and then the blessing came. Be His loving,
obedient disciple, and believe in Him on whom the
Spirit abode, and who is full of the Spirit, and thou
too shalt_be_prepared for the fulness of the blessing
of the baptism of the Spirit.

Blessed Lord Jesus ! with my whole heart I
worship Thee, as exalted on the Throne to baptize
with the Holy Ghost. Oh ! reveal Thyself to me
in this Thy glory, that I may rightly know what I
may expect from Thee.

I bless Thee that in Thyself I have seen what
the preparation is for receiving the Holy Spirit in
His fulness. During Thy life of preparation for Tliy
work in Nazareth, my Lord, the Spirit was always
in Thee. And yet when Thou hadst surrendered


Thyself to fulfil all righteousness, and to enter into
fellovv^ship with the sinners Thou earnest to save, in
partaking of their baptism, Thou didst receive from
the Father a new inflowing of His Holy Spirit. It
was to Thee the seal of His love, the revelation of
His indwelling, the power for His service. And
now Thou, on whom we see the Spirit descend and
abide, doest for us what the Father did for Thee.

My Holy Lord ! I bless Thee that the Holy
Spirit is in me too. But, oh ! I beseech Thee, give
me yet the full, th^_overflovving measure Thou hast
promised. Let Him be to me the full unceasing
revelation of Thy presence in my heart, as glorious
and as mighty as on the Throne of Heaven. my
Lord Jesus ! baptize me, fill m e with the Holy
Spirit. Amen.

1. All Divine giving and working is in the power of an endless life. And so
we can look up to Jesus each day in the blessed light of this word : 'He
baptizeth with the Holy Spirit, ' He cleanses with the blood and baptizes with
the Spirit, according to each new need.

2. Let us keep inseparably connected in our faith the double truth the
Baptist preached : Jesus the Lamb taking away sin, Jesus the Anointed
baptizing with the Spirit. It was only in virtue of His shedding His blood that
He received the Spirit to shed forth. It is as the cross is preached that the
Spirit works. It is as I believe in the precious blood, that cleanses from all
sin, and walk before my God with a conscience sprinkled with the blood, thai
I may claim the anointing. The blood and the oil go together, I need both.
I have them both in the one Jesus, the Lamb on the Throne.


Third Day.

Morsijip in tijc Spirit

'The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers
shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth ; for such doth
the Father seek to be His worshippers. God is a Spirit, and
they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in
truth.'— John iv. 23, 24.

'We are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God
and glory in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.' —
Phil. iii. 3.

rpO worship is man's highest glory. He was
-JL created for fellowship with God : of that
fellowship worship is the sublimest expression.
All the exercises of the religious life — meditation
and prayer, love and faith, surrender and obedience,
all culminate in worsliip. Recognising what God is
in His holiness. His glory, and His love, realizing
what I am as a sinful creature, and as the Father's
redeemed child, in worship I gather up my whole
being and present myself to my God, to offer Him
the adoration and the glory which is His due. The
truest and fullest and nearest approach to God is



worship. Every sentiment and every service of
the religious life is included in it : to worship is
man's highest destiny, because in it God is all.

Jesus tells us that with His coming a new
worship would commence. All that heathen or
Samaritans had called worship, all even that the
Jews had known of worship in accordance with the
provisional revelation of God's law, would make
way for something entirely and distinctively new —
the worship in Spirit and in Truth. This is the
worship He was to inaugurate by the giving of the
Holy Spirit. This is the worship which now alone
is well pleasing to the Father. It is for this
worship specially that we have received the Holy
Spirit. Let us, at the very commencement of our
study of the work of the Spirit, take in the blessed
thought that the great object for which the Holy
Spirit is within us is, that we worship in spirit and
in truth. * Such doth the Father seek to be His
worshippers/ — for this He sent forth His Son and
His Spirit.

In Spirit. When God created man a living
soul, that soul, as the seat and organ of his person-
ality and consciousness, was linked, on the one side,

I through the body, with the outer visible world,
on the other side, through the spirit, with the

. unseen and the Divine. The soul had to decide
whether it would yield itself to the s^^irit, by it to
be linked with God and His will, or to the body and
the solicitations of the visible. In the fall, the soul
refused the rule of the spirit, and became the slave


of the body with its appetites. Man became flesh ;
the spirit lost its destined place of rule, and became
little more than a dormant power ; it was now no
longer the ruling principle, but a struggling captive.
And the spirit now stands in opposition to the
flesh, the name for the life of soul and body
together, in their subjection to sin.

When speaking of the un regenerate man in
contrast with the spiritual (1 Cor. ii. 14), Paul calls
him psychical, soullish, or animal, having only the
natural life. The life of the soul comprehends all
our moral and intellectual faculties, as they may
even be directed towards the things of God, apart
from the renewal of the Divine Spirit. Because
the soul is under the power of the flesh, man is
spoken of as having become flesh, as being
flesh. As the body consists of flesh and bone, and
the flesh is that part of it which is specially
endowed with sensitiveness, and through which we
receive our sensations from the outer world, the
flesh denotes human nature, as it has become subject
to the world of sense. And because the whole soul
has thus come under the power of the flesh, the
Scripture speaks of all the attributes of the soul as
belonging to the flesh, and being under its power.
So it contrasts, in reference to religion and worship,
the two principles from which they may proceed.
There is a fleshly wisdom and a spiritual wisdom
(1 Cor. ii, 12 ; Col. i. 9). There is a service of God
trusting in the flesh and glorying in the flesh, and a
service of God by the spirit (Phil. iii. 3, 4; Gal. vL 13).


There is a fleshly mind and a spiritual mind (Col.
ii. 18, i. 9). There is a will of the flesh, and a will
which is of God working by His Spirit (John i. 13 ;
Phil. ii. 13). There is a worsliip which is a satisfy-
ing of the flesh, because it is in the power of what
flesh can do (Col. ii. 18, 23), and a worship of God
which is in the Spirit. It is this worship Jesus
came to make possible, and to realize in us, by
giving a new spirit in our inmost part, and then,
within that, God's Holy Spirit.

' In Spirit and in Truth! Such a worship in Spirit
is worship in Truth. Just as the words in Sioirit
do not mean internal as contrasted with external
observances, but Spiritual, inwrought by God's
Spirit, as opposed to what man's natural power can
effect, so the words in TriUli do not mean hearty,
sincere, upright. In all the worship of the Old
Testament saints, they knew that God sought Truth
in the inward parts ; they sought Him with their
whole hearts, and most uprightly, — and yet they
attained not to that worship in Spirit and Truth,
which Jesus brought us when He rent the vail of
the flesh. Truth here means the substance, the
reality, the actual possession of all that the worship
of God implies, both in what it demands and what
it promises. John speaks of Jesus as ' the Only
Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.'
And he adds, ' For the Law was given by Moses ;
grace and truth came by Jesus Clirist.' If we take
truth as opposed to falsehood, the law of Moses was
just as true as the Gospel of Jesus ; they both came

woitsiiip IN THE sriiiiT. 37

from God. But if we understand what it means,
that the law gave only a shadow of ' good things to

Online LibraryAndrew MurrayThe Spirit of Christ : thoughts on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer and the church → online text (page 2 of 27)