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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He will fill you ; the second speaks. Wait before the
Throne for this filling as a special distinct gift, the fulfil-
ment of the Father's promise.

Let me say at once, th it if it be maintained in connec-
tion with tliis second view that every believer must
consciously seek and receive, as a distinct experience,
such a Baptism, this does not appear to me what the
Word of God teaches. But if it be put in this way, that
in answer to believing prayer many believers have
received, and those who seek it will often receive, such

320 NOTES.

an inflow of the Spirit of God as will to them indeed be
nothing less tlian a new Baptism of the Spirit, I cannot
but regard it as in harmony with the teaching of
Scripture. I have already expressed my deep sense of
the truth and value of the positive part of the teaching
in Mr. Boys' hook, but with the extent to which he
goes in denying that we sliould still pray for the Spirit
I can hardly agree, and am anxious to point out how, as
it appears to me, tliere are aspects of the truth in God's
word by which his view must still be supplemented.

There is one trutli of which I cannot Itut think he has
somewhat lost sight. In a pnssagf. quoted above, he
speaks very strongly about the Spirit having come to this
earth, and taken up His abode in the Body of Christ,
the Church ; so much so, that all communications of the
Spirit to the unconverted come through believers. This
is an aspect of the truth of the utmost importance, and
far too little realized. But there is another aspect that
must not be lost sight of. Tlie Spirit is the Spirit of
God. He is not only in the Church, hut aho in the
Father and the Son. The Father, tlie Son, and His Body
the Church : the Spirit is tlie one life in which these have
their fellowship. God has not given His Spirit to
believers, in the sense of parting with Him ; or as if, by
once giving, He did not now need any more to give.'
By no means. All Divine giving is in the power of the
Eternal Life, the power of a continuous life-flow from
God through Christ to His people. And it is therefore
consistent with the fullest acknowledgment of the Spirit
dwelliuii; in us that the believer calls for more. That
there is a great deal of prayer in which the presence of
the Spirit is forgotten, is ignored, I admit and deplore ;
and I deeply feel the loss which the Church suffers by it.
And yet it would be falling into the other extreme, if,

^ ' We are not to think of tlie " giving " of the Spirit as an isolated
deposit of what, once given, is now locally in possession. The first
"gift" is, as it were, the first point in a series of actions, of which
each one may also be expressed as a gift.' — Moule on Eph. i. 17.

NOTES. 321

because God has given and we have received the Spirit,
we were no longer to pray for more of Him.

It is often said, But how can you ask for that which
you have ? Tlie answer is a very simple one. The
fingers that hold the pen with which I write are as full
of blood as can be in perfect health ; and yet, if they
could speak, would we not continually hear them ca'ling
to the heart, Oh, send in the fresh blood, without which
we cannot live ! The branch that hangs full of fruit is as
full of sap as it can hold, and yet it unceasingly offers its
emptiness and need to the vine for that unceasing suj^ply
without which the fruit could not be ripened. The
lungs are full of breath, and yet call for a fresh supply
every moment. Just so with the believer who under-
stands that he has not the Spirit as a power he can use
or dispose of, or as a Person who renders him indepen-
dent of the Son, but as His Spirit, who brings into living
connection with Him and increasing dependence ; his
whole life of prayer will be the harmony of a faith that
praises for the Spirit that has been received, and yet
always waits for His fuller inflow out of Him in whom
His fulness dwells.

We see this union of having and asking in the life of
the Son. He knew that the Father had given Him all
things, yea, that the Father was in Him, and yet He felb
the need of prayer. He had had the indwelling Si)irit
from His birth, and yet His receiving the Spirit from
above at His Baptism was a real Divine transaction ; as
He prayed, the heavens opened, and the S[)irit descended.
We see it too in Paul's Epistles. He had just reminded
the Ephesians that they had been sealed with the Holy
Si)irit of promise, when he told them that he prayed for
them that God might give them 'the Spirit of wisdom
and revelation.' He not only asks that the Spirit in them
may make tliem wise ; he is not afraid to jjray for ' the
Spirit of wisdom.' And so later on, when he asks that
the Father would, 'according to the riches of His glory,*
as something very wonderful and Divine, ' strengthen

o 2 2 NOTES.

tliem with might hy the S})irit,' he indicates to us how it
is not enough that we know and believe that the Spirit
is in us, but that it is in prayer to the Father that the
increase of the Spirit's power will come, and we be filled
with Him. His interchange of the exi)ression, ' Give 3''0u
the Spirit of wisdom,' and ' Give you to be strengthened
with the Spirit,' gives us liberty to ask in either way, if we
only realize that the Spirit is already in us, and that it is
only in the prayer of faith to the Father where the Spirit
is, that the increased inflow of His presence and power can
come. The faith that He is in us, the assurance tliat He
wants more of us, and that if He only has us wholly will
fill us, will just urge us to prayer to the Father, whose it is,
unceasingly and evermore, in the power of the endless
life, to give the Spirit through the Son. It would indeed
be sad if a believer, on once having received the Spirit,
were to feel that Christ's precious word, * How much
more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit
to them that ask Him,' was something he had now out-
grown, and that this chief of blessings He need now no
longer ask. No, as the anointing with fresh oil is a daily
need, it is daily received in living fellowship with the
Father throuL^h Him in whom the fulness ever abides.
And just so the thought of Jesus baptizing with the
Spirit is not a remembrance of what is now a past thing,
done once for all, but a promise of what may be a daily,
continuous experience. The faith that we have the
Spirit within us, even when it has almost come like a
new revelation, and filled us with joy and strength, will
lose its freshness and its power except as the inflow is
maintained in living fellowship with the Father and the
Son. The lesson of Pentecost holds good for all ages.
As our Lord is seated on the Throne in the glory to give
the Spirit, the footstool of the Throne remains the
place where the Spirit is received. The deeper our faith
becomes that we have the Spirit, the more continuous
will be our ])rayer that the Father grant us His mighty
workings. It is only in the living intercourse with the

NOTES. 323

Father and the Son, in the worship and prayer of faith,
that the Spirit will work mightily.

These remarks may have prepared the way for what
appears to me the scriptural light in which the prayer
for the Baptism of the Spirit may be offered, and an
answer expected.

1. To the disciples the Baptism of the Spirit was veiy
distinctly not His first bestowal for regeneration, but
the definite communication of the Presence in power ot
their glorified Lord.

2. Of this Spirit, with which the Church of Christ
was baptized, every believer is made a partaker; he has
the Spirit of Christ dwelling in him.

3. Just as there was a twofold operation of the one
Spirit in the Old and New Testament, of which the
state of the disciples before and after Pentecost was the
most striking illustration, so there may be, and in the
great majority of Christians is, a corresponding differ-
ence of experience. This difference between the bare
knowledge of His presence and His full revelation of
the indwelling Christ in His glory, is owing either to
ignorance or unfaithfulness.

4. When once the distinct recognition of what the
indwelling of the Spirit was meant to bring is brought
home to the soul, and it is ready to give up all to be
made partaker of it, the believer may ask and expect
what may be termed a Baptism of the Spirit. Praying
to the Father in accordance with the two prayers in
Ephesians, and coming to Jesus in the renewed surrender
of faith and obedit^nce, he may receive such an inflow of
the Holy Spirit as shall consciously lift him to a dif-
ferent level from the one on which he has hitherto

5. The way in which the Baptism comes may be vrry
different. To some it comes as a glad and sensible
quickening of their spiritual life. They are so filled
with the Spirit that all their feelings are stirred. They
can speak of something they have distinctly experience^

324 NOTES.

as a gift from the Fatlier. To others it is given, not to
their feehngs, but to their faith. It comes as a deep,
quiet, but clearer insight into the fulness of the Spirit
in Christ as indeed being theirs, and a faith that feels
confident that His sufficiency is equal to every emergency
that may arise. In the midst of weakness they know-
that the Power is resting on them. In either case they
know that the blessing has been given from above, to be
maintained under obedience and deep dependence on
Him from whom it came.

6. Such baptism is specially given as power for work.
It may sometimes be received before the believer fully
understands his calling to work, and while he is chiefly
occupied with his own sanctification. It cannot be
maintained except as the call to witness for the Lord is
obeyed. The baptism of Pentecost was distinctly given
as preparation for work. The baptism of Cornelius and
his praying company, as. God's seal to their faith, and
their full participation in the blessings of the kingdom
of God, at once opened their mouths to speak. We must
beware of laying down fixed rules. God's gifts and love
are larger than our hearts. Every believer who longs,
up to the light he has, to be surrendered fully to the
glory of his Lord, may come and claim the fulness of
the gift. It will prove its own power to open the mouth
and bring forth testimony for God.

7. The preparation for the baptism is ever the same
as with the first disciples. Having called them to for-
sake all for Him, our Lor«i had first kept them three
years in His school, training them into the knowledge
and love and obedience to His will. Great personal
attachment to Jesus was the first requisite. He had
then led them, in the fellowship of His death, to give
up all hope in themselves, or in His outward appearance,
all confidence in the flesh. As they were thus taught
the utter insufficiency of the flesh, either in their own
good purposes or His bodily presence, to conquer sin or
give deliverance, the need was awakened for something

NOTES. 325

higher. And last of all, He kept them, first the forly
da3's, and then again the ten days, in waiting expect-
ancy, looking to Himself to give them something above
Avhat they could ask or think. With great diversity of
mode and degree, every believer will have to pass
through some preparation not entirely different. Blesse«l
they who allow the Master Himself to take them into
His Baptism class, to regulate their course of training,
and rest content with nothing less than to be full of the
Holy Ghost. To some it comes without any idea of a
baptism at all ; in intense devotion to their Lord, they
know that He dwells in them, and has them wholly as
His own.

Whatever difference there still may be in our way of
expressing what we seek, let us remend^er that our Father
understands each of His children better than they do
themselves. Let us rejoice, even amid varying modes
of expression, that the desire is growing among God's
people to have nothing less than what God meant by
His promise of a Baptism with the Holy Ghost and with
fire. Let us be faithful to the Spirit, as He dwells
within us. Let us stir up ourselves and each other to
wait for, from our God, who is able to do above what we
ask or think, an experience of His mighty inworking
and His overflowing fulness in believers and the Church,
such as we can form no conception of.


The Spirit as a Person (Chap. 5).

If we are to understand the place and work of the
Holy Spirit in us, we must know somewhat of His place
and work in the Divine Being. He has been given to
make us partakers of the Divine life and nature, to Lo
in us and to do for us what He is and does in the

326 NOTES.

Father and the Son. The adoring and reverent con-
templation of what He is as t]ie Spirit of the Father and
the Son in the Holy Trinity, of what He was and
wrought in the man Christ Jesus on earth, and wliat
specially His relation is to our glorified Lord Jesus, need
not lead us away from the practical question of what He
is to ourselves, but may help us greatly in realizing the
wondrous glory and mystery of this, the united gift of
the Father and the Son — their own Spirit, the Spirit of
their personal life, to be the Spirit of our personal life.
The following suggestive quotations from one of the
most deeply scriptural and spiritual theologians, J. T.
Beck, may help us in our effort to apprehend what God
has revealed to us in His word. It is a most blessed
thing when a believer begins to realize, ' The Spirit of
God dwelleth in me,' and knows that God has given
Him something Divine — yea, a Divine Person — as his
life. But it becomes a thousandfold more wonderful to
him when he begins to see how really it is the A'^ery same
Spirit who is the personal life of the Father and the
Son, who has now become his own personal life, his
inmost self.

* In Christianity, revelation appears, not only in the
character of an elementary witness for God, as in the
revelation of nature, nor only, as in the Old Testament
revelation, in the character of special legislative organiza-
tion and ideal promise, but as a new life-organization of
the quickening Spirit. Christianity thus brings a revela-
tion in which the supernatural, the Divine, is Sj)irit and
Life, dynamically and substantially, to become personal.
With this in view, it must be mediated differently than
in the previous stages ; it must have a higher organ
for its revelation. If the Divine is indeed dynamically
and substantially as a personal life to be organized
into the human individuality, the only adequate organ
for such a mediation will be one in which the revelation,
or the Divine principle of organization, shall make
itself personal in a human being. That is, it will not be

NOTES. 327

sufficient that tlie Divine should reveal itself in some
man only, witli whatever strength, in the way of his
consciousness through the channel of conscience. As
little that it should, as by way of inspiration, develop
its power to influence and elevate in the life of Reason
or Spirit, after the manner of propliecy. Conscience
ar^d inspiration do not suffice as the means of revelation,
in the revelation that is to be perfect. What is needed
is a mediation, in which God concentrates His own
pccuhar Spirit and Life as a principle in a human indi-
vidual to be personally appropriated. In a revelation,
which is really to translate the Divine into man's indi-
vidual personal life, in truth, to form men of God, the
Divine as such — that is, as a personal life — must first be
embodied in a personal centre in humanity. For this
reason. As soon as something strictly new is concerned,
something that in its peculiarity has not yet existed,
every new type of life, before it can multiply itself to a
number of specimens, must first have its full contents
combined in perfect unity, in an adequate new principle.
And so, for the making personal of the Divine among
men, the first thing needed is one in whom the principle
of the Divine life has become personal. Cliristianity
concentrates the whole fulness of revelation in the one
human personality of Jesus Christ as Mediator — that is,
as the mediating central principle of the new Divine
organism, in its fulness of Spirit and Life, in and for the
human personal life. AVith the entrance of Christ into
the human individual, the Divine life becomes immanent
in us, not in its universal world-relation, but as a per-
sonal principle, so that man is not only irotr^^a ©eoO, a
being made of God, but tIkvov ®eov, or a being begotten
of God. And with the growing transformation of the
individual int-) the life-type of Christ there is perfected
the development of the personal life out of God, in God,
and to God — the development not only of a moral or
theocratic communion, but a communion of nature. By
the fall of man the Divine and human in man had been

328 NOTES.

rent asunder, aiul the separation has grown into estrange-
ment and enmity, Man has become an ungodly person-
ality. In opposition to this, both the Divine and the
human have been reconciled and united in Christ's
Divine -human personality as the human manifestation
of the otherwise invisible God.' (Forksungen Chr. Glau-
benslehre, i. 383 )

' As regards the Spirit, it is never said of Him — the
Spirit is God, or the Si)irit is the Lord ; but, on the con-
trary, God is Spirit, the Lord is the Spirit, "the quicken-
ing Spirit." It is thus the Spirit, through whom God and
the Lord each is the person that He is, is ©co?, is Kt'pio?.
But the Spirit does not on this account belong to the
Divine Being without an independent existence. ^ As
little is He a sei^arate person outside of the Father and
the Son ; but He Himself forms the Divine personality
within the Father and the Son. Outside of God, in tlie
world and man. He effects an independent revelation of
God, which reaches into the hidden depths of Deity on
the one side, and on the side of man inwardly communi-
cates God's very own life, even to the production of a
Divine Son-life. The one Divine personality of the
Father is the all-including Divine central subject, in
whom the Son and Spirit, in unity of Being, yet have a
self-standing existence, and from whom they proceed —
THE Son as the speaking Self of the Father, in whom
He reveals Himself as in His imnge ; the Spirit as the
inner Self of the Father and the Son, in whom the
inner life of God in the power of its personal Being,

* See Leitfaden der Chr. GJaubensJehre, p. 229 : — ' The Spirit is so
far from being, as with us, something belonging to God, that it is
said : God is Spirit, the Lord is the Spirit, so that it really is just the
Spirit, through lohom God is the person that He is. The Divine Spirit
is not only, as with us, something belonging to and in the Father and
the Son, but that very thing through which Father and Son is God ;
the Spirit is the personal being of God in Father and Son. Therefore
He is called the Holy and Holyniaking, the Power and the Quickener ;
in Him the very own personal being of the Father and the Son is
begotten into man. It is just in the Spirit that the personal life of
God is centred ; so little can He Himself be anything impersonal.'

NOTES. 320

maintains and communicates itself. It is just because the
Spirit is the bearer of the Inner Life of God that He
does not manifest Himself externally, that there is no
])ersonal appearance as of the Son. Just as in the Son
the Phanerosis (manifestation) of the Father took plate
externally, as in His outward self (John xiv. 19, xii. 45),
so in the Spirit, as the inward self of the Father and the
Son, all belongs to the inner life, that the perfected
Phanerosis, the manifestation of God to us, may become
the Apokalypsis, the revelation of God within us.'
[Voiiesungen ilber Chr. Glaubenslehre, ii. 136.)

'What is needed for the Redemption of human nature
out of its bondage to the world and its sin, and the
revival within of the Supernatural, for which it had
been destined, was such a union with the Divine Life
that it should be revealed in man not only as a Law or
a Hope, as the Postulate of the Will or the Desir-', as
an Ideal, but as an actual fulfilling of the real need of
the personal life ; that is, that the Divine life should
become the real personal life. In virtue of its absolute
worth, belonging to it by its very nature, the Divine can
never be satisfied with being accepted as one of other
elements only having a place in our personal thinking,
willing, and doing. It is not enough that, along with
other things that touch and interest us, it too should
have a place in our regard or actions, and be something
from which we gain certain desirable results for our life.
Such an apparently moderate or sober view drags the
Divine down and places it on a line with the objects of
this world. Nor does it make any real difiPerence when
the Divine is spoken of as the highest and most worthy
of all object^. The Divine only receives its true acknow-
ledgment when it is accepted as ivhat it really is, the absolute
wmid-iwinciple, and becomes the absolute Life-principle of
our personal development. The Divine has, however,
170 longer creative personal power in our bondage to
the power of the world, with its sin and death. To
make the Divine become the Personal in us is what

330 NOTES.

under such circumstances, our spiritual power, or
Reason, cannot accomplish. This needs the organization
of a new nature, and to organize anew is the M^ork of the
Creator and of the "Divine Principle of organization in
the worhl. And this is now that in which Revelation
finds its perfection, in the organizing of tlie Divine as a
living formative Spirit, "the Hfe-giving Spirit," so that
as a productive Life-jwinciple, or as the ptower of a personal
life, it could become immanent in man's moral life, and so
that out of that, in continuous development, the Divine could
he reproduced in the individual as his personal life, and so
God, in harmony with His idea as the Absolute, should
indeed be the all - determining life - principle in man; it
is in this that revelation finds its perfect completion'
(i. 380).

,' Christ, as the personal word of Go

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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 21 of 27)