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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Spirit it comes to pass, that Christ's impulse is not
simply continued and extended to men, but becomes f^n
indigenous impulse in them, a new focus being formed
for naturalized divine powers. As a new Divine
principle, the Holy Spirit creates, though not sub-
stantially new faculties, a new volition, knowledge,
feeling a new self-consciousness. In brieP, He creates
a new person, dissolving the old union -point of the
faculties, and creating a new pure union of the same.
The new personality is formed in inner resemblance to
the second Adam, on the same family type, so to speak.
Everything by which the new personality, in its
independence, makes itself known, is ascribed by Holy

332 KOTES.

Scripture to this third Divine principle. Through the
Holy Spirit the believer has the consciousness of himself
as a new man, and the power and living impulse of a
new huly life, that is free in God, lie is the spirit of
joy and freedom, in opposition to the gramma or letter ;
subjection to the Divine impulse is now, in the bh-nding
of necessity and freedom, without spontmeous impulse ;
mere passivity and receptiveness are transformed into
spontaneity, nay, productiveness and independence.
Through the Holy Spirit the individual personality is
thus raised to complete charismatic personality. By all
these means the Holy Spirit plants and cherishes the
one relatively independent factor, — the presu})position of
the origin of the Church, namely, the new believing
personality.' (Dorner, System of Christian Doctrine^
iv. 161.)

This thought that the Spirit of God, as the Spirit of
the Divine personality, becomes the life-principle of our
personality, is one of extreme solemnity and of infinite
fruitfulness. The Spirit not only dwells in me as a
locality, or within me, alongside and around that inmost
Ego in which I am conscious of myself, but, within that
I, becomes the new and Divine life-principle of the new
personality. The same Spirit that was and is in Christ,
His inmost Self, becomes my inmost self. What new
meaning it gives to the word, * He that is joined to the
Lord is one Spirit with Him ' ! And what force to
the question, ' Know ye that the Spirit of God dwelleth
in you ? ' The Holy Spirit is within me as a Personal
I Power, with a Will and a Purpose of His own. As I
yield up my personality to His I shall not lose it, but
find it renewed and strengthened to its highest caj)acity.
Oh to see how entirely the Spirit will take the charge
which the flesh has hitherto had ! We thought our-
selves free, and were slaves. The Holy Spirit working
out His will and purpose in me, teaching me to work it
out, makes me free.

NOTES. 333

The Place of the Indwelling (Chap. 6).

In studying the teaching of Scripture on the indwell-
ino^ of the Holy Spirit, it is of great consequence to see
clearly what it tells us of the place where the Spirit
dwells, and the mode in which He works. And to this
end we need to be specially careful to seek correct views
as to the difference between the soul and the spirit of
man, and their mutual relation.

/ In the history of man's creation we read, ' The Lord
God formed man of the dust of the ground,' — thus was
his body made, — ' and breathed into his nostrils the
breath ' or spir it ' of life : ' thus his spirit came from
God ; ' and man became a living soul.' The Spirit
quickening the body made man a living soul, a living
person with the consciousness of himself. The soul was
the meeting-place, the point of union between body and
spirit. Through the hody^ man, the living soul, stood
related to the external world of sense ; could influence
it, or be influenced by it. Through the sirlrlt he stood
related to the spiritual world and the Spirit of God,
whence he had his origin; could be the recipient and the
minister of its life and power. Standing thus midway
between two worlds, belonging to both, the soul had the
power of determining itself, of choosing or refusing
the objects by which it was surrounded, and to which it
stood related.

In the constitution of these three parts of man's nature,
the spirit, as linking him with the Divine, was the
highest ; the body, connecting him with the sensible and
animal, the lowest ; intermediate stood the soul, i)artaker
of the nature of the others, the bond that united them,
and thruugh which they could act on each other. Its
work, as the central power, was to maintain them in
their due relation ; to keep the body, as the lowest, in


subjection to the spirit ; itself to receive througli the
spirit, as the higher, from the Divine Spirit what was
waiting it for its perfection ; and so to pass down, even
to the body, that by which it might be partaker of the
Spirit's perfection, and become a spiritual body.

The wondrous gifts with which the soul was endowed,
specially those of consciousness and self-determination,
or mind and will, were but the mould or vessel into
which the life of the Spirit, the real substance and truth
of the Divine life, was to be received and assimilated.
They were a God-given capacity for making the know-
ledge and the will of God its own. In doing this, the
personal life of the soul would have become filled and
possessed with the life of the Sjdrit, the whole man
would have become spiritual. We know how the
opposite of this took place. The soul yielded to the
solicitations of sense, and became its slave, so that the
Spirit no longer ruled, but vainly strove to vindicate for
God His place, until God said, 'My Spirit shall not
strive with man for ever, for that he al&o is flesh,' wholly
under the power of the flesh. The spirit in man became
dormant, — a capacity for knowing and serving God
which would have to wait its time for deliverance and
quickening. The soul ruled instead of the spirit, and
the great mark of all religion, even in its most earnest
struggles after God, is that it is the soul, man's own
energy without the Divine Spirit, putting forth its effort
to find and to please God.

In regeneration it is this spirit of man which is
quickened again and renewed. The word regeneration,
or being born again, Scripture uses as that change
whereby the soul passes from death to life, effected like
the natural birth, at once and once for all. The word
renewed is used of that continuous and progressive
work by which the life of the Spirit of God enters more
fully into our life, and asserts its supremacy through our
entire nature.

In the regenerate man the original relation between

NOTES. 335

the soul and the spirit has been restored. The spirit
of man has been quickened to become an habitation of
God's Spirit, who is now to teach and to lead, by com-
municating as a Divine life, as something subbtantial
and real, the Truth, the actual good things which Christ
has for us. This Divine leading into the Truth by the
Spirit of God takes place not in our soul or mind, in the
first place, but in our spirit, in the inner recesses of a
life deeper than mind or will. And it takes place only as
the soul, in the confession of how blinded it has become,
of how slowly its faculties really become spiritual and
divinely enlightened, in the willingness to be foolish and
ignorant, and in teachableness to wait on God's Spirit to
give His Truth in the life, yields itself to that complete
supremacy of the Spirit which was its original destiny.

And now comes the most important lesson, not easy
to learn, for the sake of which we have at some length
spoken of the relation between the soul and spirit.
The greatest dan.^er the religion of the Church or the
individual has to dr^ad is the inordinate activity of the
soul, with its power of mind and will. It has been so
long accustomed to rule, that even when in conversion
it has surrendered to Jesus, it too easily imagines that it
is now its work to carry out that surrender, and serve
the King it has accepted. Many a believer has no con-
ception of the reality of the Spirit's indwelling, and of
the extent to which He mu.-^t get the mastery of the
soul, that is, of our whole self in all our feeling and
thinking and willing, so as to purge out all confidence
in the Hesh, and work that teachableness and submissive-
ness which is indispensable to the Spirit's doing His
work. The call of the Master to hate our own life, not
to seek it but to lose it (the word used is psyche — soul),
is the call to give the soul, with its power of willing and
actinu', unto death, that it may find its true life again in
the quickening and leading of the Spirit. As long as
this is not understood, there will not be that fear of self
and its wisdom, that absolute dependence and waiting

336 NOTES.

on the Spirit, which is the first condition of the spiritual

To those who would be saved from these dangers,
who would fain return to the normal state in which,
and for which, God created man, the way is open,
though not always easy. Begin with the prayer that
we may hww the Holy Spirit, His dwelling-place, His
way, and His work, and what He claims. Seek a deep
impression of the holy mystery and the Divine reality
of His indwelling. As truly as God dwelt in the flesh
of Jesus of Nazareth, so truly, though in a different w^ay,
doth He dwell in Thee. Have a deep reverence for the
Holy Presence. Be very jealous of aught that would
grieve Him. Remember especially that what grieves
Him most, next to bin, and what is sometimes more
dangerous to ourselves than sin, is the soul repeating
the first offence, and following its own thoughts about what
is good and wise. Understand that thou hast received
the Spirit, that now the soul may be entirely under His
dominion. Imagine not that the fact of thy admitting
that thou needest the Spirit's teaching, or that thou
askest for Him, is enough to secure His working. No
indeed. It needs a very real giving up of the life of the
soul, of all its strength and wisdom day by day, and a
very real subjection of the whole mind and will to wait
for His quickening and His teaching, if thou art indeed
to learn to know and worship God in the Spirit.

To gather up Avhat has been said. The spirit is the
seat of our God - consciousness ; the soul of our self-
consciousness; the body of our world-consciousness. In
the spirit God dwells, in the soul self, in the body sense.
As long as the right relation existed, and the soul with
its self was subject to the spirit, and through it to God,
all was well. But sin came as the assertion of self in
seeking its life through sense and not obedience to the
spirit. And so the soul, self, selfishness became the
ruling principle of man's life.

In the regenerate man there is no more subtle tempta-

NOTES. 337

tion than this, that even in tlie service of God self still
seeks to assert itself, and in its will and strength to do
God's will, instead of waiting in dej)endence on tlie Holy
S[>irit for Hiui to work, both to will and to do. Tliis is
why the Lord Jesus s .id so distinctly, ' Let a man deny
himself, and take up his cross;' the life ;ind the p .wer
of self must be sacrificed and given up for the Spirit to
work. Even so He speaks of our hating and loving our
life (soul) if we are to find the true life, the life of the
Spirit. In the believer there is ever going on a secnt
struggle between the soul and the Spirit. On behalf of
God, the Spirit seeks to possess and pervade all. On
behalf of self, the soul seeks to take the first place, and to
assert the right of independent action. As long as this
is the case, and the soul takes the lead, expecting the
Spirit to follow, and help and bless what it does, our life
and work will be barren of truly spiritual result^;. Ordy
when the soul, with all of self, its willing nnd running,
is daily denied and laid in the dust for the Spirit to
work, will the Power of God be manifest in our service.
Her J is the cause of such frequent failure in the spiritual
life, of the evanescent character of many of our most
precious experiences ; our faith stood more in the wisdom
of man, in the influence of human teaching and human
apprehension, than in the power of God and His Spirit.

This is what is meant in Heb. iv. 12:' The word
of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-
edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and
spirit.' Just as in creation the first work of the word
was to divide, separating between light and darkness,
earth and sea, so, as the Living Word, by the Holy
Spirit, does it work in us, the difference between the
spirit as the higher and the seat of the Divine, and the
soul as the lower, ever with all its powers to be kept
subject to the spirit, becomes clear to us. And we
learn to understand that in the renewed spirit is the
home of Gud's Holy S})irit.

'Master, where dwellest Thou?' the disciples asked,


338 NOTES.

when first they began to know Jesns. * Come anrl seo/
was His answer, and they abode with Him that night.
' Holy Teacher, where dwellest Thou ? ' is a question we
may indeed ask, as we long to know the Spirit. The
answer Jesus has given us : ' He shall be in you.' In
that inner shrine of our wondrous nature, the spirit,
fleeper than the soul, with all its life of feeling, and
thought, and will, which God made for Hiniself, in the
spirit quickened by His power, there dwells the Holy
S/Arit. There, in the life which He has imparted, there
He dwells ; that life He leads ever deeper into the
Truth, the actual possession of the substance of the
grace revealed in Christ. It is only the soul that knows
tliat He dwells there, and waits for His teaching there,
to whom will be given as much as it needs and can bear
of that truth in the intellect, which otherwise is so
impotent and even dangerous. Paul writes : ' God,
whom I serve in my spirit.' It is as I know that I have
a spirit, 'the seat of self-collectedness, the inner sanc-
tuary,' formed for receiving the communications from
the Divine world, deeper than thought or feeling, and
retire there to wait on God's Spirit, and set it open to
Him, that I will learn to know where He dwells. Only
when He is acknowledged and honoured there, will He
come forth from the secret place, to manifest His power
in the region of the soul and its conscious life. When
speaking of the believer as a temple, I shall have occasion
again to point out the difference between the holy place,
the soul, and the most holy, the spirit. (24//i Day.)


Growth in the Knowledge of the Spirit (Chap. 8).

In the following extract from Dr Saphir's Christ Cruci-
fied : Lectures on I Corinthians ii., the thought is put very

NOTES. 339

distinctly, that as a rule the believer in the first stage of
tlie Christian life hardly knows that he owes his faith and
the power of the Criristian life to the direct working of
I he Holy Spirit. As a consequence of this ignorance there
very often comes a time of darkness, with the very view
of wakening him up to seek for the reason of his failure,
and the power of restoration and abiding growth. The
discovery of the work and indwelling of the Third Person,
the Holy Spirit, is what he needs, to see how all that is in
Clirist can in very deed be his in continuous experience.
I am sure that clear teaching in regard to this advance
in the knowledge of the Christian, and the proclama-
tion to the very feeblest of God's children that the
indwelling of the Holy Spirit is their privilege and
their strength, is just what is needed in the Church
in our day, and cannot fail of bringing light and blessing
to many.

' We read that the Apostle Paul found disciples in
Ephesus, whom he asked, " Have ye received the Holy
Ghost since you believed 1 " And their reply wa«:,
" We have not so much as heard whether there be any
Holy Ghost." As the Lord Jesus said to Philip,
" Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou
not known me ? " so may the Holy Ghost say to some
true and sincere believers, " Have I been so long wi(h
you, revealing unto you the truth as it is in Jesus,
working in you faith, shedding abroad in your hearts
God's love, comforting you in your sorrow for sin, help-
ing your infirmities in prayer, opening to your under-
standing wonders out of God's word, and yet have you not
kuoicn me ? " This ignorance arises, to some extent,
from the fact that the Spirit testifies not of Himself, but
of the Father and the Son. It is His to glorify Christ.
As when in the dark night a briglit light is concentrated
on one point, the light-bearer himself remains unseen ;
so the blessed Spirit, unperceived by the awakened
sinufT, causes all light to fall on the crucified Saviour
jind the loving Father, The soul exclaims : How great

340 NOTES.

is the love of God ! How marvellous is the grace of
Jesus ! He who has kindLd the Hglit, who lias opened
the eyes of the heart, wlio has renewed the soul, is as yet "•
unknown and unohserved. Jolin the Baptist compared
himself with the friend of the bri^legroom, who standeth
and rejoiceth greatly because of the bridtgroom's voice.
In like manner does the Spirit direct the soul to Christ,
and fills the heart with joy in believing Jesus, while as
yet He does not reveal His own love and work.

' Another reason \\ by the young believer knows little of
the Spirit is because the Holy Ghost is so gentle. His
approach is so soft, His adaptation to our peculiarities of
character so perfect, His intliiences so deep and pene-
trating, that we think our own reason, imagination, will,
conscience, have been acting of their own accord and
with perfect spontaneity.

' How little do we know that the Holy Ghost has been
influencing every faculty, every emotion, every mental
process ; so noiselessly, so quietly, so lovingly, so in-
wardly has the great Spirit been working, preparing, and
chiselling, and fitting every stone of the building —
thus at the building of Solomon's temple no sound was
heard. With perfect knowledge and with infinite love
the Holy Ghost deals with our spirits, and when the
creative fiat goes forth, it is mostly as the still small
voice which came to Elijah after the earthquake and the
tempest and the fire.

' Yet the believer knows that he has experienced
Divine grace and power. God has revealed to him
Christ. God has created him anew. It is a super-
natural influence of which he is conscious ; and as it is
unique, so it brings with it the assurance cf its truth.
There is a testimony within his heart that the true light
now shineth. " I know whom I believe." Now, we our-
selves know. Yet " the reason why we ourselves know is
that our knowledge is not of ourselves but of God." Here-
by we know that we know Him, by the Spirit He hath
given to us. And this light is sweet. There is a blessed-

NOTES. 341

ness in tliis knowletlge of the Fatlier and the Son, a peace
and joy which satisfy the heart and fill the immortal
soul, so that there is perfect rest. Whence is this]
Because the Holy Ghost, who is God, lias revealed to
us the things which are freely given us of God, because
by the Spirit we call the Father Abba, and Jesus, Lord.

' As the believer progresses, and his path becomes more
complicated, he is taught more about the Spirit, for he
needs this doctrine increasingly for his comfort and growth.
His faith is not so strong and unwavering as he
imagined ; the ardour of his love soon vanishes ; the
power of sin, which at first he fancied was utterly
broken, makes itself felt again ; prayer becomes languid,
and, joy seems to have taken flight. In other words,
God leads him into the valley, and lest he should make
a Christ of his faith, and a well-spring of a cistern, he
is taught something of himself. Who does not know of
this second stage in the Christian life, at first so painful,
so humiliating, and filling the soul with perplexity ? It
is thus that we learn that the Spirit who has reneivcd our
hearts must also sustain the neiv life; that we depenTi
entirely on Divine grace and power, not merely to
bring us to Christ, but to keep us in Him.

'Thus, as in all God's dealings, there is progress in
ever-increasing, widening, and deepening cycles. The
believer experiences again in a more enlarged and
profound manner what he was taught at his first con-
version. He sees now more clearly the guilt and
helplessness of man, our utter dependence on a Father
to love us, on a Saviour to save us by the shedding of
His blood, and on a Divine Spirit to quicken and
enlighten the soul, and fill it with the love of God. He
feels now with deeper humility and truer joy that
salvation is of God, that Divine grace lays the
foundation and performs tlie good work in us untd the
day of Christ. Then he beholds the gift and the Indwelling
of the Hohj Ghost. Thus was it that the first disciples,
after a season of childlike peace and joy in the presence

342 NOTES.

and corapanionsliip of Jesns, lost the Saviour ; and with
Him the garden of the soul, trees and flowers and songs
of birds, vanished, and all was winter, cold, silent, and
dead. And then He returned unto them never to leave
them; and, on the day of Pentecost, He, in the
person of the Comforter, descended and made all things
new ; and it was summer, full of fra2;rance and bridit-
ness. They had to lose Jesus for a while, to long for
the Spirit, and to rejoice in His coming.

' The gift of the Holy Ghost is the most precious gift
of that love which the Father has towards us for the
sake of His dear Son, and because we love Him, and
believe that He came from God. It is the gift in which
the purposes of God towards us are fidfilled a7id consummated.
"~ ' The Messiah and the Spirit always go together ; and
the gift of the Spirit is the great purpose of the Messiah's
coming and the first-fruits of His work ' (pp. 116-123).

*I shall never forget the gain to conscious faith and
peace which, in my own experience, came not at, but after,
a first decisive and appropriating view of the Crucified One
as the sinner's sacrifice of peace — came from a clearer and
more intelligent hold upon the personality of that Spirit
through whose mercy the soul had seen that blessed
view. It was a new development of insight into the
love of God; a new contact with the inner ami eternal
movements of redeeming mercy ; a new discovery of
Divine resources. Gratitude and love and adoration
found a new, a newly-realized reason, and spring, and
rest. He who had awakened, who had regenerated,
shone before the soul with the smile of a personal and
eternal kindness and friendship, standing side by side in
union unspeakable, yet not in confusion, with Him who
had suftered and redeemed, and with Him who had given
His Son, who had laid the eternal plan of grace, and
willed itfe all-merciful success.' — Rev. H. C. G. Moule.

NOTES. 343

The Spirit of Truth (Chap. 9).

We are so accustomed to think of the word Truth as
meaning doctrine, that it is only by a distinct and oft
repeated effort that we can realize that it is in a very
different and very much higher sense that our Lord uses
it. When John speaks of Christ as full of grace and
Truths and then explains this by saying, ' The Law came
by Moses ; Grace and Truth by Jesus Christ,' we notice
at once that he contrasts the powerless shadows and
forms of the law with the living substance and reality
of what Christ brought, as the real communication of the
eternal life of God from heaven. The following extract
from Beck (Prop. p. 2) may help us to lay hold of the
thought that Truth has indeed a Life and Kingdom of
its own : —

' Man's creative power, both spiritual and bodily, can
never attain to any true and real life, except as there is
something already given and received to work on and to
work out. It always supposes an objective external
creation. So in nature we must always have the real
matter, with its own life-power in it formed for us, before
we can with our powers secure any product : in the real
sense, whether spiritual or physical, we never produce,
we only reproduce. Nature is an independent kingdom
within which we live and work, but in which we call
into existence or create nothing. And just so. Truth,
the spiritual world, is an independent kingdom, which we
do not bring forth out of our spirit, but which must in
its self-existence reveal itself to us, that out of it we
may receive the substance and elements of a real life
before we can produce aught spiritually. An actual
existence must in its own original power reveal itself to
us, and with its creative energy enter into us, before we
can produce aught from within. And where is now this

344 NOTES.

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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 22 of 27)