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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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would hinder my seeing the countenance of my God ;
never would I take in my own hands an afternoon, an
hour, because I know it would be an unhappy day, an
unhappy hour. I am too happy not to put every day,
every hour, in the hands of my Heavenly Father; too
happy ever again to take into my hands the threads of
my life.



'John xvi. 7-11. Then in Acts ii. 36 and following
verses, we have the fulfilment of the promise. Now,
dear brethren, there are in the text from the gospel of
John, two distinct offices of the Holy Ghost, put forth
by our Divine Master. His name for the disciples is
Comforter, and He has also the office of convincing the
world. But before He may convince the world through



382 NOTES.

the disciples, more disciples must be filled with the Holy
Ghost. And so at Pentecost that promise was just
fulfilled ; the disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost,
and having the Comforter dwelling in them, they were
the instruments in God's hands of convincing the world
of the sin of unbelief. How few disciples there are who
know the Holy Ghost in His office of Comforter ! And
what is His comfort? The Holy Ghost will bring into
our hearts, above all, the consciousness that we aie
pleasing the Father by the power of the Son ; that we
are reconciled children, pleasing our Father. Oh, how
long will Christians introvert the offices of the Holy
Ghost, and oblige Him to be in their daily walk more
convincing than comforting ? For I have a deep feeling
in these days, and I must tell it out in the presence of
our God, that the Holy Ghost has to do among us,
generally speaking, more the work of convincing than
of comforting, — convincing of sin. What sin ? Til? siji
of unbelief. It is only the fruit of unbelief that sO
many Christians, looking back a day, or a week, or a
year, have not the testimony in their souls that they
have lived the life which pleased their God; and so again
and again the Holy Ghost is obliged to take up His
office of convincing of sin, and at last the children of
God lose the very capacity to beheve that they may
come to a life which pleases their Father in heaven.
Oh, the meetings at Keswick cannot have the approval
of God unless they have this fruit, that a week after, a
month after, a year after the meeting, there will be at
least some Christians who have learned by faith to
please their God ; not coming back a year after, telling
of the power of Jesus, and yet, when they are asked if
they have proved the power of Christ in their lives,
having to confess they have not habitually pleased
God, and have not habitually the presence of the Holy
Ghost as the Comforter.

' Remember, we are on holy ground, and we have no
right to speak of the power of our God if we are not



NOTES. 383

realizing it. Oh, I would not go forward one step if I
could for one moment not know that I realize all things
that I believe.

'And now, one passage more in i Peter ii. 5 and 9.
Oh, beloved friends, may you fulfil that glorious mission
which our God has given us ! Only after having been
convinced of the sin of unbelief, and having left for ever
the sin of unbelief, can we know the Holy Ghost acting
m our souls as the Comforter. Those three thousand
men on the day of Pentecost, how they saw their sins !
*' What shall we do ? " " Repent ; " that is to say, leave
your sin, the sin of unbelief in regard to Jesus Christ.
They did so; and in that very moment they received
the Jesus they had crucified as Lord and Christ. So I
would beseech you, leave that frightful sin of unbelief,
that you may know Jesus as the Anointed Lord, who is
waiting for children of God whom He may anoint as
priests ; and let us begin by believing that He is able to
keep us trusting during our daily life, to keep us in faith,
and in a walk that pleases our God. Can we go on any
longer living a life that jjleases not our Feather ?

'Phil. ii. 12, 13. I think if there is not a more prac-
tical realization of the glorious truth brought before
us, it is because the children of God have a definite
trust in the work of Jesus, a definite standing-place on
Calvary before God. but they have not the same definite
trust in the Holy Ghost, not as a power that will work
in us some day, but which is working continually in the
soul of every believer, to will and to do all that concerns
our salvation. This moment I know that I have air to
breathe, and that my God will continue to give it me
every minute ; so the Holy Ghost will not interrupt His
work in the inmost parts of my soul. I am His temple,
and He is working in me, for it is God the Holy Ghost
*' who workelh in you, both to will and to do of His good
pleasure."

' Now, you are asking how to trust. How can I be sure,
I am now trusting Jesus to keep me from sin, that



384 NOTES.

this afternoon and this evening I shall be kept in
communion with my God, that I shall abide in Jesus,
that I sliall go on trusting ? Dear brother, the moment
you put such a question, you are disbelieving the Holy
Ghost ; and so long as you ask it, you will never
continue in communion with your God, because you are
seeking in yourself the secret of going on trusting, and
it is the Holy Ghost who " worketh in you both to will
and to do."

' The reason so few Christians realize these things is
that children of God have not the same definite trust in
the work of the Holy Ghost that they have in the work
of Christ. We must be Trifiity believers^ realizing all
that Christ has provided for us by His work ; but we
are in the economy of the Holy Ghost, and so long as
we do not honour the Holy Ghost we cannot be practical
Christians.

' Let us come to the Holy Ghost in all the details of
our daily life. The Father, the Son, and the Holy
Ghost are all working together ; the Father is working
hand in hand with the Holy Ghost, The Holy Ghost
has His work in my soul, and He can work freely in my
soul only so long as I am looking to Jesus ; the moment
1 begin to look at the work of the Holy Ghost, that
moment 1 interrupt it ; the beginning and the end of
the work of the Holy Ghost is to make me look to Jesus.
When I am looking to Jesus, I am in the true position in
which the Holy Ghost can work in me. And the Father
is working with the Holy Ghost from morning to even-
ing ; if He did not work, there would be temptation be-
yond my spiritual age. I could not remain under
the state described in i Cor. x. 13. There can be no
temptation beyond what we are able to bear, because
the Father is preparing every evening the details of the
following day for His child, and I know He will never
permit a storm from without or from within beyond the
spiritual strength I have by looking to Jesus. There
are no hairs falling from your head without the per-



NOTES. 385

mission of your Heavenly Father. And so the work of
the Holy Ghost can go on in our souls freely, fully,
gradually, by the watching power of the Father, who so
arranges all details of the exterior life that it may work
togeiiier haiid in hand with the work of the Holy Ghost.



* Question — For sanctification does the believer receive
the Holy Ghost as spoken of in John vii. 37-39 and
xiv. 16, 17, or is the Holy Ghost a di^^tinct gift from
sanctification ?

'Beloved friends, What is Sanctification? In one
word, I would say, by justification you are brought by
the Holy Ghost into Jesus Christ. God takes away the
burden of your sins, and He takes you, and places you
in a new world in Jesus Christ ; and sanctification is for
me nothing else than to dwell in Jesus Christ, to remain
in the place where the Holy Ghost has put me. From
the moment we first receive the Holy Ghost, we have
nothing else to do but respect the Holy Ghost within us.
"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to
do of His good pleasure." And if so, many children of
God are not truly living waters, and if tlie living waters
are not flowing out from them, the reason is that they
have not practically honoured the Holy Ghost in all
things. " iruik mt " — because we must obey the Holy
Ghost working inthin — "with fear and trembling," fear-
ing to disobey the Holy Ghost in anything, and then
we shall begin to become living waters to others. God
will subdue our nature, and will act in us as the sap
acts in the branches, from the moment we give up our
being to the Holy Ghost working in us in all things.



* Question — How will this life of faith in Christ help us
in common daily temptations, such, for instance, as the



2 B



386 NOTES.

difficulty of getting up in tlie morning so as to secure
time for reading and prayer before breakfast?

' The secret of realizing in daily experience what we
teach here is just to learn to yield in all things to the
hints of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is not work-
ing in us as a master with his slave, but He will make
us become the spouse of Christ ; and the true relation
of husband and wife is that in which the wife is the
equal of the husband ; and in our relations with the
Holy Ghost we must learn to yield to the slightest
hints, to the " still small voice." Oh, that is a precious
lesson to learn, during all our life to have our ears more
and more open to that still small voice of our God. At
first, for those Christians who have no appetite, there is
much trouble, because the voice of bad example, of
teaching not according to the Holy Sjnrit, and other
voices, are filling the understanding and the soul ; and
they must learn to be deaf to all other voices, and to
listen only to that still small voice. Oh, it is a holy
thing to learn to distinguish that voice ; and you will
distinguish it as your soul, your imagination, your
wishes, are on the side of your God. Trusting in the
goodness and kindness and tenderness and delicacy of
our Good Shepherd, we shall learn to listen: listening
to other voices, we are sure to go wrong. In Rom.
viii. 11, and 1 Thess. v. 23, you see the end of the ways
of God is corporalitif, — the work of God must end by
being manifested in our bodies. You may read in the
faces of Christians, in the look of their eyes, that they
are not young Christians, that they have long lived with
God. And in proportion as you learn to listen to the
still small voice, " the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus
from the dead " will also begin to act in your mortal
bodies and quicken them. There is a time when we
are striving and struggling to rise early, to overcome
our bodies, and we cannot; but, in measure as we learn
to yield to the Holy Ghost, the quickening power of the
Soirit of God will manifest itself also in our bodies, and



NOTES. 387

they will gain their primitive elasticity for all that is
best for God's service. We shall learn to know from
the voice of God what He would have us to do. The
Spirit of God will never quicken our bodies for what
our natural energies can perform ; but I know, and I
realize it daily, hour after hour, that my God quickens
this mortal body for every service He gives me. My
English may be very bad, but I could not speak five
minutes if the Spirit of God did not give it me ; and so
for early rising, or anything else, the Holy Spirit will
give every minute just the strength that is needed, and
no more. The man who is living in this way cares no
more whether he is tired or strong, if he feels healthy or
sick ; he has learnt to receive from his God hints for
service, and in seeing he must rise early that it is the will
of God, necessary in order that he may go safely through
the day, he will, childlike, go to his Father, saying, " Give
me from the moment I rise my daily bread," and that
includes the Spirit of God working in the mortal body,
so that body, soul, and spirit become, moment by moment,
what the Lord wants them to be for His service.

* In Phil. ii. 8 you read that Jesus Christ '* became
obedient unto death ; " and some verses farther down
you find the apostle saying, " As ye have obeyed, not as
in my presence only, but now much more in my absence,
work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to
do." To will what, and to do what? To become like-
minded with Jesus, who was obedient unto death. The
Holy Ghost makes us willing to die, and to be in every
respect, from morning to evening, a living sacrifice on
the altar of our holy God, to go freely in the glorious
law of the New Covenant — that we can only have life
in measure as we forsake our own life.

' Oh, what glorious life Christ has brought us, and
what glorious life the Holy Ghost works out in us, if ye
believe that Jesus Christ's life is infinitely more precious
than our own life.



388 NOTES.

* Why are so many Christians so often exhausted in
their work for Christ ? Because they are seeking their
own life in their work. Our work can only be fruitful
when we are not seeking our own life or our own
pleasure in our work, but seeking the glory, the interest
of Christ. We have resurrection life, as long as we
remain buried with Christ and live only in His life.



*In John V. 29 you read, "Search the Scriptures.'*
Jesus showed the disciples of Emmaus that all Scripture
was filled with the name of Jesus. Why so few fully
trust Jesus is because so few know the real Jesus, as we
find Him in the Bible. We must come out from a
Christ of imagination, a Christ of feeling, and come
back to the Christ given us in the Scriptures — a true,
living Saviour, dying for our sins, and living that we
may live His own life of righteousness.

* Oh, search the Scriptures, and let the Holy Ghost lift
up before your eyes the person of Jesus, living, dying,
risen ; and in measure as the Holy Ghost, answering our
prayer, brings new light on the person of Jesus, you
will no more ask how to trust Him. Become better
acquainted with this Friend, and you will no more ask,
How shall I trust Him 1 You cannot do otherwise.
Only remember this one thing : it is through faith.
Jesus does not discover at the first step all His loveli-
ness. He asks us to trust Him. " Can you believe that
my life is more precious than all thy life ? Then give
me thy life, and I will give thee another life." Jesus is
waiting ; the Holy Ghost is throwing light on the per-
son of Jesus ; you are so wicked to look back on your-
self when the Holy Ghost has put Jesus in your sight.
Oh, beloved, this is life abundant ! To whom ? To
those who let the living Saviour guide them on the
understanding of His work on Calvary — that is. His
work of breaking the chains and the links by which we
were entangled in our own life. We could not die ; we



NOTES. 389

shrank from the thouji^ht of going with our Divine
Shepherd, not only in the green pastures, but through
the valley of the shadow of death. In the Gospels Jesus
Christ says of Mary, " This also that this woman hath
done shall be told for a memorial of her." "She hath
done it for my burial." Mary accepted the dying Christ
(woman is the receptive one). She received what Simon
Peter could not accept, that Christ should go to the
cross. She poured forth her best to anoint Christ for
His burial. Oh, let us fully accept a dying Christ, no
longer claiming to live ourselves. Jesus Christ died,
and came to resurrection through death. Ke^p under
the shadow of the life of Christ. You want rest, peace.
Oh, don't seek it only in green pastures and by still
waters : the deepest comfort is in the valley of the
shadow of death. " I will fear no evil " — where ? In
the " valley of the shadow of death." I preach life
through death, life in death. I know no other life than
that. If Jesus is all, my life must yield before His life.
His life must have right over my whole life.

'Just go deeper in searching the Scriptures, follow
Christ in all His steps, and remember, by death He has
taken away the power and the fear of death, that we
might be no longer in bondage. And now the dying to
self is no longer dreadful : it is life, it is the only life
that may satisfy all my being; to be nothing, and to
have Christ. Oh, trust Jesus to bring you into full
fellowship with His dying ! Trust Him. Don't look to
your nature, to your feelings. Behind the valley of
death there is abundance of life, and the moment you
give up all things, letting yourself go in the arms of
Jesus, death will lose its terror. I have the experience,
and every one who fully leaves himself to Jesus has the
experience, that there is the only true life. If you want
unity in your daily lite, don't seek life ; never will you
find life if you are seeking it Life is only when you
have your own life. We will always find powder in
Christ to die to ourselves, if that is the very thing we



390 NOTES.

are seeking ; and unless we have died we cannot bring
forth fruit. You want me to say what I have seen and
felt to be the result of this entire trust ? It is just this.
I let my Saviour, knowing Him better than before,
bring me through every experience that He would. He
brought me through deep waters ; and there is no ser-
vant of God who will not be purified through fire. The
Lord brings the sons of Levi through the fire, and there
He is purifying them for service, because our Lord uses
only pure vessels for fruitful service. God will not use
habitually unclean vessels. I have also experienced
that, in the deep valley of the shadow of death, I knew
my Saviour, and He comforted me as never before. So,
I assure you, never would I go to still waters or green
pastures, when my Divine Shepherd chooses to lead me
through deep waters and dark valleys. There are green
valleys on one side, and dark valleys on the other, and
He is just leading each sheep according to its special
needs. Learn to look on Jesus, and in doing that, by
and by, more and more, you will find that Jesus, by His
look, is taking your wandering look under the direction
of the Holy Ghost ; and by and by it will become the
very attitude of your soul, and you could do anything
more easily than distrust Jesus.



* Question — Is a life of practical holiness compatible
with an earnest, active business life, a business life in
which the mind is occupied with mercantile aff'airs six
days in the week, from nine in the morning till seven in
the evening ; and say nine out of every ten transactions
are made with unconverted men 1

* Let me bring before you a business man. In the first
verses of Dan. vi. you read that there were in the king-
dom of Darius a hundred and twenty princes and three
presidents, and there was one man, Daniel, who was
preferred above all the princes. Now this man went,
exposing his life, three times a day into his chamber,



NOTES. 301

and opened his window towards heaven, to bre-athe
heavenly air. The more business we have, the more we
want heavenly air. Take a man in whom is incorporated
the spirit of avarice, the spirit of covetousness ; this man
in every part of daily life will never lose out of sight the
great bu-iness of his life — to get money.

'Now a child, a man, in whom is incorporated the S[)irit
of God, will never lose out of sight the great purpose of
his daily life — to glorify his God ; but you must be dead
to self in order to live such a life. The Christian
business man and father does not work for his children,
but for his God, and God gives him bread for his
children. Believe me, our Father in heaven can under-
stand business, and will never let one of His children go
through a day without the needed supply : only he must
be ready to stop as soon as his Father gives him a hint
— '' Child, come to me, I have something to say to thee ;
there is some cloud overhanging thee j come aside with
me, that I may prepare thee to meet it."

' " Go in peace ; " you can go in rest, leaning on the arm
of your Divine Shepherd. Do not ask how you may
abide in rest. Remember, it is the Holy Ghost who will
keep you trusting, ^wevy day and every hour, on one
condition — that you seek the power of trusting, not in
your own wicked heart, but in the Holy Ghost. So,
guided by the mind and mighty hand of your Father,
standing on the holy ground of the work of the Trinity
— " Go in peace." Amen.

' In joy about work and service, let us apply the great
lesson of heavenly life — the lesson of love. Let us learn
to rejoice in the work of others, and not in our own
work. Let us learn to " rejoice with them that do
rejoice, and weep with them that weep," and not weep
all our own tears of sorrow, nor rejoice only with our
own personal joy ; but let us come under the hand of
our Lord, covered by His hand with only one purpose —
to have all our work covered in the hand of our God.
Oh, there is the secret of life. The Holy Ghost never



392 NOTES.

looked for His own glory, iievtT spoke of His own : His
only puri)ose is to glorify Christ. " This my joy is
fulfilled," that was heavenly joy. " He must increase,
but I must decrease." I must — it was not obligation, but
the yearning of the heart, this decrease.'



NOTE P.

The Spirit of Christ and His Love (Chap. 29).

' Know then thnt I am love incarnate ; I have clothed
myself with flesh that I might reign in your hearts.
Love one anotiier as I have loved you, and you will no
longer find me absent. All my life and sufferings have
this for their end — that Divine love should tabernacle
])ermanently among men. I have been manifest in the
flesh, I must be manifest in the Church. Love one
another as I have loved you, that earth, startled to see
me ascending on high, may turn to you, and behold with
glad su I prise Christ in you. Love is about to have the
highest revelation it has ever had; but when you gaze
upon the cross, especially when the Holy Spirit enables
you to look with intelligent eye upon it, understand
that the love there revealed is your model. That which
dies upon the cross is to live in you. " By this shall all
wen know : " this is that evidence that none shall be able
to resist.

' Having been introduced in the person of Jesus into
our common humanity, Love refuses to disengage itself,
and makes provision for its own perpetuation. What-
ever discoveries the disciples were yet to make of the
love of Christ, from His death on the cross, and by the
outpouring of the Holy Spirit, were discoveries of the
love they were required to entertain for one another.
They were each commissioned to carry on the loving life
of Jesus.



NOTES. 593

* But how may this thing be ? It is by virtue of the
union of the believer to Christ that the heart of the
former becomes the depositary of the Saviour's own love
for His people. The vocation of every believer is this :
to be a revelator of the love of Christ.

' " If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye
shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."
Is it difficult to see why the prayers of Christ's people
are not more promptly fultilled? They do not suffer
His word to abide in them, they do not practically
recognise the'r obligation to love one another as He has
loved them. Who knows how many priceless ex-
pressions of the Father's love toward us are effectually
repressed by the fact that we are inattentive to the
svveet mandate of Jesus, to give each other His love?
We profess to desire earnestly the outpouring of the
Holy Spirit, but we shall do well to note that one of the
first things which the Holy Spirit will aim to produce in
us will be this Christ-like love to the brethren.

' My Christian brethren see not the Saviour with their
bodily eye, but I have been commissioned by the Saviour
to afford them, in some sense, a compensation for this
deficiency. I am commanded to let the love which
found exhibition in His mortal person find now its
exhibition in my life — a command which would be
utterly idle and futile, were it not that He, the ever-
lo\ ing One, is willing to put His own love within me.
The command is really no more than to be a branch of
the True Vine. I am to cease from my own living and
loving, and yield my^elf to be the expression of Christ's
love.' — George Bowen : Love Beveahd.



394 NOTES.

NOTE Q.

On the Spirit's Coming (Chap. 5).

*The teaching of Jesus Christ respecting the ministry
of the Holy Ghost is so peculiar as to raise the inquiry —
Where was the Holy Ghost during the earthly ministry
of the Son of Man ? Where was the Spirit that had
moved on the face of the waters, that had been poured
out upon Israel 1 Was His ministry suspended 1 It
may be suggested that the fulness had not been reaUzed
in the ancient Church, which is undoubtedly true ; yet,


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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 26 of 27)