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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come,' and that Christ brought us the things them-
selves, their very substance, we see how He was
full of truth, because He was Himself the Truth,
the reality, the very Life and Love and Power of
God imparting itself to us. We then also see how
it is only a worship in Spirit that can be a worship
in Truth, in the actual enjoyment of that Divine
Power, which is Christ's own life and fellowship
with the Father, revealed and maintained within us
by the Holy Spirit.

* The true worshippers worship the Father in
Spirit and in Truth.' All worshij)pers are not true
jworshippers. There may be a great deal of earnest,
honest worship without its being worship in Spirit
and in Truth. The mind may be intensely occu-
pied, the feelings may be deeply moved, the will
may be mightily roused, while yet there is but
little of the Spiritual Worship which stands in the
Truth of God. There may be great attachment to
Bible truth, and yet through the predominating
activity of that which cometh not from God's
working, but from man's effort, it may not be the
Christ-given, Spirit-breathed worship which God
seeks. There must be accordance, harmony, unity
between God, who is a Spirit, and the worshippers
drawing near in the Spirit. Such doth the Father
seek to worship Him. The Infinite, Perfect, Holy
Spirit, which God the Father is, must have some
reflection in the spirit which is in the child.


And this can only be as the Spkit of God dwells
in us.

If W8 would strive to become such worshippers
in Spirit and in Truth, — true worshippers, — the
first thing we need is a sense of the danger in
which we are from the Flesh and its worship. As
believers we have in us a double nature — flesh and
spirit. The one is the natural part which is ever
ready to intrude itself, and to undertake the doing
of what is needed in the Worship of God. The
other is the Spiritual part, which may still be very
weak, and which possibly we do not yet know how
to give its full sway. Our mind may delight in the
study of God's Word, our feelings may be moved
by the wonderful thoughts there revealed, our will
may — we see this in Eom. vii. 22 — delight in
the law of God after the inward man, and we may
yet be impotent to do that law, to render the
obedience and worship we see and approve.

We need the Holy Spirit's indwelling for life
and worship alike. And to receive this we need
first of all to have the flesh silenced. * Be silent,
all flesh, before the Lord.' ' Let no flesh glory in
His presence.' To Peter had already been revealed
by the Father that Jesus was the Christ, and yet
in his thoughts of the cross he savoured not, his
mind was not according to, the things of God, but
the things of men. Our own thoughts of Divine
things, our own efforts to waken or work the right
feelings must be given up, our own power to wor-
ship must be brought down and laid luw, and every


approach to God must take place under a very dis-
tinct and very quiet surrender to the Holy Spirit.
And as we learn how impossible it is at our will
any moment to ensure the Spirit's working, we
shall learn that if we would worship in the Spirit
we must walk in the Spirit. 'Ye are not in the
flesh but in the Spirit, if so he the Spirit of God
dwelleth in you.' As the Spirit dwells and rules
in me, I am in the Spirit, and can worship in the

* 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.' Yes, the Father seeks such
worshippers, and what He seeks He finds, because
He Himself works it. That we might be such
worshippers. He sent His own Son to seek and
to save the lost ; to save us with this salvation,
that we should become His true worshippers, wlio
enter in through the rent veil of the flesh, and
worship Him in the Spirit. And then He sent the
Spirit of His Sod, the Spirit of Christ, to be in us
the Truth and Eeality of what Christ had been,
His actual presence, to communicate within us the
very life that Christ had lived. Blessed be God! the
hour has come, and is now, we are living in it this
very moment, that the true worshippers shall wor-
sliip the Father in Spirit and in Truth. Let us
believe it ; the Spirit has been given, and dwells
within us, for this one reason, because the Father
seeks such worshippers. Let us rejoice in the con-


fidence that we can attain to it, we can be true wor-
shippers, because the Holy Spirit has been given.

Let us realize in holy fear and awe that He
dwells within us. Let us humbly, in the silence of
the flesh, yield ourselves to His leading and teach-
ing. Let us wait in faith before God for His
workings. And let us practise this worshijp. Let
every new insight into what the work of the Spirit
means, every exercise of faith in His indwelling or
experience of His working, terminate in this as its
liighest glory : the adoring worship of the Fatlier,
the giving Him the Praise, the Thanks, the Honour,
and Love which are His alone.

God ! Thou art a Spirit, and they that worship
Thee must worship Thee in Spirit and in Truth.
Blessed be Thy name ! Thou didst send forth Thine
Own Son to redeem and prepare us for the worship
in the Spirit ; and Thou didst send forth Thy Spirit
to dwell in us and fit us for it. And now we have
access to the Father, as through the Son, so in the

Most Holy God ! we confess with shame how
much our worship has been in the power and the
will of the flesh. By this we have dishonoured
Thee, and grieved Thy Spirit, and brought infinite
loss to our own souls. God ! forgive and save
us from this sin. Teach us, we pray Thee, never,
never to attempt to worship Thee but in Spirit and
in Truth.

Our Father ! Thy Holy Spirit dwells in us. We


beseech Thee, according to the riches of Thy glory,
to strengthen us with might by Him, that our inner
man may indeed be a spiritual temple, where
spiritual sacrifices are unceasingly offered. And
teach us the blessed art, as often as we enter Thy
presence, of yielding self and the flesh to the death,
and waiting for and trusting the Spirit who is in
us, to work in us a worship, a faith and love,
acceptable to Thee through Christ Jesus. And, oh !
that throughout the universal Church, a worship in
Spirit and in Truth may be sought after, and
attained, and rendered to Thee day by day. We
ask it in the name of Jesus, Amen.

7. It is in worship that the Holy Spirit most completely attains the object
for which He was given ; it is in worship He can most fully proue what He is.
If I would that the consciousness and the Power of the Spirit's Presence
became strong within me, let me worship. The Spirit fits for worship ;
worship fits for the Spirit.

2. It is not only prayer that is worship. Worship is the prostrate adoration
of the Holy Presence. Often without words : ' They bowed their heads and
worshipped,' Ex. iu. 21, xii. 27 ; Neh. uiii. 6. 'The elders fell down and
worshipped,' Reu. u. 14. Or only with an Amen, Hallelujah, Reu. xix. 4.
r 3. How much worship there is, even among belleuers, that is not in the
Spirit ! In priuate, family, and public worship, how much hasty entering into
God's presence in the power of the fiesh, with little or no waiting for the
Spirit to lift us heavenward I It is only the Presence and Power of the Holy
Spirit that fits for acceptable worship.

4. The great hindrance to the Spirit is the fiesh. The secret of spiritual
worship is the death of the fiesh ; a gluing it up to the accursed death of the
cross, and in great fear of its actings humbly and trustfully to wait for the
Spirit's life and power to take the place of the life and strength of self.

5. As our life is, so will our worship be. The Spirit must lead and rule in
daily life if He is to inspire our worship. A life in obedience to God's will
and in His Presence fits for worship. May God give us to feel deeply the
extent, the sinfulness, the impotence of worship not in Spirit and in

6. The Spirit is given for worship and in worship ; let our study of the
work in this little book ever be in humble, reverent waiting upon God. 'My
aoui, be thou siknt unto God.'


Fourth Day.


SClje Spirit anti tte OTorti.

*It is the Spirit that quicken eth ; the flesh profiteth nothing :
the words that I have spoken unto you are Spirit and are life.
Lord, to whom shall we go ? Thou hast the words of eternal
///e.'— John vi. 63. 68.

' God hath made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant ;
not of the letter, but of the Spirit : for the letter killeth, but
the Spirit giueth life.'* — 2 Cor. iii. 6.

OUR Blessed Lord had been speaking of Himself
as the Bread of Life, and of His flesh and
blood as the meat and drink of eternal Life. To
many of His disciples it was a hard saying, which
they could not understand. Jesus tells them that
it is only when the Holy Spirit is come, and they
have Him, that His words will become clear to
them. He says, * It is the Spirit that quickeneth ;
the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have
spoken unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life.'
* It is the Spirit that quickeneth,' in these
words and the corresponding ones of Paul, * the
Spirit giveth life,' we have the nearest approach


to what may be called a definition of the Spirit.
(Comp. 1 Cor. xv. 45, * a life-giving Spirit.') The
Spirit always acts, in the first place, whether in
nature or grace, as a Life-giving principle. It is of
the deepest importance to keep firm hold on this.
His work in the believer, of Sealing, Sanctifying,
Enlightening, and Strengthening, is all rooted in
this : it is as He is known and honoured, and place
given to Him, as He is waited on, as the Inner Life
of the soul, that His other gracious workings can be
experienced. These are but the outgrowth of the
Life ; it is in the power of the Life within that
they can be enjoyed. ' It is the Spirit that quick-
eneth.' In contrast to the Spirit our Lord places
the flesh. He says, * the flesh profiteth nothing.'
He is not speaking of the flesh as the fountain of
sin, but in its religious aspect, as it is the power in
which the natural man, or even the believer who
does not fully yield to the Spirit, seeks to serve
God, or to know and possess Divine things. The
futile character of all its efforts our Lord indicates
in the words, ' profiteth nothing ; ' they are not
sufficient, they avail not to reach the Spiritual
reality, the Divine things themselves. Paul means
the same when he contrasts with the Spirit, the
letter that killeth. The whole Dispensation of the
Law was but a dispensation of the letter and the
flesh. Though it had a certain glory, and Israel's
privileges were very great, yet, as Paul says, ' Even
that which was made glorious had no glory in this
respect, by reason ©f the glory that excelleth/


Even Christ Himself, as long as He was in the flesh,
and until, in the rending of the veil of His flesh,
the dispensation of the Spirit took the place of that
of the flesh, could not by His words effect in His
disciples what He desired. ' It is the Spirit that
quickeneth ; the flesh profiteth nothing.'

Our Lord applies this saying now specially to
the words He had just spoken, and the Spiritual
truth they contained. ' The words that I have
spoken unto you are Spirit and are Life.' He
wishes to teach the disciples two things. The one
is, that the words are indeed a living seed with a
power of germinating and springing up, asserting
their own vitality, revealing their meaning, and
proving their Divine Power in those who receive
them and keep them abiding in the heart. He
wanted them not to be discouraged if they could not
at once comprehend them. His words are Spirit
and Life ; they are not meant for the understanding,
but for the Life. Coming in the Power of the
Unseen Spirit, higher and deeper than all thought,
they enter into the very roots of the Life, they
have themselves a Divine Life, working out effectually
with a Divine energy the Truth they express into
the experience of those who receive them. As a
consequence of this their spiritual character — this
is the other lesson He wished His disciples to
learn — these words of His need a spiritual nature
_to receive them. Seed needs a congenial soil : there
must be life in the soil as well as in the seed. Not
into the mind only, nor into the feelings, nor even


into the will alone must the word be taken, but
through them into the life. The centre of that
life is man's spiritual nature, with conscience as its
voice ; there the authority of the word must be
acknowkdfied. But even tliis is not enouoh : con-
science dwells in man as a captive amid powers it
cannot control. It is the Spirit that comes from
God, the Spirit that Christ came to bring, becoming
our life, receiving the word and assimilating it
into our life, that will make them to become the
Truth and Power in us.

In our study of the work of the Blessed Spirit,
we cannot be too careful to get clear and firm hold
of this blessed truth. It will save us from right-
hand and left-hand errors. It will keep us from
'expecting to enjoy the teaching of the Spirit with-
out the Word, or to master the teaching of the
__Word without the Spirit.

On the one side, we have the right-hand error,
seeking the teaching of the Spirit without the Word.
In the Holy Trinity, the Word and the Spirit are
ever in each other, one with the Father. It is no
otherwise with the God-inspired Words of Scripture.
The Holy Spirit has for all ages embodied the
thoughts of God in the written word, and lives now
for this very purpose in_our liearts, there to reveal
the power and the meaning of that Word. If you
jv^ould be full of the Spirit, be full of the Word.
If you would have the Divine Life of the Spirit
within you grow strong, and acquire power in every
pait of your nature; let the Word of Christ dwell


richly in you. If you would have the Spirit fulfil
His office of Eemembrancer, calling to mind at the
right moment, and applying with Divine accuracy
what Jesus has spoken to your need, have tlie
Words of Christ abiding in you. If you would
have the Spirit reveal to you the Will of God in
each circumstance of life, choosing from apparently
conflicting commands or principles with unerring
precision what you must do, and suggesting it as
you need, oh ! have the Word living in you, ready
for His use. If you would have the Eternal Word
as your Light, let the Written Word be transcribed
on your heart by the Holy Spirit. ' The Words
that I have spoken unto you, they are Spirit and are
Life.' Take them and treasure tliem : it is through
them that the Spirit manifests His quickening

On the other side, we have the left-hand and
more common error. Think not for one moment
that the Word can unfold its Life in thee, except as
the Spirit within thee accepts and appropriates it in
the inner life. How much of Scripture reading, and
Scripture study, and Scripture preaching is there in
which the first and main object is to reach the
meaning of the Word ? Men think that if they
know correctly and exactly what it means, there

^Compare carefully Eph. v. 18, 19 and Col. iii. 16, and see
how the joyful fellowship of the Christian Life, described in
identically the same words, is said in the one place to come from
being full of the Spirit, in the other from being iull of the Word.
Let me seek just as much of the Word as of the Spirit, and juat as
much of the Spirit as of the Word.


will come as a natural consequence the blessing the
Word is meant to bring. This is by no means the
case. The Word is a seed. In every seed there is
a fleshy part, in which the life is hidden. One
may have the most precious and perfect seed in its
bodily substance, and yet unless it be exposed in
suitable soil to the influence of sun and moisture,
the life may never grow up. And so we may hold
the words and the doctrines of Scripture most
intelligently and earnestly, and yet know little of
their life or power. We need to remind ourselves
and the Church unceasingly, that the Scriptures
which were spoken by holy men of old as they
were moved by the Holy Spirit, can only be
understood by holy men as they are taught by the
same Spirit. * The words I have spoken are
Spirit and Life ; ' for the apprehending and partaking
of them ' the flesh profiteth nothing : it is the
Spirit that quickeneth,' the Spirit of Life within us.
This is one of the awfully solemn lessons which
the history of the Jews in the time of Christ teaches
us. They were exceeding zealous, as they thought,
for God's word and honour, and yet it turned out
that all their zeal was for their human interpreta-
tion of God's word. Jesus said to them : * Ye
search the Scriptures, because ye think that in them
ye have eternal life ; and these are they which
testify of me : and ye will not come to me that ye
may have life.' They did indeed trust to the
Scriptures to lead them to eternal life ; and yet
they never saw that they testified of Christ, and

48 THE SriKIT OF ClIlilST.

SO they would not come to Him. They studied and
accepted Scripture in the light and in the power of
their human understanding, and not in the light and
power of God's Spirit as their life. The feebleness
of the life of so many believers who read and know
Scripture much has no other cause ; they know not
that it is the Spirit that quickeneth ; that the flesh,
that the human understanding, however intelligent,
however earnest, proliteth nothing. They think
chat in the Scriptures they have eternal life, but
the living Christ, in the power of the Spirit, as
their life, they know but little.

What is needed is very simple : the determined
refusal to attempt to deal with the written word
without the quickening Spirit. Let us never take
Scripture into our hand, or mind, or mouth, without
realizing the need and the promise of the Spirit.
First, in a quiet act of worship, look to God to give
and renew the workings of His Spirit within you ;
then, in a quiet act of faith, yield yourself to the
power that dwells in you, and wait on Him, that
not the mind alone, but the life in you, may be
opened to receive the Word. Let the Holy Spirit be
your life. To the Spirit and the Life coming out
from within to meet the Word from without as its
food, the words of Christ are indeed Spirit and Life.

As we further follow the teaching of our Blessed
Lord as to the Spirit, it will become clear to us
that, as the Lord's Words are Spirit and Life, so the
Spirit must be in us as the Spirit of our Life.
Our inmost personal life must be the Spirit of God.


Deeper down than mind, or feeling, or will, tlie very
root of all these, and their animating principle,
there must be the S2:)irit of God. As we seek to
go lower down than these, as w^e see that nothing
can reach the Spirit of Life which there is in the
w^ords of the Living God, and wait on the Holy
Spirit within us, in the unseen depths of the hidden
life, to receive and reveal the words in His quicken-
ing power, and work them into the very life of our
Hfe, we shall know in truth what it means : 'It is
(he Spirit that quickeneth.' We shall see how
livinely right and becoming it is that the words
>vhich are Spirit and Life should be met in us by
the Spirit and the Life dwelling within, how then
alone they will unfold their meaning and impart
their substance, and give their divine strength and
tulness to Uie Spirit and the Life already within us.

my God ! again I thank Thee for the wonderful
^ift of the indwelling Spirit. And I humbly beseech
Thee anew that I may indeed know that He is in me,
and how glorious the divine work He is carrying on.

Teach me specially, I pray Thee, to believe that
He is the life and the strength of the growth of the
Divine life within me, the pledge and assurance that
I can grow up into all my God would have me.
As I see this, 1 shall understand how He, as the
Spirit of the Life within me, will make my spirit
hunger for the Word as the food of the life, will
receive and assimilate it, will indeed make it Life
and Power.



Forgive me, my God, that I have so much sought
to apprehend Thy words, which are Spirit and Life,
in the power of human thought and the fleshly
mind. I have been so slow to learn that the flesh
profiteth nothing. I do desire to learn it now.
r O my Father ! give me the Spirit of wisdom,
grant me the mighty workings of the Spirit, that I
may know how deeply spiritual each word of Tliine
is, and how spiritual things can only be spiritually
discerned. Teach me in all my intercourse with
Thy word to deny the flesh and the fleshly mind,
to wait in deep humility and faith for the inward
working of the Spirit to quicken the word. May
thus all my meditation of Thy Word, all my keep-
ing of it in faith and obedience, be in Spirit and in
Truth, in Life and Power. Amen.

1. To understand a book the reader must know the same language as the
author. He must in many cases haue somewhat of the same spirit in which
the author wrote. To understand the Scripture, we need the same Holy Spirit
dwelling in us which enabled holy men of old to write them.

2. The Eternal Word and the Eternal Spirit are inseparable. Even so the
Creative Word and the Creative Spirit {Gen. i. 2, 3; Ps. xxxiii. 6). Not
otherwise the Word and Spirit in redemption (John i. 1-3, 14, 33). So, too,
in the written word : ' The words I speali are Spirit. ' So in the word preached
by the Apostles (7 Thess. i. 5). And so it must be in the word read and
meditated on by us ; as really as the God-breathed word comes from without
must the God-breathed spirit meet it from within.

3. The word is the seed. The Seed has a hidden life that needs a living soil
in which to grow. The Word has a Divine Life ; see that you receive the word
not only in the natural mind or will, but in the new spirit, where God's Spirit

4. I see it more and more : The power of the word and its truth depend
upon living fellowship tuith Jesu_i. Why is there so often failure instead of
victory in the Christian life ? it is because the truth is held out of the power
of the Spirit. May God help me to believe these two things : the Word is full
of a Divine Spirit and power, and can worii mightily ; the heart has the
tame Divine Spirit within, through whom the Living Word is accepted in Living
Power. IVIy life must be in the power of the Spirit.


Fifth Day.


?r!)e Spirit of ti}c slorifi'eti Sesus.

' He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of
his belly shall flow rivers of Hving water. But this spake He
0/ the Spirit, which they that believe on Him were to re-
ceive : for the Spirit was not yet ; because Jesus was not yet
glorified.'— John vii. 37, 38.

OUR Lord promises here, that those who come
unto Him and drink, who believe in Him,
will not only never thirst, but will themselves
become fountains, whence streams of living water,
of life and blessing, will flow forth. In recording
the words, John explains that the promise was a
prospective one, that would have to wait for its
fulfilment till the Spirit should have been poured
out. He also gave the double reason for this
delay: The Holy Spirit vms not yet; because Jesus
was not yet glorified. The expression : the Spirit
was not yet, has appeared strange, and so the word
given has been inserted. But the expression, if
accepted as it stands, may guide us into the true


understanding of the real significance of the Spirit's
not coming until Jesus was glorified.

We have seen that God has given a twofold
revelation of Himself, first as God in the Old
Testament, then as Father in the New. We know
how the Son, who had from eternity been with the
Father, entered upon a new stage of existence
when He became flesh. When He returned to
Heaven, He was still the same only-begotten Son of
God, and yet not altogether the same. For He was
now also, as Son of Man, the first-begotten from
the dead, clothed with that glorified humanity
whicfc He had perfected and sanctified for Himself.
And just so the Spirit of God as poured out on
Pentecost was indeed something new. Through

Online LibraryAndrew MurrayThe Spirit of Christ : thoughts on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer and the church → online text (page 3 of 27)