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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the Old Testament He was always called the Spirit
of God or the Spirit of the Lord ; tlie name of
Holy Spirit He did not yet bear as His own
proper name.^ It is only in connection with the
(vork He has to do in preparing the way for Christ,
and a body for Him, that the proper name comes
into use (Luke i. 15, 35). When poured out at
Pentecost, He came as the Spirit of the glorified
Jesus, the Spirit of the Incarnate, crucified, and
exalted Christ, the bearer and communicator to us,

^The only three passages (Ps, li. 11 ; Isa. Ixiii 10, 11) where
we have iu our translation Holy Spirit, the Hebrew is proiierly
(and Stier, for instance, in his Commentary renders it so), Hhe Spirit
of His holi7iess,' It is thus of the Spirit of God tliat the word
is used, and not as the Proper Name of the thiid person. Only in
the New Testament does the Spirit bear the name of ' The Holy


not of the life of God as such, but of that life as it
had been interwoven into human nature in the
person of Christ Jesus. It is in this capacity
specially that He bears the name of Holy Spirit,
for it is as the Indwelling One that God is Holy.
And of this Spirit, as He dwelt in Jesus in the
flesh, and can dwell in us in the flesh too, it is
distinctly and literally true ; the Holy Spirit was
not yet. The Spirit of the glorified Jesus, the Son
of man become the Son of God — He could not be
until Jesus was glorified.

This thought opens up to us further the reason
why it is not the Spirit of God as such, but the
Spirit of Jesus, that could be sent to dwell in us.
Sin had not only disturbed our relation to God's
law, but to God Himself ; with the Divine favour we
had lost the Divine life. Christ came not only to
deliver man from the law and its curse, but to
bring human nature itself again into the fellowship
of the Divine life, to make us partakers of the
Divine nature. He could do this, not by an
exercise of Divine Power on man, but only in the
path of a free, moral, and most real human develop-
ment. In His own person, having become flesh,
He had to sanctify the flesh, and make it a meet
and willing receptacle for the indwelling of the
Spirit of God. Having done this. He had, in
accordance with the law that the lower form of life
can rise to a higher, only through decay and
death, in death both to bear the curse of sin and
to give Himself as the seedcorn to bring forth


fruit in us. From His nature, as it was glorified
in the resurrection and ascension, His Spirit came
forth as the Spirit of His human life, glorified into
the union with the Divine, to make us partakers of
all that He had personally wrought out and acquired,
of Himself and His glorified life. In virtue of His
atonement, man now had a right and title to the
fulness of the Divine Spirit, and to His indwelling,
as never before. And in virtue of His having per-
fected in Himself a new holy human nature on our
behalf, He could now communicate what pre-
viously had no existence, — a life at once human and
Divine. From henceforth the Spirit, just as He
was the personal Divine life, could also become the
personal life of men. Even as the Spirit is the
personal life principle in God Himself, so He can
be it in the child of God : the Spirit of God's Son
can now be the Spirit that cries in our heart, Abba,
Father. Of this Spirit it is most fully true, ' The
Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet
glorified.' *

But now. Blessed be God ! Jesus has been
glorified ; there is now the Spirit of the glorified
Jesus ; the promise can now be fulfilled : He that
belie veth on me, out of him shall flow rivers of
living waters. The great transaction which took
place when Jesus was glorified is now an eternal
reality. When Christ had entered with our human
nature, in our flesh, into the Holiest of all, there
took place that of which Peter speaks, ' Being by
^ See Notes B aud Q.


the right hand of God exalted, He received of the
Father the promise of the Holy Ghost.' In our
place, and on our behalf, a^ man and tlie Head
of man, He was admitted into the full glory
of the Divine, and His human nature consti-
tuted the receptacle and the dispenser of the
Divine Spirit. And the Holy Spirit could come
down as the Spirit of the God - man — most
really the Spirit of God, and yet as truly the
spirit of man. He could come down as the Spirit
of the glorified Jesus to be in each one who
believes in Jesus, the Spirit of His personal life
and His personal presence, and at the same time
the spirit of the personal life of the believer. Just
as in Jesus the perfect union of God and man had
been effected and finally completed when He sat
down upon the throne, and He so entered on a
new stage of existence, a glory hitherto unknown,
so too, now, a new era has commenced in the life and
the work of the Spirit. He can now come down
to witness of the perfect union of the Divine and
the human, and in becoming our life, to make us
partakers of it. TJiere is noiv the Spirit of the
glorified Jesus : He hath poured Him forth ; we
have received Him to stream into us, to stream
through us, and to stream forth from us in rivers
of blessino-.

The glorifying of Jesus and the streaming forth
of His Spirit are intimately connected ; in vital
organic union the two are inseparably linked. If
we would have, not only the Spirit of God, but this


Spirit of Christ, which ' was not yet/ but now is
the Spirit of the glorified Jesus, it is specially
with the glorified Jesus we must believing! y deal.
We must not simply rest content with the faith
that trusts in the cross and its pardon ; we must
seek to know the New Life, the Life of Glory and
Power Divine in human nature, of which the
Spirit of the glorified Jesus is meant to be the
Witness and tlie Bearer. This is the mystery
which was hid from ages and generations, but is
now made known by the Holy Spirit, Christ in us ;

ihow He really can live His Divine life in us who are

In the flesh. We have the most intense personal
interest in knowing and understanding what it
means that Jesus is glorified, that human nature
shares the life and glory of God, that the Spirit
was not yet, as long as Jesus was not glorified.
And that not only because we are one day to see
Him in His glory, and to share in it. No, but even
now, day by day, we are to live in it. The Holy

[Spirit is able to be to us just as much as we are
willinoj to have of Him, and of the life of the

(^glorified Lord.

' This spake Jesus of the Spirit, which they
that believed on Him were to receive ; for the
Spirit was not yet ; because Jesus was not yet
glorified.' God be praised ! Jesus has been
glorified : there is now the Spirit of the glorified
Jesus ; we have received Him. In the Old Testa-
ment only the unity of God was revealed ; when
the Spirit was mentioned, it was always as His


Spirit, the power by which God was working : He
was not known on earth as a Person. In the New
Testament the Trinity is revealed ; with Pentecost
the Holy Spirit descended as a Person to dwell in
us. This is the fruit of Jesus' work, that we now
have the Personal Presence of the Holy Spirit on
earth. Just as in Christ Jesus, the second Person,
the Son canie to reveal the Father, and the Father
dwelt and spoke in Him, even so the Spirit, the
third Person, comes to reveal the Son, and in Him
the Son dwells and works in us. This is the glory
wherewith the Father glorified the Son of man,
because the Son had glorified Him, that in His
Name and through Him, the Holy Spirit descends
as a Person to dwell in believers, and to make the
glorified Jesus a Present Eeality within them.
This is it of which Jesus says, that whoso believeth
in Him shall never thirst, but shall have rivers of
waters flowing out of him. This alone it is that
satisfies the soul's thirst, and makes it a fountain to
quicken others ; the Personal Indwelling of the Holy
Spirit, revealing the Presence of the glorified Jesus.
He that believeth on me, rivers of water shall flow
out of him. This He said of the Spirit. Here we have
once again the blessed Key of all God's treasures :
He that helicveth on me. It is the glorified Jesus
who baptizes with the Holy Ghost : let us believe inj
Him. Let each one who longs for the full blessing
here promised only believe. Let us believe in Him,
that He is indeed glorified, that all He is and does
and wishes to do is in the power of a Divine glory.


According to the riches of His glory, God can now
work in us. Let us beheve that he has given His
Holy Spirit, that we have the personal presence of
, the Spirit on earth and within us. By this faith the
glory of Jesus in heaven and the Power of the Spirit
in our hearts become inseparably linked. Let us be-
lieve that in the fellowship with Jesus the stream will
flow ever stronger and fuller, into us and out of us.
Yes ; let us believe_on Jesus. But let us remember :
thinking on these things, understanding them, being
very sure of them, rejoicing in a fuller insight into
them, all this, though needful, is not itself believing.
Believing is that power of the renewed nature
which, forsaking self and dying to it, makes room
for the Divine, for God, for the glorified Christ
to come and take possession and do His work.
Faith in Jesus bows in lowly stillness and poverty
of spirit, to realize that_self has nothing, and that
Another, the unseen Spirit, has now come in to be
its leader, its strength, and its life. Faith in Jesus
bows in the stillness of a quiet surrender before
Him, fully assured that as it waits on Him, He;

will cause the river to flow.


Blessed Lord Jesus ! I_do_ believe, help Thou
mine unbelief. Do Thou, the Author and Perfecter
of our faith, perfect the work of faith in me too.
Teach me, I pray Thee, with a faith that enters the
unseen, to realize what Thy glory is, and what my
share in it is even now, according to Thy word :
'The glory which Thou gavest me, I have given


them.' Teach me that the Holy Ghost and His
power is the glory which Thou givest us, and
that Thou wouldst have us show forth Thy glory
in rejoicing in His holy presence on earth and His
indwelling in us. Teach me above all, my blessed
Lord, not only to take and hold these blessed truths
in the mind, but with my spirit that is in my in-
most parts, to wait on Thee to be filled with Thy

my glorified Lord ! I do even now bow before
Thy glory in humble faith. Let all the life of self
and^^e flesh be^abased and perish, as I worship
and wait before Thee. Let the Spirit of Glory
become my life. Let His Presence break down all
trust in self, and make room for Thee. And let
my whole life be one of faith in the Son of God, who
loved me, and gave Himself for me. Amen.

1. In Christ there was an outward lowly state as Servant, which preceded
His state of glory as King. It was His faithfulness in the first that led Him
to the second. Let euery belieuer who longs to partake with Christ in His
glory, first faithfully follow Him in His denial of self ; the Spirit will in due
time reveal the glory within Him.

2. Christ's glory was specially the fruit of His sufi'ering of the death of the
cross. It is as I enter into the death of the cross in its double aspect, Christ's
crucifixion for me, my crucifixion with Christ, that the heart is opened for
the Spirit's revelation of the glorified Christ.

3. It is not having glorious thoughts and impressions at times of my Lord's
glory that can satisfy me ; it is Christ Himself glorified in me, in my per-
sonal lifCj in the way of a Divine and heavenly power uniting His life in gloty
with my life ; it is this alone can satisfy His heart and mine.

4. Again I say : Glory be to God ! this Spirit, the Spirit of the Glorified One,
is within me. He hath possession of my inmost life. By His grace I will
withdraw that life from the ways of self and sin, and wait, and worship in
the assured confidence that He will take full possession, will prepare th0
heart, will glorify my Lord in me-


Sixth Day.


Cbe Entitocllincj Spirit.

* I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Com-
forter, that He may be with you for ever ; even the Spirit of
truth ; whom the world cannot receive ; for it beholdeth Him
not, neither knoweth Him : ye know Him, for He abideth with
you, and shall be in you.' — John xiv. 16, 17.

HE SHALL BE IN YOU.' In tliese simple words
our Lord announces that wonderful mystery
of the Spirit's indwelling which was to be the fruit
and the crown of His redeeming work. It was for
this man had been created. It was for this, God's
mastery within the heart, the Spirit had striven in
vain with men through the past ages. It was for
this Jesus had lived and was about to die. Without
this the Father's purpose and His own work would
fail of their accomplishment. For want of this
the intercourse of the Blessed Master with the
disciples had effected so little. He had hardly ever
ventured to mention it to them, because He knew
they would not understand it. But now, on the


last night, when it was but a little time. He discloses
the Divine Secret that, when He left them, their loss
would be compensated by a greater blessing than
His bodily presence. Another would come in His
stead, to abide with them for ever, and to dwell in
them. Dwelling in them, He would prepare them
to receive Himself their Lord, and the Father, within
them too. ' He shall he in you!

Our Father has given us a twofold revelation of
Himself. In His Son He reveals His Holy Imager
and setting him before men invites them to become
like Him by receiving Him into their heart and life.
In His Spirit He sends forth His Divine Poivcr, to
enter into us, and from within prepare us for receiv-
ing the Son and the Father. The dispensation of
the Spirit is the dispensation of the inner life. In
the dispensation of the Word, or the Son, beginning
as it did with the creation of man in God's image,
continued as it was through all the preparatory
stages down to Christ's appearing in the flesh, all was
'^ore external and preparatory. There w^ere at times
special and mighty workings of the Spirit ; but the
indwelling was unknown ; man had not yet become
an habitation of God in the Spirit. Now first, this
was to be attained. The eternal life was to become
the very life of man, hiding itself within his very being
and consciousness, and clothing itself in the forms
of a human will and life. Just as it is through the
Spirit that God is what He is ; just as in the Father
and the Son, the Spirit is the principle in which
their personality has its root and consciousness, so


this Spirit of the Divine life is now to be in us, in
the deepest sense of the word, the principle of our
life, the root of our personality too, the very life
of our being; and consciousness. He is to be one
with us in the absoluteness of a Divine immanence,
dwelling in us, even as the Father in the Son, and
the Son in the Father. Let us bow in holy reverence
to worship and adore, and to receive the mighty

If we would enter into the full understanding and
experience of what our Blessed Lord here promises,
we must above everything remember that what Be-
speaks of is a Divine indwelling. Wherever God
dwells He hides Himself. In nature He hides
Himself ; most men see Him not there. In meeting
His saints of old He mostly hid Himself under some
manifestation in human weakness, so that it was
often only after He was gone that they said, Surely
the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not.^ The
Blessed Son came to reveal God, and yet He came
as a root out of a dry ground, without form or comeli-
ness ; even His own disciples were- at times offended
at Him. Men always expect the kingdom of God to
come with observation ; they know not that it is a
hidden mystery, to be received only as, in His own
self-revealing power, God makes Himself known in
hearts surrendered and prepared for Him. Christians
are always ready, when the promise of the Spirit

' In the tabernacle and the temple God dwelt in the darkness ;
He was there, but behind a veil, to be believed iu and feared, hnt
not to be seen.


occupies tliem, to form some conception as to how
His leading can be known in their thoughts ; how
His quickening will affect their feelings ; how His
sanctifying can be recognised in their will and
conduct. They need to be reminded that deeper
than mind and feeling and will, deeper than the
soul, where these have their seat, in the depths of
the spirit that came from God, there comes the
Holy Spirit to dwell.

This indwelling is therefore first of all, and all
through, to b e rec ognise d b y faith. Even when I
cannot see the least evidence of His working, I
am quietly and reverently to believe that He dwells
in m_e. In that faith I am restfully and trustfully
to count upon His working, and to wait for it. In
that faith I must very distinctly deny my own
wisdom and strength, and in childlike self-abnegation
depend upon Him to work. His first workings
may be so feeble and hidden that I can hardly
recognise them as coming from Him ; they may
appear to be nothing more than the voice of con-
science, or the famiHar sound of some Bible truth.
Here is the time for faith to hold fast the Master's
promise and the Father's gift, and to trust that the
Spirit is within and will guide. In that faith let
me continually yield up my whole being to His
rule and mastery ; let me be faithful to what
appears the nearest to His voice ; in such faith and
such faithfulness my soul will be prepared for
knowing His voice better. Out of the hidden
depths His power will move to take possession of


mind and will, and the indwelling in the hidden
recesses of the heart will grow into a being filled
with His fulness.^

Faith is the one Taculty of our spiritual nature
by which we can recognise the Divine, in whatever
low and unlikely appearances it clothes itself.
And if this be true of the Father in His glory as
God, and the Son as the manifestation of the
Father, how much more must it be true of the
Spirit, the unseen Divine life-power come to clothe
itself, and hide itself away, within our weakness ?
Oh ! let us cultivate and exercise much our faith
in the Father, whose one gift through the Son is
this, the Spirit in our hearts. And in the Son too,
whose whole Person and Work and Glory centre
in the gift of the Indwelling Spirit. And so let our
faith grow strong in the unseen, sometimes unfelt.
Divine Presence of this Mighty Power, this living
Person, who has descended into our weakness, and
hidden Himself in our littleness, to fit us for
becoming the dwelling of the Fatlier and the Son.
Let our adoring worship of our glorified Lord ever
seek to catch the wondrous answer He gives to
every prayer, as the seal of our accej)tance, as the
promise of deeper knowledge of our God, of closer
fellowship and richer blessedness : The Holy Spirit
dwelleth in you.

r The deep importance of a right apprehension
of the indwelling of the Spirit is evident from
the place it occupies in our Lord's farewell dis-

1 See Note C.


course. In this and the two following chapters,
He speaks of the Spirit more directly as Teacher,
as Witness, as representing and glorifying Himself,
as convincing the world. At the same time. He
connects this, and He says of His and the Father's
indwelling, of the union of the Vine and the
branches, of the Peace and Joy and Power in Prayer
which His disciples would have, with ' that day!
the time of the Spirit's coming. But, before all
this, as its one condition and only source, He places
the promise, ' the Spirit shall be in you.' It avails
little that we know all that the Spirit can do for
us, or that we confess our entire dependence on
Him, unless we clearly realize, and place first, what
the Master gave the first place ; that it is as the
indwelling Spirit alone that He can be our Teacher
or our Strength. As the Church, as the believer,
accepts our Lord's, ' He shall be in you,' and lives
under the control of this faith, our true relation to *
the Blessed Spirit will be restored. He will take
charge and inspire ; He will mightily fill and bless
the being given up to Him as His abode.

A careful study of the epistles will confirm this.
In writing to the Corinthians, Paul had to reprove
them for sad and terrible sins, and yet he says to
all, including the feeblest and most unfaithful
believer, * Know you not that the Spirit of God
dwelleth in you?' ' Know you not that your body
is the temple of the Holy Christ ? ' He is sure
that if this were believed, if to this truth were
given the place God meant it to have, it would



not only be the motive, but the power of a new
and holy life. To the backsliding Galatians, he has
no mightier plea to address than this : they had
received the Spirit by the preaching of faith ; God
had sent forth the Spirit of His Son into their
hearts ; they had their life by the Spirit in them ;
if they could but understand and believe this, they
would also walk in the Spirit.

It is this teachinsj the Church of Christ needs in
our days. I am deeply persuaded that very few
of us realize aright to what extent believers are
ignorant of this aspect of the truth concerning the
Holy Spirit, or to what an extent this is the cause
of their feebleness in holy walk and work. There
may be a great deal of praying for the Holy Spirit's
working, there may be great correctness in our
confession, both in preaching and prayer, of entire
and absolute dependence on Him ; but unless His
personal, continual, Divine^ jnd welling be acknow-
ledged and experienced, we must not be surprised
if there be continual failure. The Holy Dove
wants his resting-place free from all intrusion and
disturbance. God wants entire possession of His
temple. Jesus wants His home all to Himself.
He cannot do His work there. He cannot rule and
reveal Himself and His love as He would, unless the
whole home, the whole inner being, be possessed and
filled by the Holy Spirit. Let us consent to this.
As the meaning of the indwelling dawns upon us
in its full extent and claims, as w^e accept it as a
Divine reality to be carried out and maintained by


nothing less than an Almighty Power, as we bow
low in emptiness and surrender, in faith and
adoration, to accept the promise and live on it, ' He
shall he in youl the Father will, for Jesus' sake,
delight to fulfil it in our experience, and we shall
know that the beginning, and the secret, and the
power of the life of a true disciple is, the Indwell-
ing Sp irit.

Blessed Lord Jesus ! my soul doth bless Thee
for Thy precious word : The Spirit shall be in you.
In _deep humility I^ now once again accept it,
and ask TJieeto teach jne its Jull and blessed

I ask for myself and all God's children that we
may see how near Thy love would come to us,
how entirely and most intimately Thou wouldst
give Thyself to us. Nothing can satisfy Thee but
to have Thy abode within us, to dwell in us as the
life of our life. To this end Thou hast sent forth,
from Thy glory, Thy Holy Spirit into our hearts, to
be the power that lives and acts in our inmost
being, and to give in us the revelation of Thyself.
holy Saviour ! bring Thy Church to see this truth
that has been so much hid and lost, to experience
it, and to bear witness to it in power. May tlie
joyful sound be heard throughout her borders, that

[every true believer has the indwelling and the

[ leading of Thy Spirit.

And teach me, my Lord ! the life of faith, that
goes out of self, to wait on Thee, as in Thy Spirit


Thou dost Thy work within me. May my life from
hour to hour be in the holy, humble conscious-
ness : Christ's Spirit dwelleth in me.

In humility and silence I bow before this holy
mystery, my God ! my Lord Jesus ! Thine own
Spirit dwells in me. Amen.

1. The coming of the Son of God in the likeness of sinful flesh, the Word
being made flesh, and His dwelling in our nature— what a mystery is this!
Great is the mystery of Godliness ! But how great then the mystery of the
Spirit of God dwelling in us, who are sinful flesh ! Blessed they 'to whom

Online LibraryAndrew MurrayThe Spirit of Christ : thoughts on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer and the church → online text (page 4 of 27)