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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God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery —
Christ in You.'

2. There is an introspection in which the soul looks inward to its own
thoughts and feelings and purposes, to find the proof of Grace and ths ground
of Peace. This is unhealthy, and not of faith ; it turns the eye from Christ
to self. But there is another turning inward which is one of the highest
exercises of faith. It is when, closing the eye to all it can see in itself,
the soul seeks to realize in faith that there is in its inmost parts a new spirit,

ji/ithin which the Spirit of Christ now dwells. In this faith it unreservedly
glues itself up to be renewed by the Spirit, yields every faculty of the soul to
be sanctified and guided by this Spirit within. Without such consciousness of
a temple within and its Occupant, daily renewed in holy silence, there cannot
be the clear believing prayer to the Father to work mightily by His Spirit, or
the confidence in Jesus to give the living Streams from within.

3. Within you! Withinyqu ! in your inmost parts! this was God's
oromise. Thank God, His Holy Spirit doth dwell within me!

4. The first thought connected with the entrance into a temple is reverence
-the head uncovered. The first and abiding thought connected with the
Spirit's dwelling In me as His temple be this too— deep reverence and awe
before the holy presence..

5. 'He abideth with you, and shall be in you. Hold fast the two
thoughts : the permanence ofJHs_£resence uiith the Church, the intimacy
»/ Hia presence in every belieuer. ~~~


Seventh Day.


W\}t Spirit gi&m to t\)t ©htXiimt

*Jf ye loue me, ye will keep my commandments : and I will
pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, even
the Spirit of truth.'— J ob.^ xiv. 15, 16.

' The Hoiy Spirit^ whom God hath given to them that obey
Him.' — Acts v. 32.

THE truth which these words express has often
suggested the question : How can this be ?
We need the Spirit to make us obedient ; we long
for the Spirit's power, just because we mourn so
much the disobedience there still is, and desire
to be otherwise. And how is this ? The Saviour
claims obedience as the condition of the Father's
giving and our receiving the Sj)irit.

The difficulty will be renewed if we remember
what we have more than once seen, that there is a
twofold manifestation of the Spirit of God, corre-
spon/ling to the Old and New Testament. In the
former, He works as the Spirit of God, preparing
the way for the higher revelation of God, as the


Father of Jesus Christ. In this way He had
worked in Christ's disciples, as the Spirit of con-
version and faith. What they were now about to
receive was soniethiug higher — the Spirit of the
glorified Jesus, communicating the power from on
high, the experience of His full salvation. And
though now, to all believers under the New Testa-
ment economy, the Spirit in them is the Spirit of
Christ, there is still something that corresponds to
the twofold dispensation. Where there is not
much knowledge of the Spirit's work, or where His
workings in a Church or an individual are but
feeble, there even believers will not get beyond
the experience of His preparatory workings in
them ; though He be in them, they know Him not
in His power as the Spirit of the glorified Lord.
They have Him in them to make them obedient ;
it is only as they yield obedience to this His more
elementary work, the keeping of Christ's com-
mandments, that they will be promoted to the
higher experience of His conscious indwelling, as
the Representative and Revealer of Jesus in His
glory. * If ye love me, keep my commandments :
and I will pray the Father, and He will send you
another Comforter.'

The lesson is one we cannot study too atten-
tively. In Paradise, in the angels of heaven, in
God's own Son, by obedience and obedience alone,
could the relationship with the Divine Being be
maintained, and admission secured to closer experi-
ence of His Love and His Life. God's will revealed


is the expression of His hidden perfection and
being ; only in accepting and doing the will, in the
entire giving up for the will to possess and use as
He pleases, are we fitted for entering the Divine
Presence. Was it not thus even with the Son
of God ? It was when, after a life in holy humility
and obedience for thirty years, He had spoken that
word of entire consecration, ' It becometh us to
fulfil all righteousness,' and given Himself to a
baptism for the sins of His people, that He was
baptized with the Spirit. The Spirit came because
of His obedience. And again, it was after He had
learned obedience in suffering, and became obedient
to the death of the cross, that He again received
the Spirit from the Father (Acts ii. 33) to pour out
on His disciples. The fulness of the Spirit for His
body the Church was the reward of obedience. And
this law of the Spirit's coming, as revealed in the
Head, holds for every member of the body : obedi-
ence is the indispensable condition of the Spirit's
indwelling. ' If ye love me, keep my command-
ments : and the Father will send you the Spirit.'

Christ Jesus had come to prepare the way for
the Spirit's coming. Or rather. His outward coming
in the flesh was the preparation for His inward
coming in the Spirit to fulfil the promise of a
Divine indwelling. The outward coming appealed
to the soul, with its mind and feeling, and affected
these. It was only as Christ in His outward
coming was accepted, as He was loved and obeyed,
that the Inward and more Intimate revelation


would be given. Personal attachment to Jesus
the personal acceptance of Him as Lord and Master
to love and obey, was the disciples' preparation for
the baptism of the Spirit. And so now, it is as in
a tender listening to the voice of conscience, and a
faithful effort to keep the commands of Jesus, we
prove our love to Him, that the heart will be
prepared for the fulness of the Spirit. Our attain-
ments may fall short of our aims, we may have to
mourn that what we would we do not — if the
Master sees the whole-hearted surrender to His will,
and the faithful obedience to what we already have
of the leadings of His Spirit, we may be sure that
the full gift will not be withheld.

Do not these words suggest to us the two great
reasons why the presence and the power of the
Spirit in the Church is so feebly realized ? We do
not understand that as the obedience of love must
precede the fulness of the Spirit, so the fulness of
the Spirit must still follow on it. They err who
want the fulness of the Spirit before they obey, no
less than those who think that obedience is already
a sign that the fulness of the Spirit is there.

Obedience must precede the baptism of the Spirit.
John had preached Jesus as the true Baptist — bap-
tizing with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Jesus
took His disciples as candidates for this Baptism
into a three years' course of training. First of all.
He attached them to Himself personally. He
taught them to forsake all for Him. He called
Himself their Master and Lord, and taught them


to do what He said. And then in His farewell
discourse He time after time spoke of obedience to
His commands^ as the one condition of all further
spiritual blessing . It is to be feared that the
Church has not given this word Obedience the
prominence Christ gave it. "Wrong views of the
danger of Self -righteousness, of the way in which
free Grace is to be exalted, of the power of sin and
a needs be of sinning, with the natural reluctance
of the flesh to accept a high standard of holiness,
have been the causes. While the freedom of grace
and the simplicity of faith have been preached, the
absolute necessity of obedience and holiness has not
been equally insisted on. It has been thought that
only those who had the fulness of the Spirit could
be obedient. It was not seen that obedience was
^e lower platform, — that the baptism of the Spirit,
the full revelation of the glorified Lord as the
Indwelling One, taking power to work in us and
through us His mighty works, was something higher,
the Presence that the obedient should inherit. It
was not seen that simple and full allegiance to
every dictate of conscience, and every precept of
the word, that a * walk worthy of the Lord to all
well-pleasing,' was to be the passport to that full
life in the Spirit in which He would witness to the
abiding Presence of the Lord in the heart.

As the natural consequence of the neglect of this
truth, the companion truth was also forgotten : TJie
obedient must and may look for the fulness of the
Spirit, The promise of the special, conscious, active


indwelling of the Spirit to the obedient is a thing
to many Christians unknown. The great part of
life is spent in mourning over disobedience, over
the want of the Spirit's power, and praying for the
Spirit to help them to obey, instead of rising in
the strength of the Spirit already in them to
obedience, as indeed possible and necessary. The
thought of the Holy Spirit being specially sent to
the obedient, to give in them the Presence of Jesus
is a continuous reality, that He might do in them
the greater works, even as the Father had worked
in Him, was hardly thought of. The meaning of
the life of Jesus as our example is not understood.
How distinctly there was with Him the outward
lowly life of trial and obedience in preparation for
the hidden spiritual one of Power and Glory ! It
is this inner life that we are made partakers of in
ithe gift of the Spirit of the glorified Jesus. But
in our inner personal participation of that gift we
must walk in the way He dedicated for us ; as in
the crucifixion of the flesh we yield ourselves to
God's will, for Him to do in us what He wills, and
for us also to do what He will, we shall experience
that God is to be found nowhere but in His will.
His will in Christ, accepted and done by us, with the
heart in which it is done, is the home of the Holy
Spirit. The revelation of the Son in His perfect
obedience was the condition of the giving of the
Spirit ; the acceptance of the Son in love and
obedience is the path to the indwelling of the Spirit.
It is this trntli which has in these latter years


come home with power to the hearts of many in
the use of tlie words full surrender and entire con-
secration. As they understood that the Lord Jesus
did indeed claim implicit obedience, that the giving
up all to Him and His will was absolutely necessary,
and in the power of His grace truly possible, and
in the faith of His power did it, they found the
entrance to a life of peace and strength formerly
unknown. Many are learning, or have to learn,
I hat they do not yet fully know the lesson. They~
will find that there are applications of this principle
beyond what we have conceived. As we see how
in the all-pervading power of the Spirit, as we
already possess Him, every_moyement of our life
must be brought into allegiance to Jesus, and give
ourselves to it in faith , we shall also see that the
Spiiit of the glorified Lord can make Him present,
and work His mighty works in us and through us,
in a way far beyond what we can ask or think.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit was intended by
God and Christ to be to the Church more, oh ! so^
much more, than we have yet known. Oh ! shall we
not yield ourselves, in a love and obedience that will
sacrifice anything for Jesus, that our hearts may be
enlarged for the fulness of His blessing prepared
for us.

Let us cry to God very earnestly, that He may
waken His Church and people to take in this double
lesson : A living obedience is indispensable to the
full experience of the indwelling ; the full experi-
ence of the indwelling is what a loving obedience


may certainly claim. Let each of us even now say
to our Lord that we do love Him, and keep His
commandments. In however much feebleness and
failure it be, still let us speak it out to Him as the
one purpose of our souls ; this He will accept. Let
us believe in the indwelling of the Spirit as already
given to us, when in the obedience of faith we gave
ourselves to Him. Let us believe that the full
indwelling, with the revelation of Christ within,
can be ours. And let us be content with nothing
less than the loving, reverent, trembling, but blessed
consciousness that we are the Temples of the Living
God, because the Spirit of God dwelleth in us.

Blessed Lord Jesus ! with my whole heart do I
accept the teaching of these words of Thine. And
most earnestly do I beseech Thee to write the
truth ever deeper in my heart, as one of the laws
of Thy Kingdom, that Loving Obedience may look
for a Loving Acceptance, sealed by ever-increasing
experience of the Power of the Spirit.

I thank Thee for what Thy word teaches of what
the Love and Obedience of Thy disciples were.
Though still imperfect — for did they not all forsake
Thee ? — yet Thou didst cover it with the cloak of
Thy love : ' The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is
weak ; ' and accept it, feeble though it was. Saviour !
with my whole heart I say I do love Thee, and
would keep each one of Thy commandments.

Afresh I surrender myself to Thee _f orchis. In
the depths of my soul Thou seest there is but one


desire, that Thy will should be done in me as in

To every reproof of conscience I would bow very
low ; to every moving of Thy Spirit I would yield
implicit obedience. I give my w^U and life into
Tliy death, that being raised with Thee, the Life of
Another, even of Thy Holy Spirit, which dwelleth
in me, and revealeth Thee, may be my life. Amen.

7. When God commanded Israel to build Him a holy place, that He might
dwell among them, He said to Moses, 'According to all I show thee, the
pattern of the dwelling, even so shall ye make it.' And so we find in
the last two chapters of Exodus, eighteen times the expression that all had
been made 'as the Lord commanded.' It was in a house thus built after
God's pattern, to His mind, the perfect expression of His will, that God came
to dwell, in the will of God, carried out by man, God finds a Home. God
comes down to dwell in the obedience of His people.

2. In this house the Throne of God, where He placed His mercy-seat, was
the ark in which were the tables of the Law. In the new Spirit, where God
writes His law, and where this is kept, there the Lord will reveal His immediate

3. Before God came down to dwell, it cost Israel time and sacrifice to
prepare a house for Him. Believer, who prayest for the revelation of Jesus,'
turn inwards, and see if thy heart be prep ared as His temple. Does con-
science testify that thou seekest with thy whole heart to know and do the

jvill of thy Lord ?

4. It is only when God's will has been accepted as our only law, and the
commands of Jesus are by the Holy Spirit written in the heart, that the glory
of God can fill His temple.

5. If you would know the Indwelling of the Spirit as a blessed reality, let
conscience be kept_very pure, let your glorying every day be its testimony
that your behaviour has been 'in holiness and sincerity of God, through the
grace of God' (2 Cor. i. 12),


Eighth Day,

Itnototng t\}t Spirit*

• 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. 17.

' Know ye not that ye are a temple of God, and that the
Spirit of God dwelleth in you?' — 1 Cok. iii. 16.

THE value of knowledge, that is, true spiritual
knowledge, in the life of faith can hardly be
exaggerated. Just as a man on earth is none the
richer for an inheritance that comes to him, or a
treasure in his field, as long as he does not know of
it, or does not know how to get possessed of it, and
to use it, — so the gifts of God's Grace cannot bring
their full blessing until we know and, in knowing,
truly apprehend and possess them. In Christ are
hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge ; it
is the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus,
his Lord, for which the believer is willing to count
all things but loss. It is owing to the want of a
true knowledge of what God in Christ has prepared


for US that the lives of believers are so low and
feeble. The prayer Paul offered for the Ephesians— ^
that tlie Father would give them the Spirit of wisdom
and revelation in the knoivleclge of Him, the eyes of
their heart being enlightened, that they might hioiv
the hope of their calling, and the riches of the
inheritance, and the exceeding goodness of the power
working in them — is one we never can pray enougli,
whether for ourselves or for others. But of what
special importance it is that we should know the
Teacher through whom all the other knowledge is
to come ! The Father has given each one of His
children not only Christ, who is the Truth, the
reality of all life and grace, but the Holy Spirit,
who is the very Spirit of Christ and the Truth.
* We received the Spirit, which is of God, that we
might know the things which are freely given us
by God.'

But now comes the important question, How do
we know when it is the Spirit that is teaching us ?
If our knowledge of Divine things is to be to us a
certainty and a comfort, we must know the Teacher
Himself. It is only knowing Him that will be to
us the full evidence that what we count our spiritual
knowledge is no deception. Our blessed Lord meets
this question, with all the solemn issues depending
upon it, by assuring us that we shall knotv the
Spirit. When a messenger comes to tell of a king,
when a witness gives a testimony for his friend,
neither speaks of himself. And yet, without doing
BO, both the messenger and the witness^ in the very


fact of giving their evidence, drsiW our attention to
themselves, and claim our recognition of their
l^resence and trustworthiness. And just so the
Holy Spirit, when He testifies of Christ and glorifies
Him, must be known and acknowledged in His
Divine commission and presence. It is only thus
that we can have the assurance that the knowledge
we receive is indeed of God, and not what our human
reason has gathered from the Word of God. To
know the King's seal is the only safeguard against
a counterfeit image. To know the Spirit is the
Divine foundation of certainty.

And how now can the Spirit thus be known ?
Jesus says : ' Ye know Him, for He abideth with
you, and shall be in you.' The abiding indwelling
of the Spirit is the condition of knowing Him.
His presence will be self-evidencing. As we allow
Him to dwell in us, as we give Him full possession
in faith and obedience, and allow Him to testify of
Jesus as Lord, He will bring His credentials : He will
prove Himself to be the Spirit of God. ' It is the
Spirit beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.'
It is because the presence of the Spirit as the
indwelling teacher of every believer is so little
known and recognised in the Church, and because,
as the result of this, the workings of the Spirit are
few and feeble, that there is so much difficulty and
doubt, so much fear and hesitation about the re-
cognition of the witness of the Spirit. As the truth
and experience of the indwelling of the Spirit is
restored among God's people, and the Spirit is free


again to work in power among us, His blessed
presence will be its own sufticient proof : we shall
indeed know Him. * Ye know Him, for He shall
be in you.' ^

But meanwhile, as long as His presence is so
little recognised, and His working straitened, how
is He now to be known ? To this question the
answer is very simple. To every one who honestly
desires, not only to know that he has the Spirit,
but to know Him in His person, and as a personal
possession and Teacher, we say : Study the teaching
of the Word in regard to the Spirit. Be not
content with the teaching of the Church or of men
about the Spirit, but go to the Word. Be not
content with your ordinary reading of the Word, or
what you already know of its doctrines. If you
are in earnest to know the Spirit, go and search the
Word specially with this view, as one thirsting to
drink deeply of the water of life. Gather together
all the Word says of the Spirit, His indwelling and
His work, and hide it in your heart. Be determined
to accept of nothing but what the Word teaches,
but also to accept heartily of all it teaches.

But study the Word in dependence on the
Spirit's teaching. If you study it w4th your
human wisdom, your study of it may only confirm
you in your mistaken views. If you are a child
of God, you have the Holy Spirit to teach you,
even though you do not yet know how He works
in you. Ask the Father to work through Him in
* See Note D, on the Knowledge of the Spirit.


you, and to make the Word life and liglit in yon.
If, in the spirit of humihty, and trusting in God's
guidance, you submit heartily to the Word, you
will find the promise surely fulfilled : you will he
taught of God. We have more than once spoken
of the progress from the outward to the inward : be
whole-hearted in giving up all your thoughts and
men's thoughts as you accept the Word ; ask God to
reveal in you by His Spirit His thoughts concerning
His Spirit : He will assuredly do so.

And what will be the chief marks to be found in
the Word by which the Spirit in us can be known ?
They will be chiefly two. The first will be more
external, referring to the work He does. The
second more in the inner life, in the dispositions
which He seeks in those in whom He dwells.

We have just heard how Jesus spoke of a loving
obedience as the condition of the Spirit's coming.
Obedience is the abiding mark of His presence.
Jesus gave Him as a Teacher and Guide. All
Scripture speaks of His work as demanding the
surrender of the whole life. ' If by the Spirit ye
mortify the deeds of the hody, ye shall live ; for as
many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the
sons of God.' ' Your body is a temple of the Holy
Ghost : glorify God therefore in your body.' ' If
we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.'
' We are changed into the same image, even as by
the Spirit of the Lord.' Words like these define
very distinctly the operations of the Spirit. As
God is first known in His works, so with the Spirit.


He reveals God's will, Christ doing that will, and
calling us to follow Him in it. As the believer
surrenders hinisell' to a life in the Spirit, cordially
consents that the leading of the Spirit, the mortifying
of the flesh, the obedience to the rule of Christ,
without limit or exception, shall be what he gives
himself up to, and as he waits on the Spirit to
work all this, he will find and know the Spirit
working in him. It is as we simply make tlie aim
of the Holy Spirit our aim, and give up ourselves
entirely to what He is to come and work, that we
are prepared to know Him as dwelling in us. It
will be the Spirit Himself, bearing witness with our
spirit, as we are led by Him to obey God even as
Christ did, that He is in us.

We shall also know Him, and that still more
certainly and intimately, as we not only yield
ourselves to that life He works, but as we study
the personal relation in which a believer stands to
Him, and the way in which His working may most
fully be experienced. The habit of soul the Spirit
desires is contained in the one word — faith. Faith
has ever to do with the Invisible, with what
appears to man most unlikely. When the Divine
appeared in Jesus, in what a lowly form was it
hidden ! Thirty years He lived in Nazareth, and
they had seen nothing in Him but the son of a
carpenter. It was only with His baptism that His
Divine Sonship came into complete and perfect
consciousness. Even to His disciples His Divine
glory was often hidden. How much more when


the Life of God enters the depths of our sinful
being, will it be matter of faith to recognise it !
Let us meet the Spirit in holy, humble faith. Let
us not be content just to know that the Spirit is in
us : that will profit us but little. Let us cultivate
the habit, in each religious exercise, of bowing

Online LibraryAndrew MurrayThe Spirit of Christ : thoughts on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer and the church → online text (page 5 of 27)