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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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reverently in silence before God, to give the Spirit
the recognition tliat is His due, and keep down the
will of the flesh that is so ready with its service of
God. Let us wait on the Spirit in deep dependence.
Let us have a season of quiet meditation, in which
we enter the inner temple of our heart, to see that
all there is indeed surrendered to the Spirit, and
there bow before the Father to ask and expect from
Him the mighty working of the Holy Spirit. How-
ever little we see or feel, let us believe. The
Divine is always first known by believing. As we
continue believing, we shall be prepared to know
and to see.

There is no way of knowing a fruit but by
tasting it. There is no way of knowing the light
but by being in it and using it. There is no way
of knowing a person but by intercourse with him.
There is no way of knowing the Holy Spirit but by
possessing Him, and being possessed of Him. To
live in the Spirit is the only way to know the
Spirit. To have Him in us, doing His work, and
giving us His fellowship, this is the path the Master
opens when He says : ' Ye know Him, for He shall
be in you.'

Believer ! for the excellency of the knowledge of



KNOWING THE SPIRIT. 85

Christ Jesus Paul counted all things but loss.
Shall we not do so too ? Shall we not, to know
the glorified Christ through the Spirit, give up
everything ? Oh, let us think of it ! the Father
hath sent the Spirit that we might fully share in
the glory of the glorified Christ ! Shall we not
give ourselves up to have Him in us, to let Him
have all in us, that we may fully know Him,
through whom alone we can know the Son and the
Father ? Let us even now yield ourselves to the
full to the indwelling and teaching of the Blessed
Spirit whom the Son hath given us from the
Father.

Blessed Father ! who hast, in the name of Christ,
sent us Thy Holy Spirit, graciously hear my prayer,
and grant that I may know Him indeed by having
Him within me. May His witness to Jesus be
divinely clear and mighty, may His leading and
sanctifying be in such holy power, may His indwell-
ing in my spirit be in such Truth and Life, that the
consciousness of Him as my Life may be as simple
and sure as of my natural life. As the light is the
sufficient witness to the sun, may His light be its
own witness to the presence of Jesus.

And lead me, my Father, in knowing Him to
know aright the mystery of Thy Love in giving
Him within. May I understand how it was not
enough to Thee to work in me by Thy secret,
unknown, Almighty Power, nor even to work through
Him who came to the earth to reveal Thee. Thy



86 THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.

Son had something more, and better still, for us —
the Spirit, tlie Blessed Third in the Godhead, was
sent, that Thy Personal Presence, the most intimate
union and unbroken fellowship with Thee, might be
my portion. The Holy Spirit, Thy very Life and
Self, has come to be now the life of my very self,
and so take me wholly for Thine own.

my God, do teach me and all Thy people to
know Thy Spirit. Not only to know that He is in
us, not only to know somewhat of His working, but
to know Him as in His very person He reveals and
glorifies the Son, and in Him Thee the Father.
Amen. .



7, A Church or a believer may have a correct apprehension of all that
Scripture says of the Holy Spirit, may know all about Him, and yet know
little of Himself as the Divine Revelation of a Present Christ as Saviour and
King.

2. The word alone cannot teach us to know the Spirit. The word is indeed
the test. But to apply the test of the Word with certainty, we need with
certainty to know the Spirit, and that He Is teaching us.

3. 'The world cannot receive Him, for It seeth Him not, neither knoweth
Him.' ' We received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of
God, that we might know.' The spirit of the world and Its wisdom cannot
possibly know the Spirit of God. There must be a very unworldly spirit to
know the Spirit that comes from Heaven.

4. Brother 1 would you know the Spirit ? Remember He will reveal Himself
If you will submit to the laws of His Indwelling. These are very simple.
Believe that He dwells In you, and exercise this faith continually. Yield
yourself whole-hearted to His leading, as to One who has the sole and whole
guidance of your life. And wait then. In very lowly humility and dependence,
on His further teaching, and the fuller experience of His Indwelling and work.
You may be sure of It, the word will be fulfilled : ' Ye know Him, for He shall
be In you.'

5. ' If we believe He Is a person In the Trinity, let us treat with Him as
a person, apply ourselves to Him as a person, glorify Him In our hearts as
a person, dart forth beams of special and peculiar love to, and converse
with Him, as a person. Let us fear to grieve Him, and also believe on Him
as a person.' — Goodwin,



THE SPIIUT OF TKUTH. 87



Ninth Day.



THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.

Slje Spirit of STrutlj.

' But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto
you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which pro-
ceedeth from the Father, He shall bear witness of me.' — John
XV. 26.

' When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He shall guide you
into all the Truth ; for He shall not speak from Himself;
but whatsoever things He shall hear, these shall He speak.'—
John xvi. 13.

GOD created man in His image ; to become like
Himself, capable of holding fellowship with
Him in His glory. In Paradise two ways were set
before man for attaining to this likeness to God.
These were typified by the two trees — that of life,
and that of knowledge. God's way was the former,
— through life would come the knowledge and like-
ness of God ; in abiding in God's will, and partaking
of God's life, man would be perfected. In recom-
mending the other, Satan assured man that know-
ledge was the one thing to be desired to make us
like God. And when man chose the light of



88 THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.

knowledge above the life in obedience, he entered
upon the terrible path that leads to death.^ The
desire to know became his greatest temptation ; his
whole nature was corrupted, and knowledge was to
him more than obedience and more than life.

Under the power of this deceit, that promises
happiness in knowledge, the human race is still led
astray. And nowhere does it show its power more
terribly than in connection with the true religion
and God's own revelation of Himself. Even when
the word of God is accepted, the wisdom of the
world and of the flesh ever enters in ; even spiritual
Truth is robbed of its power when held, not in the
life of the Spirit, but in the wisdom of man.
Where Truth enters into the inward parts, as God
desires, there it becomes the life of the spirit. But
it may also only reach the outer parts of the soul,
the intellect and reason, and while it occupies and
pleases there, and satisfies us with the imagination
that it will thence exercise its influence, its power
is nothing more than that of human argument and
wisdom, that never reaches to the true life of the
spirit. For there is a truth of the understanding

^ After I had found the illustration of the two trees elsewhere,
and written the above, I noticed the following in Godet on John
i. 4 : * Is it not natural in such a context to see in the two words Life
and Light, and in the relations which John establishes between
them, an allusion to the tree of life and to that of knowledge?
After having eaten of the former, man would have been called to
feed on the second. John initiates us into the real essence ol these
primordial and mysterious facts, and gives us in this verse, as it
were, th3 philosophy of Paradise.'



THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH. 89

Rnd feelings, which is only natural, the human
ima^e or form, the shadow of Divine Truth. There
is a Truth which is substance and reality, communi-
caiing to him who holds it the actual possession,
the life of the things of which others only think and
speak. The truth in shadow, in form, in thought,
was all the law could give ; and in that the religion
of the Jews consisted. The truth of substance,
the Truth as a Divine life, was what Jesus brought
as the Only-begotten, full of grace and truth. He
is Himself ' the Truth.' ^

In promising the Holy Spirit to His disciples, our
Lord speaks of Him as the Spirit of Truth. That
Truth, which He Himself is, that Truth and
Grace and Life which He brought from heaven as
a substantial spiritual reality to communicate to us,
that Truth has its existence in the Spirit of God :
He is the Spirit, the inner life of that Divine
Truth, And when we receive Him, and just as far
as we receive Him, and give up to Him, He makes
Christ, and the Life of God, to be Truth in us
divinely real ; He gives it to be in us of a truth.
In His teaching and guiding into the Truth, He
does not give us only words and thoughts and
images and impressions, coming to us from without,
from a book or a teacher outside of us. He enters
the secret roots of our life, and plants the Truth of

^ ' The word trii^ in John, as in classical writers, signifies not the
true in opposition to the false, but the veritable, the perfect real-
ization of the idea in opposition to all its imperfect manifestations.
— Godet, John i. 9. See Note E.



00 THE SPIRIT OF CHiilST.

God there as a seed, and dwells in it as a Divine
Life. And when, in faith, and expectation, and
surrender, this Hidden Life is cherished and
nourished there, He quickens and strengthens it, so
that it grows stronger and spreads its branches
through the whole being. And so, not from with-
out but from within, not in word but in power, in
Life and Truth, the Spirit reveals Christ and all He
has for us. He makes the Christ, who has been
to us so much only an image, a thought, a Saviour
outside and above us, to be Truth within us. The
Spirit brings with His incoming the Truth into us ;
and then, having possessed us from within, guides
us, as we can bear it, into all the truth.

In His promise to send the Spirit of Truth
from the Father, our Lord very definitely tells us
what His principal work would be. ' He shall bear
witness of me.' He had just before said, ' I am the
Truth ; ' the Spirit of Truth can have no work but
just to reveal and impart the fulness of Grace and
Truth that there are in Christ Jesus. He came
down from the glorified Lord in heaven to bear
witness within us, and so through us, of the reality
and the power of the redemption which Christ has
accomplished there. There are Christians who are
nfraid that to think much of the Spirit's presence
within us will lead us away from the Saviour
above us. A looking within to ourselves may do
this ; we may be sure that the silent, believing,
adoring recognition of the Spirit within us will only
lead to a fuller, a more true and spiritual apprehen-



THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH. 91

sion that Christ alone is indeed all in all. ' He
shall bear witness of me.' * He shall glorify me.'
It is He will make our knowledge of Christ Life
and Truth, an experience of the Power with which
He works and saves.^

To know what the disposition or state of mind
is in which we can fully receive this guiding into
all Truth, note the remarkable words our Lord uses
concerning the Spirit : ' He shall guide you into all
the Truth, for He shall not speak from Himself ;
but whatsoever things He shall liear, these shall He
speak.' The mark of this Spirit of Truth is a
wondrous Divine Teachableness. In the mystery
of the Holy Trinity there is nothing more beautiful
than this, that with a Divine equality on the part
of the Son and the Spirit, there is also a perfect
subordination. The Son could claim that men
should honour Him even as they honoured the
Father, and yet counted it no derogation from that
honour to say, The Son can do nothing of Himself ;
as I hear, so I speak. And even so the Spirit of
Truth never speaks from Himself. We should
think He surely could speak from Himself ; but no,
only what He hears, that He speaks. The Spirit
that fears to speak out of its own, that listens for
God to speak, and only speaks when God speaks,
this is the Spirit of Truth.

And this is the disposition He works, the life
He breathes, in tliose who truly receive Him —
that gentle teachableness which marks the poor

' See Note F, on the Mission of the Spirit.



92 THE SPIKIT OF CHKIST.

in spirit, the broken in heart, who have become
conscious that as worthless as their righteousness,
is their wisdom, or power of apprehending spirilaal
truth ; that they need Christ as much for the one
as the other, and that the Spirit within them alone
can be the Spirit of Truth. He shows us how,
even with the word of God in our hands and on
our tongues, we may be utterly wanting in that
waiting, docile, submissive spirit to which alone its
spiritual meaning can be revealed. He opens our
eyes to the reason why so much Bible reading, and
Bible knowledge, and Bible preaching has so little
fruit unto true holiness ; because it is studied and
held with a wisdom that is not from above, that was
not asked for and waited for from God. The mark
of the Spirit of Truth was wanting. He speaketh
not. He thinketh not from Himself ; what He
hears, that He speaks. The Spirit of Truth receives
everything day by day, step by step, from God in
heaven. He is silent, and does not speak, except
and until He hears.

These thoughts suggest to us the great danger of
the Christian life — seeking to know the Truth of
God in His word without the distinct waiting on the
Spirit of Truth in the heart. The tempter of
Paradise still moves about among men. Knowledge
is still his great temptation. How many Christians
there are who could confess that their knowledge of
Divine Truth does but little for them : it leaves
them powerless against the world and sin ; they
know little of the light and tlie liberty, the strength



THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH. 93

and the joy the Truth was meant to bring. It is
because they take to themselves God's truth in the
power of human wisdom and human thought, and
wait not for the Spirit of Truth to lead them into it.
Most earnest efforts to abide in Christ, to walk like
Christ, have failed because their faith stood more in
the wisdom of man than in the power of God.
Most blessed experiences have been short-lived,
because they knew not that the Spirit of Truth was
within them to make Christ and His Holy Presence
an abiding reality.

These thoughts suggest the great need of the
Christian life. Jesus said, ' If any man will come
after me, let him deny himself, and follow me.'
Many a one follows Jesus without denying himself.
And there is nothing that more needs denying than
our own wisdom, the energy of the fleshly mind, as
it exerts itself in the things of God.

Let us learn that in all our intercourse with
God, in His word or prayer, in every act of worship,
the first step ought to be a solemn act of abnega-
tion, in which we deny our power to understand
God's word, or to speak our words to Him, without
the special Divine leading of the Holy Spirit.
Christians need to deny even more than their own
righteousness, their own wisdom ; this is often the
most difficult part of the denial of self. In all
worship we need to realize the alone sufficiency and
the absolute indispensableness, not only of the
Blood, but as much of the Spirit of Jesus. This is
the meaning of the call to be silent unto God, and



94 THE SPIRIT OF CIIIIIST.

in quiet to wait on Him ; to hush the rush of
thoughts and words in God's presence, and in deep
humility and stilhiess to wait, and listen, and hear
what God will say. The Spirit of Truth never
speaks from Himself : what He hears, that He
speaks. A lowly, listening, teachable spirit is the
mark of the presence of the Spirit of Truth.

And then, when we do wait, let us remember
that even then the Spirit of Truth does not at once
or first speak in thoughts that we can at once
apprehend and express. These are but on the
surface. To be true they must be rooted deep.
They must have hidden depth in themselves. The
Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth because He is the
Spirit of Life : the Life is the Light. Not to
thought or feeling does He speak in the first place,
but in the hidden man of the heart, in the spirit of
a man which is within him, in his inmost parts. It
is only to faith that it is revealed what His teaching
means, and what His guidance into the Truth. Let
our first work therefore to-day again be to believe ;
that is, to recognise the Living God in the work He
undertakes to do. Let us believe in the Holy Spirit
as the Divine Quickener and Sanctifier, who is already
within us, and yield up all to Him. He will prove
Himself the Divine Enlightener : the Life is the
Light. Let the confession that we have no life or
goodness of our own be accompanied by the con-
fession that we have no wisdom either ; the deeper
our sense of this, the more precious will the promise
of the Spirit's guidance become. And the deep



THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH. 95

assurance of having the Spirit of Truth within us
will work in us the holy teacher's likeness, and the
quiet hearkening to which the secrets of the Lord
shall be revealed.

Lord God of Truth ! who seekest Truth in the
inward parts in them that worship Thee, I do bless
Thee again that Thou hast given me too the Spirit
of Truth, and that He now dwells in me. I bow
before Thee in lowly fear to ask that I may know
Him aright, and walk before Thee in the living
consciousness that the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of
Christ, who is the Truth, is indeed within me, the
inmost self of my new life. May every thought
and word, every disposition and habit, be the proof
that the Spirit of Christ, who is the Truth, dwells
and rules within me.

Especially do I ask Thee that He may witness
to me of Christ Jesus. May the Truth of His
atonement and blood, as it works with living
efficacy in the upper sanctuaiy, dwell in me and I
in it. May His Life and Glory no less be Truth in
me, a living experience of His Presence and Power.
my Father ! may the Spirit of Thy Son, the
Spirit of Truth, indeed be my life. May each word
of Thy Son through Him be made true in me.

1 do thank Thee once again, my Father, that
He dwelleth within me. I bow my knees that
Thou wouldest grant that, according to the riches
of Thy glory. He may work mightily in me and all
Thy saints. Oh, that all Thy people may know



96 THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.

this their privilege and rejoice in it : the Holy
Spirit within them to reveal Christ, full of Grace
and Truth, as Truth in them. Amen.



7. As bodily sight is a function of healthy animal life, so spiritual light
comes only out of a healthy spiritual life. Life truths can only be known by
living them ; the Spirit of life only by liuing in the Spirit. Where faith
exercises itself in accepting and yielding to the Jife of the Spirit in the hidden
part, the new spirit, there its ear will be opened, and the voice of the Spirit
will be heard. The Spirit of Life is the Spirit of Truth. Within you, in your
inmost part, this is what God says.

2. Sin has a twofold effect .- it is not only guilt, but death ; it not only
works legal condemnation from above, but moral corruption within. Redemp-
tion is not only righteousness but life : not only objective but subjective
restoration to God's favour and fellowship. The first is the work of the Son
for us, the second of the Spirit of the Son within us. There are many who
cling most firmly to the work of the Son for us, and yet fail of the peace and
the power He gives, because they do not fully yield to the work of the Spirit in
us. As full and clear as our acceptance of the Divine Atoning Saviour must
be our assurance of the Divine Indwelling Spirit, to make that Saviour's work
Truth in us. The Spirit of Truth within us, this is the Spirit of Christ.

3. ' Behold, Thou desirest Truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part
Thou shalt make me to know Wisdom. ' The Truth and Wisdom were not to bt
in the mere understanding, but in the inward hidden Life of the Spirit. Tht
Spirit of Truth, now dwelling in ua, is Uie fulfilment of tivs prophecy.



THE EXPEDIENCY OF THE SPIRll'S COMING. 97



Tenth Day.



THE SPIEIT OF CHEIST.

5CI}e CFxprtiiencg of tJje Spirit*^ Coming.

• I tell you the truth ; it is expedient for you that I go away :
for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come ; but if I go,
I will send Him unto you.' — John xvi. 7.

AS our Lord is leaving this world, He promises
the disciples here that His departure will be
their gain ; the Comforter will take His place, and
be to them far better than He ever had been or
could be in His bodily presence. This very specially
in two aspects. His intercourse with them had
never been unbroken, but liable to interruption ;
now it would even be broken off by death, and they
would see Him no more. The Spirit would abide
with them for ever. His own intercourse had been
very much external, and, in consequence of this, had
not resulted in what might have been expected.
The Spirit would be in them ; His coming would be
as an Indwelling Presence, in the power of which
they should have Jesus too in them as their Life
and their Strength.

G



98 THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.

During the life of our Lord on earth, each of His
disciples was dealt with by Him in accordance
with his peculiar character, and the special circum-
stances in which he might be placed. The inter-
course was an intensely personal one : in every
thing He proved that He knew His sheep by name.
For each there was a thoughtfulness and a wisdom
that met just what was required. Would the Spirit
supply this need too, and give back that tenderness
of personal interest and that special individual
dealing which had made the guidance of Jesus so
precious ? We cannot doubt it. All that Christ
had been to them, the Spirit was to restore in
greater power, and in a blessedness that should
know no break. They were to be far happier and
safer and stronger with Jesus in heaven, than
they ever could have been with Him on earth.
This, the chief beauty and blessedness of their
discipleship of such a Master, that He was so wise
and patient to give to each one just what he needed,
and to make each one feel that he had in Him his
best friend, could never be left out. The indwelling
of the Spirit was meant to restore Christ's most
personal intercourse and guidance, His direct personal
friendship.

It is to many a matter of great difficulty to
conceive of this or to believe it ; much less do they
experience it. The thought of Christ walking with
men on earth, living and guiding them, is so clear ;
the thought of a Spirit hiding Himself within us,
and speaking, not in distinct thoughts, but only in



THE EXPEDIENCY OF THE SPIRIT'S COMING. 99

the secret depths of the life, makes His guidance so
much more difficult.

And yet just what constitutes the greater difficulty
of the new, the spiritual intercourse and guidance,
is what gives it its greater worth and blessedness.
It is the same principle we see in daily life : diffi-
culty calls out the powers, strengthens the will,
develops character, and makes the man. In a
child's first lessons he has to be helped and en-
couraged ; as he goes on to what is more difficult,
the teacher leaves him to his own resources. A
youth leaves his parents' roof to have the principles
that have been instilled tested and strengthened.
In each case it is expedient that the outward
presence and help be withdrawn, and the soul be
thrown upon itself to apply and assimilate the
lessons it had been taught. God wants to educate
us, indeed, to a perfect manhood, not ruled by an
outward law, but by the inner life. As long as
Jesus was with the disciples on earth. He had to
work from without inward, and yet could never
effectually reach or master the inmost parts. When
He went away He sent the Spirit to be in them,
that now their growth might be from within outward.
Taking possession first of the inmost secret recesses
of their being by His Spirit, He would have them,
in the voluntary consent and surrender to His
inspiration and guidance, personally become what
He Himself is, through His Spirit in them. So they
would have the framing of their life, the forming of
their character, in their own hands, in the power of



100 THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.

the Divine Spirit, who really had become their spirit.
So ihey would grow up to that true sulf-standingness,
that true independence of the outward, in which
they should become like Himself, a true, separate
person, having life in himself, and yet only living



Online LibraryAndrew MurrayThe Spirit of Christ : thoughts on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer and the church → online text (page 6 of 27)