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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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which passeth away was with glory, much more that which remaineth is in
glory, by reason of the glory that surpasseth.'

2. Oh that God may teach us this lesson, that the one great work of the
Spirit, as the Spirit of Christ, is to make the Glorified Christ always present
in us, not in thoughts or memory only, but within us, in our inmost parts, in
our life and experience.

3. Can it be ? Jesus, the Glorified One, always present with us, dwelling
in us ? It can be. The Holy Spirit has been giuen by the Father for this one
work. And He dwells in us. Let us believe, let us Hue in that wonderful
indwelling.

4. Let us bow very low in submission to His leading, waiting for His
teaching, reverently honouring His holy presence within us, even when we
cannot see or feel. 'Said I not unto thee, that, if thou believes^ tb»f^ shouldest
fee the glory of God ? '



16 THE SriRlT OF CHRIST.



Twelfth Day.



THE SPIEIT OF CHEIST.

2rj}e Spirit convincing of &in.

* If I go, I will send the Comforter unto you ; and He, when
He is come, will convince the world in respect of sin.' — John
xvi. 7, 8.

THE close connection between the two statements
in these words of our Lord is not always
noticed. Before the Holy Spirit was to convince
the world of sin, He was first to come into the
disciples. He was to make His home, to take His
stand in them, and then from out of them and
through them to do His conviction work on the world.
' He shall bear witness of me, and ye shall also bear
witness.' The disciples were to realize that the great
work of the Holy Spirit, striving with man, con-
vincing the tvorld of sin, could only be done as He
had a firm footing on earth in them. Tliey were to
be baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire, to
receive the Power from on high, with the one purpose
of being the instruments through whom the Holy
Spirit could reach the world. The mighty, sin-



THE SPIRIT CONVINCING OF SIN. 117

convicting power of the Spirit to dwell in them and
work through them : it was for this our blessed
Lord sought to prepare them and us by these words.
The lessons they teach are very solemn.

1. The Holy Spirit comes to us, that through us
He may reach others. The Spirit is the Spirit of
the Holy One, of the redeeming God : when He
enters us, He does not change His nature or lose
His Divine character. He is still the Spirit of God
striving with man, and seeking his deliverance.
Wherever He is not hindered by ignorance or
selfishness. He looks out from the heart as His
temple for the work He has to do on the world
around, and makes it willing and bold to do that
work; to testify against sin, and for Jesus the
Saviour from sin. He does this very specially as
being the Spirit of the crucified and exalted Christ.
For what purpose was it that Ke, received the Spirit
without measure ? ' The Spirit of the Lord is upon
me, because He anointed me to preach good tidings
to the poor. He hath sent me to proclaim release
to the captives.' It was this same Spirit — after
through Him Christ had offered Himself unto God,
and through Him as the Spirit of Holiness had been
raised from the dead — whom He sent down on His
Church, that now the Spirit might have a home in
them, as He had had it in Himself. And no other-
wise and no less than in Himself would the Divine
Spirit in them pursue His Divine work, and as a
Light shining in, and revealing, and condemning,
and conquering the darkness, as ' the Spirit of



118 THE SPIRIT OP CHRIST.

burning and the Spirit of judgment,' l)e to the world
the power of a Divine conviction and conversion.
Not from heaven direct so much, as the Spirit of
God, but as the Holy Spirit dwelling in the Ghiirch,
would He convince the world. ' I will send Him to
you, and when He is come. He will convince the
world! It is in and through us that the Spirit can
reach the world.

2. The Spirit can only reach others through us
by first bringing ourselves into perfect sympathy
with Himself. He enters into us to become so one
with us that He becomes as a disposition and a
life within us ; and His work in us, and through us
in others, becomes identical with our work.

The application of this truth to the conviction of
sin in the world is one of great solemnity. The
words of our Lord are frequently applied to be-
lievers in reference to the continued conviction of
sin which He will ever have to work within them.
In this sense they are, indeed, most true. This
first work of the Spirit remains to the end the
undertone of all His Comforting and Sanctifying
work. It is only as He keeps alive the tender
sense of the danger and shame of again sinning,
that the soul will be kej^t in its low place before
God, — hiding in Jesus as alone its safety and its
strength. As the Holy Ghost reveals and com-
municatso the Holy Life of Christ within, the sure
result will be a deeper sense of the sinfulness of
sin. But the words mean more. If the Spirit
through us, through our testimony, whether by



THE SPIRIT CONVINCING OF SIN. 119

word or walk, is to convince the world. He must first
convince us, of its sin. He must give us personally
such a sight and sense of the guilt of its unbelief and
rejection of our Saviour, such a sight and sense of
each of its sins, as being at once the cause, the
proof, the fruit of that rejection, that we shall in
some measure think and feel in regard to the sin
as He does. There will be then that inner fitness
in us for the Spirit to work through us, that inner
unity between our witness and His witness against
sin and for God, which will reach the conscience and
carry conviction with a power that is from above.

Alas ! how easy it is in the power of the flesh
to judge others, in the spirit which sees not the
beam in our own eye, or which, if we are indeed
free from what we condemn, yet does it with a
secret, ' Stand by, I am holier than thou.' We
either testify and work in a wrong spirit and in
our own strength, or have not the courage to work
at all. It is because we see the sin and the sin-
fulness of others, but not in a conviction that comes
from the Holy Spirit. When He convinces us of
the sin of the world. His work bears two marks.
The one is the sacrifice of self, in the jealousy for
God and His honour, combined with the deep and
tender grief for the guilty. The other is a deep,
strong faith in the possibility and power of deliver-
ance. We see each sin in its terrible relation to
the whole ; we see the whole in the double light of
the cross. We see sin unspeakably hateful in its
awful guilt against God and its fearful power over



120 THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.

ihe poor soul : we see sin condemned, atoned, put
away, and conquered in Jesus. We learn to look
on the world as God looks upon it in His lioliness :
hating its sin with such an infinite hatred, and
loving it with such a love, that He gives His Son,
and the Son gives His life, to destroy it and set its
captives free.

May God give His people a true and deep con-
viction of the sin of the world in its rejection of
Christ, as the fitting preparation for the Spirit's
using them in convincing the world of sin.

3. To obtain this conviction of sin, the believer
needs not only to pray for it, but to have his whole
life under the leading of the Holy Spirit. We
cannot too earnestly insist upon it, that the many
different gifts of the Spirit all depend upon His
personal indwelHng and supremacy in the inner
life, and the revelation in us of the Christ that
gave His life to have sin destroyed. When our
Lord spake that word of inexhaustible meaning,
* He shall be in you,' he opened up the secret of all
the Spirit's teaching, and sanctifying, and strength-
ening. The Spirit is the Life of God ; He enters
in, and becomes our Life ; it is as He can sway and
inspire the life that He will be able to work in us
all He wills. It is desirable and useful to direct
the attention of the believer to the different opera-
tions of the Spirit, that he may neglect or lose
nothing through ignorance. But it is still more
needful, with each new insight into what the Spirit
can work, to get firmer hold of the truth : Let the



THE SriRIT CONVINCING OF SIN. 121

life be in the Spirit, and the special blessing will
not be withheld. Would you have this deep spiri-
tual conviction of the sin of the world, such an
affecting sense of its terrible reality and power, its
bjsceeding sinfulness, as will fit you for being the
man through whom the Spirit can convince sinners,
just yield your whole life and being to the Holy
Spirit. Let the thought of this wondrous mystery
of the nearness, the Indwelling, of the Holy God in
you quiet your mind and heart into lowly fear and
worship. Surrender the great enemy that opposes
Him — the flesh, the self-life — day by day to Him
to mortify and keep dead. Be content to aim at
nothing less than being filled with the Spirit of the
Man whose glory it is that He gave Himself to
death to take away sin, having the whole being and
doing under His control and inspiration. As your
life in the Spirit becomes healthy and strong, as
your spiritual constitution gets invigorated, your
eye will see more clearly, your heart feel more
keenly, what the sin around you is. Your thoughts
and feelings will be those of the Holy Spirit
breathing in you ; your deep horror of sin, your
deep faith in the redemption from it, your deep
love to the souls who are in it, your willingness
like your Lord to die if men can be freed from
sin, will make you the fit instrument for the Spirit
to convince the world of its sin.

4. There is one more lesson. We are seeking in
this little book to find the way by which we all can
be filled with the Spirit. Here is one condition : He



122 THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.

must dwell in us as the world's Convincer of sin,
' I will send Him unto you, and He will convince
the world' Offer yourself to Him to consider, and
feel, and bear the sins of those around you. Let
the sins of the world be your concern, as much
as your own sin. Do they not dishonour God as
much as yours ? Are they not equally provided for
in the great redemption ? And does not the Spirit
dwelling in you long to convince them too ? Just
as the Holy Spirit dwelt in the body and nature of
Jesu«, and was the source of what He felt, and said,
and did, and just as God through Him worked out
the will of His holy love ; so the Spirit now dwells
in believers : they are His abode. The one purpose
for which there has been a Christ in the world, for
which there is now a Holy Spirit, was that sin may
be conquered and made an end of. This is the
great object for which the baptism of the Spirit
and of fire was given, that in and through believers
He might convince of sin, and deliver from it.
Put yourself into contact with the world's sin.
Meet it in the love and faith of Jesus Christ, as the
servant and helper of the needy and the wretched.
Give yourself to prove the reality of your faith in
Christ by your likeness to Him : so will the Spirit
convince the world of its unbelief. Seek the full
experience of the indwelling Spirit, not for your own
selfish enjoyment, but for this one end, that He can
do the Father's work through you as He did ihrough
Christ. Live, in unity of love with other believers
to work and pray, that men may be saved out of



THE SPIRIT CONVINC.ING OF SIN. 123

sin : * then will the world believe that God hath sent
Him.' It is the life of believers in self-sacrificing
love that will prove to the world that Christ is a
reality, and so convince it of its sin of unbelief.

The comfort and success with which a man lives
and carries on his business depends much upon his
having a suitable building for it. When the Holy
Spirit, in a believer, finds the whole heart free and
given up to Him to fill it with God's thoughts of sin
and God's power of redemption, He can through such
an one do His work. Be assured that there is no surer
way to receive a full measure of the Spirit than to
be wholly yielded to Him, to let the very mind o^
Christ in regard to sin work in us. * He took away
sin by the sacrifice of Himself,' through the Eternal
Spirit. What the Spirit was in Him, He seeks to
be in us. What was true of Him, must in its
measure be true of us.

Christians ! would you be filled with the Holy
Spirit, seek to have a clear impression of this : the
Holy Spirit is in you to convince the world of sin.
If you sympathize thoroughly with Him in this, if
He sees that He can use you for this, if you make
His work in this matter your wo rk too, you may be
feure He will dwell in you richly, and work in you
; mightily. The one object for which Christ came was
to put away sin ; the one work for which the Holy
Ghost conies to men is to persuade them to give
up sin. The one object for which the believer
lives is to join in the battle against sin ; to seek
the will and the honour of his God. Do let us be at



124 THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.

one with Christ and His Spirit in their testimony
against sin. An exhibition of the life and Spirit of
Christ will have its effect : the holiness, and the
joy, and the love, and the obedience to Christ will
convince the world of its sin of unbelief. And
just as Christ's death, as His sacrifice for sin, was the
entrance to His glory in the power of the Spirit, so
our experience of the Spirit's indwelling will become
the fuller just as our whole life is more given up to
Him for His holy work of convincing the world of
sin. The Presence of Christ in us through the
Spirit will carry its own conviction.

Blessed Lord Jesus ! it is by the Presence and
Power of the Holy Spirit in Thy people that the
world is f o be convinced of its sin in rejecting Thee,
and that sinners are to be brought out of the \\orld
to accept of Thee. It is in men and women full of
the Holy Ghost, testifying in tlie power of a holy
joy to what Thou hast done for them, that the proof
is to be given that Thou art indeed at the light
h.Lid of God. It is in a body of living witnesses to
what Thou hast done for them, that the world is to
find the irresistible conviction of its folly and guilt.

Alas ! Lord, how little the world has seen of this.
We do call upon Thee, in deep humiliation. Lord
Jesus, make haste and rouse Tliy Church to the
knowledge of its calling. Oh that every believer
in his personal life, and all Thy believing people in
their fellowship, might prove to the world what
reality, what blessedness, what power there is in the



THE SPIRIT CONVINCING OF SIN. 125

faith of Thee ! May the world believe that the
Father hath sent Thee, and has loved them as He
loveth Thee.

Lord Jesus, lay the burden of the sin of the
world so heavy on the hearts of Thy people, that
it may become impossible for them to live for any-
thing but this ; to be the members of Thy body in
whom Thy Spirit dwells, and prove Thy presence to
tlie world. Take away everything that hinders
Thee from manifest -ng Thy presence and saving
power in us. Lord Jesus, Thy Spirit is come to us
to convince the world : let Him come and work
in ever-growing power. Amen.

1. The great sin of the world is unbelief , the rejection q fjOhrist. This ia
the very spirit of the world. It is this standpoint must decide my whole view
of the world, my relation to it : it is a world that by its very nature rejects
Chnst.

2. This rejected Christ has left this world, and gone to the Father. But
He has left His people in it, and dwells in them by His Spirit, that the power
of their holy life and their confession of Him to whom they owe that life may
convince the world of its fully and sin. What entireness of surrender to be
possessed of the Holy Spirit is needed, if in me, by my life, He is to convince

.the world of the sin of unbelief !

3. ' What is here promised is such an outpouring of the Spirit of God as
shall not only reveal Itself in the consciousness of the disciples, but sub-
stantiate itself as an undeniable and wonderful fact to the onlooking world.
Is not the great thing wanted this, that the Spirit of God should be so poured
out on Christ's people that men bhoutd be made aware of His presence with
them, and of His presence at the right hand of God ? ' — Bowex.

4. To convince the world of the truth of Christianity, it must first be con-
vinced of sin. It is only sin that renders Christ intelligible. And for this
there is not so much needed evidences and arguments, but, in the first place,
the manifest Presence of the Holy Ghost, as coming fiom Christ on the throne
if God, in believers. And for this there is needed intense, continued, united,
believing prayer that the Father would, according to the riches of His glory,
$tnngthen us all with might by His Spirit.



126 THE SPIIUT OF CHRIST.



Thirteenth Day.
THE SPIEIT OF CHRIST.

TOaiting for tJ}e Spirit

* He charged them to wait for the promise of the Father, which,
said he, ye heard from me.' — Acts i. 4.

IN the life of the Old Testament saints, waiting
was one of the loved words in which they ex-
pressed the posture of their souls towards God.
They waited for God, and waited upon God. Some-
times we find it in Holy Scripture as the language
of an experience : * Truly my soul waited upon God.'
' I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait.' At others
it is a plea in prayer : ' Lead me, on Thee do I wait
all the day.' ' Be gracious unto us ; we have waited
for Thee.' Frequently it is an injunction, encourag-
ing to perseverance in a work that is not without
its difficulty : ' Wait on the Lord ; wait, I say, on
the Lord.' ' Eest in the Lord, and wait patiently
for Him.' And then again there is the testimony
to the blessedness of the exercise : ' Blessed are
they that wait upon Him.' ' They that wait upon
the Lord sliall renew their strength.'



WAITING FOR THE SPIRIT. 12?

All this blessed teaching and experience of the
Baints who have gone before, our Lord gathers up
and connects specially, in His use of the word, with
the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit/ What
liad been so deeply woven into the very substance
of the religious life and language of God's people
was now to receive a new and a higher application.
As they had waited for the manifestation of God,
either in the light of His countenance on their own
souls, or in special interposition for their deliverance,
or in His coming to fulfil His promises to His people;
so we too have to wait. But now that the Father
has been revealed in the Son, and that the Son has
perfected the great redemption, now the waiting is
specially to be occupied with the fulfilment of the
great Promise in which the love of the Father and
the grace of the Son are revealed and made one —
the Gift, the Indwelling, the Fulness of the Holy
Spirit. We wait on the Father and the Son for
ever-increasinof inflowinsjs and workincrs of the
Blessed Spirit ; we wait for the Blessed Spirit, His
moving, and leading, and mighty strengthening, to
reveal the Father and tlie Son within, and to work
in us all the holiness and service to which the
Father and the Son are calling us.

' He charged them to ivait for the promise of the
Father, which ye have heard of me.' It may be
asked w^hether these words have not exclusive
reference to the outpouring of the Spirit on the day

' The Greek word is the same that the Septuagint uses in giving
the prayer of Jacob, ' I have waited for Thy salvation, Lord.'



128 THE SPIEIT OF CHRIST.

of Pentecost, and whether, now that the Spirit has
been given to the Church, the charge still holds
good. It may be objected that, for the believer
who has the Holy Spirit within him, waiting
for the promise of the Father is hardly consistent
with the faith and joy of the consciousness that the
Spirit has been receiv^ed and is dwelling within.

The question and the objection open the way to
a lesson of the deepest importance. The Holy
Spirit is not given to us as a possession of whicli
we have the charge and mastery, and v/hicli we can
use at our discretion. No. The Holy Spirit is
given to us to be our Master, and to have charge
of us. It is not we who are to use Him; He must
use us. He is indeed ours ; but ours as God, and
our position towards Him is that of deep and entire
dependence on One who giveth to every one ' even
as He will.' The Father has indeed given us the
Spirit ; but He is still, and only works as the Spirit
of the Father. Our askinoj for His workinc^, that
the Father would grant unto us to be strengthened
with might by His Spirit, and our waiting for this,
must be as real and definite as if we had to ask for
Him for the first time. When God gives His Spirit,
He gives His inmost Self. He gives with a Divine
giving, that is, in the power of the eternal life,
continuous, uninterrupted, and never-ceasing. When
Jesus gave to those who believe in Him the promise
of an ever-springing fountain of ever-flowing streams,
He spake not of a single act of faith that was
once for all to make them the independent possessors



WAITING FOR THE SPIRIT. 129

of the blessing, but of a life of faith that, in never-
ceasing receptivity, would always and only possess
His gifts in living union with Himself. And so
this precious word icait, — 'He charged them to
wait,' — with all its blessed meaning from the experi-
ence of the past, is woven into the very web of the
new Spirit dispensation. And all that the disciples
did and felt during those ten days of waiting,
and all that they got as its blessed fruit and reward,
becomes to us the path and the pledge of the life of
the Spirit in which we can live. The fulness of the
Spirit, for such is the Father's Promise, and our
waiting, are inseparably and for ever linked together.

And have we not here now an answer to the
question why so many believers know so little of
the joy and the power of the Holy Spirit ? They
never knew to wait for it ; they never listened
carefully to the Master's parting words : ' He
charged them to wait for the Promise of the
Father, which ye have heard of me.' The Promise
they have heard. For its fulfilment they have
longed. In earnest prayer they have pleaded for
it. They have gone burdened and mourning under
the felt want. They have tried to believe, and tried
to lay hold, and tried to be filled with the Spirit.
But they have never known what it was with it all to
wait. They have never here said, or even truly heard,
' Blessed are all they that wait for Him.' ' They
that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.'

But what is this waiting ? And how are we to
wait ? I look to God by His Holy Spirit to teach

I



130 THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.

me to state in the simplest way possible what may
help some child of His to obey this charge. And
Het me then first say that, as a believer, what ycu
are to wait for is the fuller manifestation of the
(jPower of the Spirit within you. On the resur-
rection morn Jesus had breathed on His disciples,
and said, Eeceive the Holy Ghost. They were to
wait for the full baptism of fire and of power. As
God's child you have the Holy Ghost. Study the
passages in the Epistles addressed to believers full
of failings and sins (1 Cor. iii. 1-3, 16, vi. 19, 20 ;
Gal. iii. 2, 3, iv. 6). Begin in simple faith in
God's word to cultivate the quiet assurance : The
Holy Spirit is dwelling wi thin _ me. If you are
not faithful in the less, you cannot expect the
greater. Acknowledge in faith and thanks that
the Holy Spirit is in you. Each time you enter
your closet to speak to God, sit first still to
remember and believe that the Spirit is within you
as the Spirit of prayer who cries Father ! within
* you. Appear before God and confess to Him
/distinctly, until you become fully conscious of it
( yourself, that you are a temple of the Holy Ghost.
Now you are in the right posture for taking the
second step, that is, asking God very simply and
quietly, there and then, to grant you the workings
of His Holy Spirit. The Spirit is in God and is
in you. You ask the Father who is in heaven that
His Almighty Spirit may come forth from Him in
greater life and power, and as the indwelling Spirit
may work more mightily in you As you ask this



WAITING FOR THE SPIRIT. 131

on the ground of the promises, or of some special
promise you lay before Him, you believe that He
hears and that He does it. You have not to lool^
at once whether you feel anything in your heart
all may be dark and cold there ; you are to believe,
that is, to rest in what God is going to do, yea, is
doing, though you feel it not.

And then comes the waiting. Wait on the
Lord ; wait for the Spirit. In great quietness set



Online LibraryAndrew MurrayThe Spirit of Christ : thoughts on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer and the church → online text (page 8 of 27)