I have been searching for believers, from centuries ago and modern day, who know who they are in Christ and who live in the power and victory of His resurrection now. My spirit leaps in confirmation as I read their words and I rise to believe who I really am in Christ, believing in the amazing power of Christ in me for the glory of God. That's the way I have felt reading Andrew Murray's work, New Life.
I think we often live far less than what we really are in Christ. We've been deceived somehow, perhaps by our own feelings of inadequacy, by things we have been taught, slogans we learn like being sinners saved by grace, by music that cries out to make us holy. We have a hard time grasping the reality that God has truly transformed us. We fail to see. We miss the amazing reality of who we really are in Christ and live on as if He did nothing within us. We may get discouraged and begin to try to attain joy and peace. Praying for it. Reading the Bible more to get it. Going to church meetings, conferences, reading books to understand what we are missing. Have you ever been there? Searching with desperation to find what you somehow lost somewhere along the way?
What we are missing is the reality that Christ in us and we are in Him. Connected, abiding in His presence forever. Christ alone is our life. We must believe this. It is. Already. It's finished. And we experience it by faith.
The Christian life is an impossible life. We cannot try to live it. It flows out of who we are, connected and abiding in and through our creator. His life living through us. His power, His joy, His love flowing through us enabling us to live and truly love. It is not the life of this world or the life of our will. In Christ, we have died to our will. We have been crucified with Christ and we no longer live. It's Christ who now lives in us.
The truth of the new creation is God's mystery. It's a spiritual mystery of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God creating for Himself a holy nation, a people belonging to Him, a people who are free to be slaves of righteousness. Isn't it amazing that we are His workmanship, His creation. He birthed us and caused us to be born again as a heavenly being. We are spirit beings who live in an earthly vessel, our body. We are citizens of heaven and no longer fit into the world system of sight. God now moves us out as His ambassadors to declare the mystery of His gospel, the power of God for salvation for whoever believe.
As we declare His truth, He transforms people around us, calling the dead to life and setting the captives free. It's Christ in us, the hope of glory. And it's us in Him. I am so overwhelmed by the gospel; it's so profound and so deep. I meditate within it. It's hard to grasp. It's spirit and truth, but as we sit with Him, listening, meditating on His word, asking Him to enlighten the eyes of our hearts so we begin to comprehend. We begin to see the beauty of God and the astounding mystery of the riches we have in Christ. Oh that we might know Him and the amazing power of His resurrection life in our lives right now. That we would truly believe Him and understand what He has done. He is so worthy, so beautiful, so astoundingly gracious to us.
Andrew Murray's work, New Life, from what I have read so far, resounds with an understanding of the true reality of being in Christ. I was encouraged when I read this chapter of Andrew Murray's work. I hope you will be too.
The New Life by Andrew Murray
---For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotton Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" John 3:16.
"For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Christ is our life" Colossians 3:3,4.
---We declare unto you the life, eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested unto us. God hath given us eternal life; and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life" 1 John 1:2; 5:11,12.
A glorious blessing is given to all who believe in the Lord Jesus. Along with a change in his disposition and manner of living, he also receives an entirely new life from God. He is born anew. Born of God. He has passed from death into life.
This new life is nothing less than eternal life. 2 This does not mean, as many suppose, that our life will no longer die, enduring into eternity. No, eternal life is nothing else than the very life of God. It is the life that He has had in Himself from eternity and that has been visibly revealed in Christ. This life is now the inheritance of every child of God. 3
This life is a life of inconceivable power. Whenever God gives life to a young plant or animal, that life has within itself the power to grow. The plant or animal as of itself becomes large. Life is power. In a new life--in your heart--there is the power of eternity. 4 More certain than the healthful growth of any tree or animal is the growth and increase of the child of God who surrenders himself to the working of the new life.
Two things hinder this power and the reception of the new spiritual life. The one is ignorance of its nature--its laws and workings. Man, even the Christian, cannot conceive of the new life which comes from God. It surpasses all of his thoughts. His own distorted thoughts of the way to serve and to please God--namely, by what he does and is--are deeply rooted in him. Although he believes that he understands and receives God's Word, he still thinks humanly and carnally on divine things. 5 God must give salvation and life. He must also give the Spirit to make us understand what He gives. He must point out the way to the land of Canaan. We must also, like the blind, be led by Him every day.
The young Christian must try to cherish a deep conviction of his ignorance concerning the new life, and of his inability to form correct thoughts about it. This will bring him to the meekness and to the childlike spirit of humility, to which the Lord will make His secret known. 6
There is a second hindrance in the way of faith. In the life of every plant and every animal and every child of God, there lies sufficient power by which it can become big. In the new life, God has made the most glorious provision of a sufficient power. With this power His child can grow and become all that he must be. Christ Himself is his life and his power of life.8 Yet, because this mighty life is not visible or cannot be felt, the young Christian often becomes doubtful. He then fails to believe that he will grow with divine power and certainty. He does not understand that the believing life is a life of faith. He must depend on the life that is in Christ for him, although he neither sees, feels, nor experiences anything. 9
Let everyone then that has received this new life cultivate these great convictions. It is eternal life that works in me. It works with divine power. I can and will become what God will have me be. Christ Himself is my life. I have to receive Him every day as my life, given to me by God, and He will be my life in full power.
Father, You have given me Your Son so that I may have life in Him. I thank You for the glorious new life that is now in me. I pray that You will teach me to properly know this new life. I will acknowledge my ignorance and the distorted thoughts which are in me concerning Your service. I will believe in the heavenly power of the new life that is in me. I will believe that my Lord Jesus, who Himself is my life, will, by His Spirit, teach me to know how I can walk in that life. Amen.
1) John 1:12,13; 3:5,7; 5:24; 1 John 3:14; 5:1
2) John 3:15,16,36; 6:40,51; 11:25,26; Rom. 6:11,23;8:2; 1 John 5:12,13
3) 1 John 1:3; 3:1; 5:11
4) John 10:10,28; Heb. 7:16,28; 11:25,26; 2 Cor. 12:9; 13:4; Col. 3:3,4; Phil. 4:13
5) Josh. 3:4; Isa. 4:5,6; Matt. 16:23
6) Ps. 25:5,8,9; 143:8; Isa. 42:16; 64:4; Matt. 11:25; 1 Cor. 1:18,19; 2:7,10,12; Heb. 11:8
7) Ps. 18:2; 27:1; 36:8,9; John 14:19; Gal. 2:20; Col. 3:3,4
8) Hab. 2:4; Matt. 6:27; Rom. 1: 17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10: 38
Try to understand and plant the following lessons in your heart:
1. It is eternal life, the very life of God, that you have now received through faith.
2. This new life is in Christ, and the Holy Spirit is in you to convey to you all that is in Christ. Christ lives in you through the Holy Spirit.
3. This life is a life of wonderful power. However weak you may feel, you must believe in the divine power of the life that is in you.
4. This life needs time to grow in you and to take possession of you. Give it time, it will surely increase.
5. Do not forget that all the laws and rules of this new life are in conflict with all human thoughts of the way to please God. Be very much in dread of your own thoughts. Let Christ, who is your life and also your wisdom, teach you all things.