Pastor Murray begins Chapter 2 with Paul's writing from Philippians 2, saying that Christ "as a man, He humbled Himself" obediently, "even the death on the cross," and for that was "highly exalted" by God. The focus of this chapter seems to be man's pride; some points include:
1. Satan was cast out of heaven because of his pride, with which he then poisoned Eve, and Adam, in the Garden. Pride destroyed man's God-made humility, which was total dependence on God for everything, and made redemption of man necessary. Satan's pride has great spiritual power; it works constantly, in strength, and is both internal in, and external to, man in the world.
2. Murray gives two lists of the fruit of pride: i) on p. 16 the list includes "wars and bloodshed," "selfishness and suffering," "ambitions and jealousies," "broken hearts and embittered lives, with . . . daily unhappiness"; ii) on p. 20 he notes what is seen in humans, namely "lack of love, the indifference to the needs, feelings and weaknesses of others, the sharp and hasty judgments and utterances so often excused by our cries of being upright and honest, the manifestations of temper and irritation, the bitterness and estrangement." "Pride seeks only itself."
3. The only supernatural power that delivers humans from pride is in the Lamb of God. He brings heavenly humility which "overmasters" pride. But we must know who Christ is - His life on earth was the manifestation of His essence: the humility of heaven. He brought the humility of God back to human nature. Christians must put Christ's humility first in their lives.
4. Note B in the back of the book points out: salvation is man being saved from himself, his nature in the flesh; salvation rests in God's humility; Jesus' first requirement for discipleship was to deny self; "self" is basically evil, in essence self-idolatry; denying self, which is humility, is man's "capacity to be saved"; the struggle for eternal life is basically pride vs. humility; Christ brings life with His humility.
Pastor Murray begins his first chapter with a Scripture from Revelation 4:10-11, in which God in heaven is praised for His glory and creation with the statement that all things were created by God for His pleasure. Murray then makes the following points:
1. Man was created to reveal God, especially His goodness and glory, which man can reveal but not possess. Because of God's omnipotence, man can only relate to Him in total dependence upon Him. Man's highest calling then is to be empty of self in order to have God be, and manifest Himself, in man. Humility is that entire dependence on God.
2. Pride, which is the absence of humility, is the root of all sin and evil. Pride and self-exaltation are of hell. Pride has caused even angels to fall, while humility can raise up the basest person. In Note A, Murray states, ". . . pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you." Pride is death; humility is life. We must choose to give up to lowly Jesus; if one has true humility he/she has Christ in him/her. Choose to be the footstool of the whole world.
3. Jesus came to bring humility back to man. That is man's restoration before God. Jesus' humility is our salvation.
4. Those saved by Christ must bear humility as a sign of His deliverance. Man's whole relationship with God must be one of humility. Without that there is no favor from God, no power of the Spirit, no faith/love/joy/strength. Man does not bring "humility" before God or have Him bestow it on him. Humility is the nothingness in man when one sees that God is all. Humility is seeing the human position before God, and giving God His place.
About the Author
Andrew Murray lived from 1828 to 1917. Born in remote South Africa of Christian missionary parents, he was sent back to Europe to be educated in Scotland and Holland. He himself then returned to South Africa, where he lived the rest of his life as a pastor, author and missionary. There he was a major player in the world-wide Christian revival of the 1860's. He wrote over 200 books in the course of his ministry. Pertinent to this book, Humility, he is quoted by a biographer (J. du Plessis, The Life of Andrew Murray, www.christianbook.com,/html/authors/721.html) as saying about his work, ". . . I am held back by the increasing sense of my own unfitness for the work. I lament the awful pride and self-complacency that have till now ruled my heart. O that I may be more and more a minister of the Spirit." That this prayer was answered is attested to by his success as a simple pastor, and his legacy of the many books which are considered to be of holiness, and major Christian classics. Other examples of his many works include: The Deeper Christian Life, Absolute Surrender, The Blessings Of Obedience (or With Christ In The School Of Obedience) and Divine Healing.
HUMILITY: THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS - Preface
Pastor Murray starts this book with a brief Preface. He states that there are three reasons for the Christian to seek humility: 1) humility is seen in the heavenly hosts and the example of Jesus; 2) it is the natural result of our sinful state before God, and the means for restoration to Him; 3) it is the recognition of the grace we have received as we lose ourselves in Christ's redeeming love. Most Christians who have humility do so on the sense of worthlessness because of our sinful state (#2 above), but this book is not based on that. Rather, Humility is a study of the divine character of Jesus Christ and His example of humility. To truly know and be close to (and to be like) Him we must understand His humility. He came as a Servant, and delighted in serving His Master and man. Such humility is divine, and deeper than contrition; it is the highest fulfillment of man's destiny of being in the image of God. Murray finishes his Preface by noting that humility does not seem to be esteemed as a major virtue among Christians. It is little taught, nor is it observed much among Christian leaders. Jesus the Lamb was/is meek and humble; to be truly His disciples we must master having His meekness and lowliness of heart.
Comment: The concept of the Christian's humility was raised in Watchman Nee's Love Not The World in Chapter 8, which was based on Jesus' humble washing of the feet of His disciples, and the example we Christians have of the need to, in His humility, refresh one another. We know the humility Christ was endowed with, but it rarely is the focus of Christian teaching or living. And we don't think of God as having humility, but there is this beautiful passage from Psalm 113:5-6 in the King James Version: "Who is like unto the LORD our God, . . . who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth!" We would have no contact with God or Christ without divine humility! Now in this wonderful book from Andrew Murray we are going to go deep into Christ's humility in an attempt to brand it into ourselves. For those who read this book and hold to its teaching, it is truly a life-changing event.
The Beauty of Holiness
“Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.”