Chapter 6 is a powerful chapter in which Andrew Murray begins to transform the concept of the humility of Jesus Christ into instructions for today's believers as to how to live and manifest Christ's humility in one's Christian walk. Murray begins the chapter by quoting 1 John 4:20 - "He that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?" Here are some of this chapter's points:
1. Pastor Murray likens the idea that as our love for God is shown in our love for our fellow man, so our humility before God is only proven in our humility before men. Our daily actions show what we have and are of spiritually. Murray states, "Humility before God is nothing if not proved in humility before men."
2. This chapter cites Paul's many writings about the need for humility. In mid-chapter, the author summarizes Paul's teachings by saying, "The humble man seeks at all times to act on the rule, 'In honor preferring one another;' " (from Rom 12:10), " 'Serve one another;' " (from Gal 5:13), " 'Each esteeming others better than himself;' " (from Philip 2:3), " 'Submitting yourselves one to another.' " (from Ephes 5:21). Humility truly understands the self being nothing, does not compare itself with others, and honors, prefers and respects all other human beings, regardless of their perceived state. Earlier in citing Paul's teaching, Pastor Murray cites that the Love Chapter, 1 Cor 13, includes these facts about love: it "vaunts not itself," "is not puffed up," and "seeks not its own." Love and humility stem from one another - Jesus' nature. Christians are to rejoice in being nothing before God and man, and to have joy in being others' servant.
3. The humble Christian has no envy or jealousy of others, and is not offended when forgotten or glossed over so that others are favored. Considering oneself as nothing contains the true spirit of Jesus' humility.
4. When tempted with the persistent markers of retained pride - impatience, sensitive or easily hurt feelings, harsh thoughts and sharp words - one must put on the Lord Jesus, with His heart of compassion, humility, kindness and forgiveness to show His humblest state. It is the heart of sweet and lowly gentleness and compassion which marks one as being of the Lamb of God.
Chapter Five begins with a quotation from Jesus in Luke 22:26: "Let he that is chief among you be as he that does serve." Pastor Murray switches in this chapter from the ministry of Jesus - His example and His teachings - to the response and example of His immediate disciples. Some of his points in this chapter are as follows:
1. Jesus chose His disciples, and we look for examples of humility in them as they walked with Him. If humility is not there, it shows: the major difference between the Savior Jesus and his human companions; and the powerful change in men which came with Pentecost. Humility is part of Christ's victory over Satan and the pride instilled in man. Murray cites several examples from the Gospels showing that, even late in Jesus' ministry, the disciples had little humility. There occasionally were brief flashes of humility, as in Peter, but the disciples were mostly focused on self. The author then goes on to make three major statements about humility in Christ's disciples.
2. First, even in devoted, disciplined, "earnest" Christians, humility may be absent. Murray cites disciples who forsake all for Christ, receive revelations and gifts from Him, believe in and love Him, obey Him, and are ready to die for Him, but still are under the "dark power" of self-focus. As it was with Jesus' immediate disciples, so it is in the Church today. That shows how difficult humility is to obtain; only by the power of the Holy Spirit within us can true humility come.
3. The second statement is that external teaching and personal effort are too weak to conquer pride and bring one humility. Jesus repeatedly manifested and taught humility to His disciples in His three-year walk with them, but even in the end of that walk the disciples had learned little humility.
Andrew Murray again makes his focus on Scriptures as he highlights some of Jesus' teachings on humility, a feature He expected His disciples to learn and display. As the author says himself about the verses he cites, "I can scarce do more than quote." Here again are some of this chapter's points:
1. Nine Gospel passages which feature our Lord's teachings on humility are shown, mostly from Matthew and Luke, but also one from John. The major themes are: the poor in spirit and the meek receive God's blessing; Jesus Himself offered His disciples His own meek and lowly state for them to receive; repeatedly, in different ways, Jesus taught that those who humble self/become servants of all/abase themselves will be greatest/exalted before God. From these verses, Murray points out: that humility is the chief glory, and the standard of glory, in heaven; that Jesus' meekness and lowliness is our salvation; that humility/self-abasement bring honor and being exalted before God; that humility before God and men is the prime value God seeks in us; that being humble and everyone's servant is the essential element for discipleship of Jesus.
2. Murray again emphasizes that humility, as Jesus taught, is little preached or practiced. Most Christians do not recognize how deficient in humility they are. And few believers today even seek to have the humility of Christ.
3. The servant mindset is little understood. The good servant is totally devoted to pleasing his master, to serving his interests, to delighting in his success, prosperity and honor. We should recognize that being God's servant, in that mindset, frees us from self and sin; but Jesus taught us more - to be one another's servant, which is even more freeing. We tend to be blocked from this by residual self-focus and pride.
In the third chapter of this book, Andrew Murray gets right down to the basics of his focus - Jesus' own humility in His life on earth. (How does one summarize a chapter based on that?) Murray begins with the citation of Jesus' key words about Himself in Luke 22:27: "I am among you as He that serves." Here are some of the other points the author makes in this relatively-brief chapter:
1. Jesus most fully described His relationship with His Father in John's Gospel. Jesus took the position of total subordination to God, to whom He gave all honor and glory which should have been due Him (Jesus). He lived and experienced what He taught in the example of the proud Pharisee and the humble publican in Luke 18:14: "He that humbles himself shall be exalted."
2. Murray cites eleven specific verses from John in which Jesus' humility is clear. Jesus spoke of being able to do nothing of Himself, that He came not to speak His own words or give Himself credit or glory, and even that He did not come of Himself or His own will. Making Himself as nothing and totally empty of self, Jesus gave God credit for everything, and made God all.
3. Jesus humbled Himself before God, who honored and worked all through His Son. That also allowed Jesus to humble Himself before men and to be God's instrument to them no matter what they said about or to Him or did to Him. That was the redemption that Christ brought to us, that WE might model His complete self-denial, doing nothing of ourselves, that God might be all. We must learn of Jesus and His meek lowliness; Christ teaches us that humility comes from "the knowledge that it is God who works all in all, that our place is to yield to Him in perfect resignation and dependence, in full consent to be and to do nothing of ourselves."
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.”