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.
5. Back in the body of the book's Chapter 2, Murray speaks of the frequent observation of the "feeble and fruitless" Christian life because of the neglect of Christ's root of humility. Christians must seek the death of self in humility, counting oneself as nothing in order that God may fill and be all. Humility in Christ must be sought above " all other joys". Until that happens, Christians' lives will not have a major impact in the world.
6. Satan's pride creeps into life everywhere, seeking itself. Unless we recognize that fact, and "fix our hearts" on our own lack of Jesus' humility, our pride will be what impacts our lives and those around us. Only when we realize our lack of humility, humility as it was seen in Jesus' life, will we begin to understand what His salvation truly is. We must study Jesus and His humility as the secret to our redemption. If we focus more and more on that every day, we should believe that Christ "will work in us, making us what the Father wants us to be."
Brief Comment: This chapter focuses on the bane of our existence - deadly pride. Most of us can attest to the frequency with which some of the items Murray lists in the results of pride (point #2 above) are displayed in our own lives and the lives of those around us. How we need to understand more fully, and acquire more surely, Jesus' humility! Focus, focus, focus! Studying Jesus' words, teachings and personal example of humility will increase our awareness of our lack of that, and allow His Spirit to teach us, and counter our "awful pride" with more of a sense of divine humility. That is our daily prayer and surrendering to God. That is our redemption in grace.
Murray's definition of what man is saved from is fascinating (point #4 above). Paul said that we are saved from "the wrath of God." What does that tell us about how God views the natural human being which we chose to become?
1/31/2014 12:55:16 am
"Pride has its root and strength in a terrible spiritual power, outside of us as well as within us; as needful as it is that we confess and deplore it as our very own, is to know it in its Satanic origin." I
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Andrew Murray was a South African writer, teacher, and Christian pastor. Murray considered missions to be "the chief end of the church."
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.”