Andrew Murray begins this chapter with a different type of Scriptural quotation. The verse he uses is an Old Testament verse from Isaiah, where God criticizes the profane and idolatrous leaders of Israel by saying of them (Isa 65:5), "Which say, 'Stand by yourself, come not near me; for I am holier than you.' " Murray then connects the display in believers of God's holiness to humility. Here are some of the author's points in Chapter 7:
1. Seeking "holiness" is very prominent among Christians today. The test of holiness in us is whether or not it produces true humility, which then allows God's holiness to be displayed. As Murray has said repeatedly before, the mark of man's "holiness" will be one's humility as shown before God and fellow men. "Humility is the bloom and the beauty of holiness."
2. The mark then of false holiness is a lack of humility, or the manifestation of pride. Pride can even be present in one in "the very temple of God." Murray cites the example of Luke 18's Pharisee, who thanks God that he is not like the publican there with him. Pastor Murray then observes that it is not the Pharisees around us that we need to identify, but the Pharisee inside us. We must always be on our guard against pride, which may present with the self-complacency of thanking God and congratulating self. Pride has many manifestations, even in praising God and being penitent.
3. While we openly reject that Pharisee and see the errors of his attitude, we may subconsciously carry much of the same self-complacency and attitude of Christian superiority as we compare ourselves to others. Jesus' humility is little remembered or valued. The work of ministries and missions is often blocked or set back by the "touchiness and . . . impatience, . . . self-defense and self-assertion, . . . sharp judgments and unkind words" of their workers. There tends to be no esteeming of others as better than oneself. Little humility is seen in such "saints." (Murray quotes an excerpt from Hannah Whitall Smith from Everyday Religion about the tyranny of "Me" in the workings of the church - the seeking of the best place, the offense if that is not realized, and the quarrelsome nature of "Me" shows how little Jesus' teaching about taking the lowest place is sought or understood.)
4. Even in brokenness one may not acquire the humility of Christ, which makes one willingly the servant of others. Jesus was the Holy One, which made Him the humble One. The author makes this powerful statement: "There is none holy but God." How much of us is God's determines our holiness and humility. And Murray again defines humility: it is the "disappearance of self in the vision that God is all." Therefore the holiest of men will also be the humblest.
5. Murray again also makes the point that while none of us would consciously voice the idea of Isaiah 65:5 above, we often carry that spirit. How easy it is, seeing the faults of others, to think like the Pharisee of Luke 18:11. Then the author returns to Paul's writings about humility, and returns to the topic of love. "The power of a perfect love forgets itself and finds its blessedness in blessing others - in bearing with and honoring them, however feeble they may be." That comes from having Christ within oneself. As that love enters a person, so does God, making the person's self nothing. This is not an off-and-on, seasonal phenomenon - it is a permanent dwelling of Christ and God, whose words and works may then proceed forth from that person.
6. The chapter ends with Pastor Murray's exhortations to Christians: a) to ask God to teach us that our thoughts and attitudes concerning our fellow persons are our mark of humility before Him; b) that our humility must be Christ's life within us; c) the pride and self-complacency of "self-holiness" is insidious and dangerous and is revealed in our attitudes about others; d) the world notices our false holiness, and takes it as a sign of unfruitful proclaimed faith; e) we are warned that even impressive acts and thoughts of "consecration and faith" can occur without humility being present; f) our holiness as a sign of God's presence in us can only be seen if we "hide ourselves" in Jesus until He clothes us with His humility. "That alone is our holiness."
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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.”