Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray:
To Abide by letting Christ mortify SELF #1.9
We cannot mortify self
Andrew Murray states that the mortification of self is not something we can do, for in reality Christ has already done it for us. And even though we may be ignorant of this fact at our conversion, we have become partakers of His death and resurrection.
So what we have to do now is to consent to have the life of self replaced with the life of Christ. This means giving up our willing and working for Christ’s willing and working. And the only way we can do that is to allow the life of Christ to take full possession of us. When we do, the power of His holy presence will cast out the old life.
But how do we enable this to happen?
Walter Marshall comes to Andrew Murray’s rescue.
Murray battled with self and pride during the first six years of his ministry. In his letters to his father during that time he would continually complain about his pride breaking out, and his ability to do nothing about it—try as he might.
Fortunately, during a year’s sojourn in Europe in 1855/56, he bought numerous books. One of them was a work by the Puritan Walter Marshall titled: The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification.
Sanctification by faith
Andrew Murray stresses that getting rid of self and pride is part of our sanctification process. In Chapter 9 of Abide in Christ, he quotes 1 Corinthians 1: 30 in this respect. His quotation, however, is based on the Dutch Bible. It reads:
Of God are ye in Christ Jesus, who has made unto us wisdom from God, both righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.
The RSV translates this verse as follows:
It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.
Andrew Murray goes on to say (as he has already done several times elsewhere) that while we regard our justification by faith in Christ as God’s work, we tend to think of the process of sanctification as ours.
Speaking of himself, he says that we often struggle hopelessly for years until we listen to the teaching of the Holy Spirit that sanctification is to be appropriated by faith alone.
But HOW? comes the question
First, we need to understand that in our flesh dwells no good thing. And although we are crucified with Christ, our old nature is not yet dead. It will therefore rise up and show itself at the least chance it gets. But the new nature is there also, and is able to communicate God’s holiness to us through Christ our sanctification.
So in order to partake of Christ’s holiness, we need to abide in Him in increasing measure so that the promise is increasingly fulfilled. It is only as our daily fellowship with Christ grows stronger that the power of His holy presence will cast out the old life.
We need to renew our consecration daily
Murray closes his discussion on the mortification of self by urging us to accept DAILY BY FAITH our position as ransomed from the tyrant of self. Speaking to his readers directly he says,
Bring every interest of your life, every power of nature, all the unceasing flow of thought and will and feeling that make up life, and trust Him to take the place that self once filled.
So what route will you take to sanctification?
Will it be the CARNAL way that pastor Shane Becker coins “Sola-bootstrapsa,” whereby you resolve to do your utmost to rid yourself of self and expect Christ to support your efforts? Or, will it be the SCRIPTURAL way, whereby you maintain a daily fellowship with Christ and consent to let Him do all for you, and in you and through you by exercising your faith?
© Olea Nel
Abide in Christ: chapters 3, 9 & 29