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The New Life: Words of God for Young Disciples

Written by: Murray, Andrew    Posted on: 03/31/2003

Category: Classic Christian Library

Source: CCN

The New Life: Words of God for Young Disciples

  * The New Life         o Translator's Note         o Preface         o I. THE NEW LIFE         o II. THE MILK OF THE WORD         o III. GOD'S WORD IN OUR HEART         o IV. FAITH         o V. THE POWER OF GOD'S WORD         o VI. GOD'S GIFT OF HIS SON         o VII. JESUS' SURRENDER OF HIMSELF         o VIII. CHILDREN OF GOD         o IX. OUR SURRENDER TO JESUS         o X. SAVIOUR FROM SIN         o XI. THE CONFESSION OF SIN         o XII. THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS         o XIII. THE CLEANSING OF SIN         o XIV. HOLINESS         o XV. RIGHTEOUSNESS         o XVI. LOVE         o XVII. HUMILITY         o XVIII. STUMBLINGS         o XIX. JESUS THE KEEPER         o XX. POWER AND WEAKNESS         o XXI. THE LIFE OF FEELING         o XXII. THE HOLY GHOST         o XXIII. THE LEADING OF THE SPIRIT         o XXIV. GRIEVING THE SPIRIT         o XXV. FLESH AND SPIRIT         o XXVI. THE LIFE OF FAITH         o XXVII. THE MIGHT OF SATAN         o XXVIII. THE CONFLICT OF THE CHRISTIAN         o XXIX BE A BLESSING         o XXX. PERSONAL WORK         o XXXI. MISSIONARY WORK         o XXXII. LIGHT AND JOYFULNESS         o XXXIII. CHASTISEMENT         o XXXIV. PRAYER         o XXXV. THE PRAYER MEETING         o XXXVI. THE FEAR OF THE LORD         o XXXVII. UNDIVIDED CONSECRATION         o XXXVIII. ASSURANCE OF FAITH         o XXXIX. CONFORMITY TO JESUS         o XL. CONFORMITY TO THE WORLD         o XLI. THE LORD'S DAY         o XLII. HOLY BAPTISM         o XLIII. THE LORD'S SUPPER         o XLIV. OBEDIENCE         o XLV. THE WILL OF GOD         o XLVI. SELF-DENIAL         o XLVII. DISCRETION         o XLVIII. MONEY         o XLIX. THE FREEDOM OF THE CHRISTIAN         o L. GROWTH         o LI. SEARCHING THE SCRIPTURES         o LII. THE LORD THE PERFECTER

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Typed by Jackie Henderson, 1998

This etext is in the public domain.

                                The New Life

                Words of God for Young Disciples of Christ

                                    BY

                            Rev. Andrew Murray

    "They go from strength to strength, Every one of them appeareth before God in Zion"



                              Translator's Note

      A glance at the pages of this little work will show that it is more elementary than the other writings of its honoured author. The reason is that is specially designed for young disciples who have but recently chosen the better part, and consequently need nothing so much as just to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear His word. Every minister of a congregation in which young people have been brought to the Lord, will remember the keen feeling of anxiety that swept over his heart as he contemplated their entrance on the duties and responsibilities of a public Christian confession. The supreme question at such a time is: How shall these young converts be built up in the knowledge of the truth? How shall they be best taught the real nature of the new life they have received, the dangers by which it is beset, and the directions in which its energy may safely go forth?       The desire to give a fitting answer to these questions has given rise to many excellent manuals. In connection with every time of revival, especially, new books for this circle of readers always make their appearance. As Mr. Murray indicates in the Preface, it was in the midst of such a happy period that the following chapters were written. The volume came under my notice whilst I was recently traveling in Holland. A brief inspection showed me that it was one of the most simple, comprehensive, and suggestive of its class. It is now translated into English from the latest Dutch edition, that the many thousands who have profited by Mr. Murray's other admirable works may have a suitable book to give or recommend to those who are setting their faces towards an earnest and fruitful Christian life.       That it will be very helpful to this end I cannot doubt: especially if the directions the author himself has given are faithfully adhered to. It will be noticed that the chapters are comparatively short; but every one of them has a considerable number of Biblical references. Let no reader be content to read what is written here without turning up and examining the texts marked This practice, if persistently carried out, cannot fail to yield much recompense. There are just as many chapters in the book as Sabbaths in the year. What an additional blessing it would bring, if the members of a family who have had access to the book during the week, were to hear a chapter read aloud every Sabbath evening, and were encouraged to quote the texts in each that my have struck them most.       I have only to add that the volume is now translated and issued with Mr. Murray's cordial sanction. It has been to me a very pleasant task to put t into an English dress for my younger brethren throughout the country. Beyond this point, of course, my responsibility does not go. Should the book prove useful in guiding the feet of those who have come to the Lord yet further into the way of peace and holiness, it will be, both for author and translator, the answer to many a fervent prayer.

    J.P.L.

    Abbroath, September 1891





                                  Preface

      In intercourse with young converts, I have very frequently longed for a suitable book in which the most important truths that they have need of for the New Life should be briefly and simply set forth. I could not find anything that entirely corresponded to what I desired. During the services in which, since Whitsuntide 1884, I have been permitted to take part, and in which I have been enabled to speak with so many who professed to have found the Lord, and who were, nevertheless, still very weak in knowledge and faith, this want was felt by me still more keenly. In the course of my journey, I felt myself pressed to take the pen in hand. Under a vivid impression of the infirmities and the perverted thoughts concerning the New Life, with which, as was manifest to me from conversations I had with them, almost all young Christians have to wrestle, I wished, in some words of instruction and encouragement, to let them see what a glorious life of power and joy is prepared for them in their Lord Jesus, and how simple the way is to enjoy all this blessing.       I have confined myself in these reflections to some of the most important topics. The first is the Word of God as the glorious and sure guide, even for the simplest souls that will only surrender themselves to it. Then, as the chief element in the word, there is the Son, the gift of the Father, to do all for us. Thereupon follows what the Scriptures teach concerning Sin, as the only thing that we have to bring to Jesus, as that which we must give to Him, and from which He will set us free. Further, there is Faith, the great word in which is expressed our inability to bring or to do anything, and that teaches us that all our salvation must be received every day of our life as a gift from above. With the Holy Spirit also must the young Christian make acquaintance, as the Person through whom the word and Jesus, with all His work, and faith in Him, can become power and truth. Then there is the Holy Life of obedience and of fruitfulness, in which the Spirit teaches us to walk. It is to these six leading thoughts of the New Life that I have confined myself, with the ceaseless prayer that God may use what I have written to make His young children understand what a glorious and mighty life it is that they have received from their Father. It was often very unwillingly that I took leave of the young converts who had to go back to lonely places, where they could have little counsel or help, and seldom mingle in the preaching of the word. It is my sure and confident expectation that what the Lord has given me to write shall prove a blessing to many of these young confessors.       [I have, in some instances, attached the names of the places where the different portions of this manual were written; in others, the names of the towns where the substance of them was spoken, as a remembrance to the friends with whom I had intercourse.]       While writing this book I have had a second wish abiding with me. I have thought what I could possibly do to secure that my little book should not draw away attention from the word of God, but rather help to make the word more precious. I resolved to furnish the work with marginal references, so that, on every point that was treated of, the reader might be stirred up still to listen to the Word itself, to GOD HIMSELF.       I am hopeful that this arrangement will yield a double benefit. Many a one does not know, and had nobody to teach him, how to examine the Scriptures properly. This book may help him in his loneliness. If he will only meditate on one and another point, and then look up the texts that are quoted, he will get into the way of consulting God's word itself on that which he wishes to understand. But it may just as readily be of service in prayer meetings or social gatherings for the study of the word. Let each one read the portion fixed on at home and review those texts that seem to him the most important. Let the president of the meeting read the portion aloud once. Let him then request that each one who pleases should announce one and another text on that point which has struck him most.       We have found in my congregation that the benefit of such meetings for bringing and reading aloud texts on a point previously announced, is very great. This practice leads to the searching of God's word, as even preaching does not. It stirs up the members of the congregation, especially the young people, to independent dealing with the word. It leads to a more living fellowship amongst the members of Christ's body, and helps also their upbuilding in love. It prepares the way for a social recognition of the word as the living communication of the thoughts of God, which with Divine power shall work in us what is pleasing to God. I am persuaded that there is many a believing man and woman that asks what they can accomplish for the Lord, who along this pathway could become the channels of great blessing. Let them once a week bring together some of their neighbours or friends (sometimes two or three household live on one farm) to hear read out texts for which all have been previously searching: the Lord shall certainly give His blessing there.       With respect to the use of this book in retirement, I would fain request one thing more. I hope that no one will think it strange. Let every portion be read over at least three times. The great bane of all our converse with Divine things is superficiality. When we read anything and understand it somewhat, we think that this is enough. No: we must give time, that it may make an impression and wield its own influence upon us. Read every portion the first time with consideration, to understand the good that is in it, and then see if you receive benefit from the thoughts that are there expressed. Read it the second time to see if it is really in accordance with God's word: take some, if not all, of the texts that are adduced on each point, and ponder them in order to come under the full force of what God has said on the point. Let your God, through His word, teach you what you must think and believe concerning Him and His will. Read it then the third time to find out the corresponding places, not in the Bible, but in your own life, in order to know if your life has been in harmony with the New Life, and to direct your life for the future entirely according to God's word. I am fully persuaded that the time and pains spent on such converse with the word of God under the teaching of this or some book that helps you in dealing with it, will be rewarded tenfold.       I conclude with a cordial brotherly greeting to all with whom I have been permitted to mingle during the past year, in speaking about the precious Saviour and His glorious salvation: also to all in other congregations, who in this last season have learned to know the beloved Lord Jesus as their Redeemer. With a heart full of peace and love, I think of you all, and I pray that the Lord may confirm His work in you. I have not become weary of crying to you: the blessedness and the power of the New Life that is in you are greater than you know, are wonderfully great: only learn to know aright and trust in Jesus, the gift of God and the Scriptures, the word of God. Only give Him time to hold converse with you and to work in you, and your heart shall overflow with the blessedness of God.       Now to Him who is able to do more than exceedingly above all that we can ask or think, to Him be glory in the Church to all eternity.     ANDREW MURRAY. Wellington, 12th August 1885

                              I. THE NEW LIFE

      "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." -- John 3:16       "For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Christ is our life." -- Col. 3:3,4       "We declare unto you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us. God gave unto us eternal life; and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath the life." - 1 John 1:2,11,12

      How glorious, then, is the blessing which every one receives that believes in the Lord Jesus. Not only does there come a change in his disposition and manner of life; he also receives from God out of heaven an entirely new life. He is born anew, born of God: he has passed from death into life. (John 1:12-13; 3:5,7; 5:24; 1 John 3:14; 5:1)       This new life is nothing less than Eternal Life. (John 3:15-16,36; 6:40,51; 6:25-26; Romans 6:11,23; 8:2; 1 John 5:12,13) This does not mean, as many suppose, that our life shall now no more die, but shall endure into eternity. No: eternity life is nothing else than the very life of God, the life that He has had in Himself from eternity, and that has been visibly revealed in Christ. This life is now the portion of every child of God. (1 John 1:3; 3:1, 5:11)       This life is a life of inconceivable power. Whenever God gives life to a young plant or animal, that life has in itself the power of growth, whereby the plant or animal as of itself becomes large. Life is power. In the new life, that is, in your heart, there is the power of eternity. (John 5:10,28; Heb. 7:16,29; 6:25,26; 2 Cor 7:9; 8:4; Col. 3:3-4; Phil. 4:13) More certain than the healthful growth of any tree or animal is the growth and increase of the child of God, who in reality surrenders himself to the working of the new life.       What hinders this power and the reception of the new spiritual life is chiefly two things. The one is ignorance of its nature, its laws and workings. Man, even the Christian, has of himself not the least conception of the new life that comes from God: it surpasses all his thoughts. His own perverted thoughts of the way to serve and to please God, namely, by what he does and is, are so deeply rooted in him, that, although he thinks that he understands and receives God's word, he yet thinks humanly and carnally on Divine things. (Jos. 3:4; Isa. 4:8,9; Matt. 16:23) Not only must God give salvation and life; He must also give the Spirit to make us know what He gives. Not only must He point out the land of Canaan, and the way thither; we must also, like the blind, be led every day by Himself. The young Christian must try to cherish a deep conviction of his ignorance concerning the new life, and of his inability to form right thoughts about it. This will bring him to the meekness and to the childlike spirit of docility, to which the Lord shall make His secret known. (Ps. 25:5,8-9; 143:8; Isa. 42:16; 64:4; Matt. 11:25; 1 Cor. 1:18-19; 2:7,10,12; Heb. 11:8)       There is a second hindrance in the way of faith. In the life of every plant and every animal and every child there lies sufficient power by which it can become big. In the new life, God has made the most glorious provision of a sufficient power whereby His child can grow and become all that he must be. Christ Himself is his life and his power of life. (Ps. 18:2; 27:1; 38:3; 34:8; John 14:19; Gal. 2:20; Col. 3:3,4) Yet, because this mighty life is not visible or cannot be felt, but works in the midst of human weakness, the young Christian often becomes of doubtful mind. He then fails to believe that he shall grow with Divine power and certainty. He does not understand that the believing life is a life of faith whereby he reckons on the life that is in Christ for him, although he neither sees, feels, nor experiences anything. (Hab. 2:4; Matt. 6:27; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38)       Let every one then that has received this new life, cultivate this great conviction: it is eternal life that works in me: it works with Divine power: I can and shall become what God will have me be: Christ Himself is my life: I have to receive Him every day as my life given by God to me, and He shall be my life in full power.

    O my Father, who hast given me Thy Son that I may have life in     Him, I thank Thee for the glorious new life that is now in me. I     pray Thee, teach me to know aright this new life. I will     acknowledge my ignorance and the perverted thoughts which are in     me, concerning Thy service. I will believe in the heavenly power     of the new life that is in me: I will believe that my Lord Jesus,     who Himself is my life, will by His Spirit teach me to know how I     can walk in that life. Amen.

    Try now to apprehend and appropriate the following lessons in your heart; --       1. It is eternal life, the very life of God, that you have now received through faith.       2. This new life is in Christ, and the Holy Spirit is in you to bring over to you all that is in Christ. Christ lives in you through the Holy Spirit.       3. This life is a life of wonderful power. However weak you may feel, you must believe in the Divine power of the life that is in you.       4. This life has need of time to grow in you and to take possession of you. Give it time: it shall surely increase.       5. Forget not that all the laws and rules of this new life are in conflict with all human thoughts of the way to please God. Be very much in dread of your thoughts, and let Christ, who is your life and also your wisdom, teach you all things.



                          II. THE MILK OF THE WORD

      "As new-born babes, long for the spiritual milk that is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation" -- 1 Peter 2:2

      Beloved young Christians, hear what your Father has to say in this word. You have just recently given yourselves to the Lord, and have believed that He has received you. You have thus received the new life from God. you are now as new-born infants: He would teach you in this word what is necessary that you may grow and wax strong.       The first point is: you must know that you are God's children. Hear how distinctly Peter says this to those just converted: (1 Pet. 1:23; 2:2,10,25) `You have been born again,' `you are new-born infants,' `you are now converted,' `you are now the people of God.' A Christian, however young and weak he is, must know that he is God's child. Then only can he have the courage to believe that he shall make progress, and the boldness to use the food of the children provided in the word. All Scripture teaches us that we must know and can know that we are children of God. (Rom 8:16; 1 Cor. 3:1,16; Gal. 4:6,7; 1 John 3:2,14,24; 4:13, 5:10,13) The assurance of faith is indispensable to a healthy powerful growth in the Lord. (Eph. 5:8; Col. 2:6; 1 Pet. 1:14,19)       The second point which this word teaches you is: you are still very weak, weak as new-bon children. The joy and the love which a young convert sometimes experiences do indeed make him think that he is very strong. He runs the risk of exalting himself, and of trusting in what he experiences. He must nevertheless learn much of how he must become strong in his Lord Jesus. Endeavour to feel deeply that you are still young and weak. (1 Cor. 3:1,13; Heb. 5:13,14) Out of this sense of weakness comes the humility which has nothing (Matt. 5:3; Rom 12:3,10; Eph. 4:2; Phil. 2:3,4; Col. 3: 12) in itself, and therefore expects all from its Lord. (Matt. 8:8,15,27,28)       The third lesson is: the young Christian must not remain weak; he must grow and increase in grace; he must make progress and become strong. God lays it upon us as a command. His word gives us concerning this point the most glorious promises. It lies in the nature of the thing: a child of God must and can make progress. The new life is a life that is healthy and strong: when a disciple surrenders himself to it, the growth certainly comes. (Judg. 5:31; Ps. 84:8, 92:13,14; Prov. 4:18; Isa. 40:31; Eph. 4:14; 1 Thess. 4:1; 2 Pet. 3:18)       The fourth and principal lesson, the lesson which young disciples of Christ have most need of is: it is through the milk of the word that God's new-born infants can grow. The new life from the Spirit of God can be sustained only by the word from the mouth of God. Your life, my young brother, will largely depend on whether you learn to deal wisely and well with God's word, or whether you learn to use the word from the beginning as your milk. (Ps. 19:8,11; 119:97,100; Isa. 55: 2,3; 1 Cor. 12:11)       See what a charming parable the Lord has given us here in the mother's milk. Out of her own life does the mother yield food and life to her child. The feeding of the child is the work of the tenderest love, in which the child is pressed to the breast, and is held in the closest fellowship with the mother. And the milk is just what the weak child requires, food gentle and yet strong.       Even so is there in the word of God the very life and power of God. (John 6:63; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12) His tender love will through the word receive us into the gentlest and most intimate fellowship with Himself. (John 10:4) His love will give us out of the word what is, like warm soft milk, just fitted for our weakness. Let no one suppose that the word is too high or too hard for him. For the disciple who receives the word, and trustfully relies on Jesus to teach him by the Spirit, the word of God shall practically prove to be gentle sweet milk for new-born infants. (Ps 119:18; John 14:26; Eph. 1:17-18)       Dear young Christian, would you continue standing, would you become strong, would you always live for the Lord? Then hear this day the voice of your Father: `As new-born babes, long for the spiritual milk that is without guile.' Receive this word into your heart and hold it fast as the voice of your Father: on your use of the word of God will your spiritual life depend. Let the word of God be precious to you above everything. (Ps 19:14,47,48,111,127)       Above all, forget not this: the word is the milk; the sucking or drinking on the part of the little child is the inner, living, blessed fellowship with the mother's love. Through the Holy Spirit your use of the milk of the word can become warm, living fellowship with the Living Love of your God. O long then very eagerly for the milk. Do not take the word as something that is hard and troublesome to understand: in that way you lose all delight in it. Receive it with trust in the love of the living God. With a tender motherly love will the Spirit of God teach and help you in your weakness. Believe always that the Spirit will make the word in you life and joy, a blessed fellowship with your God.

    Precious Saviour, Thou hast taught me to believe Thy word, and     Thou hast made me by that faith a child of God. Through that word,     as the milk of the new-born babes, wilt Thou also feed me. Lord,     for this milk shall I be very eager: every day will I long after     it. Teach me, through the Holy Spirit and the word, to walk and     hold converse every day in living fellowship with the love of the     Father. Teach me always to believe that the Spirit has been given     me with the word. Amen.

      1. What texts do you consider the best for proving that the Scriptures teach us that we must know we are children of God?       2. What are the three points in which the sucking child is to us a type of the young child in Christ in his dealing with the word?       3. What must a young Christian do when he has little blessing in the reading of God's word? He must set himself through faith in fellowship with Jesus Himself: he must reckon that Jesus will teach him through the Spirit and so trustfully continue in the reading.       4. One verse chosen to meet our needs, read ten times and then laid up in the heart, is better than ten verses read once. Only so much of the word as I actually receive and inwardly appropriate for myself, is food for my soul.       5. Choose out for yourselves what you consider one of the most glorious promises about making progress and becoming strong; learn it by heart, and repeat it continually as the language of your positive expectation.       6. Have you learned well to understand what the great means for growth in grace is?



                        III. GOD'S WORD IN OUR HEART

      "Therefore shall ye lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul.' -- Deut. 11:18       "Son of man, all My words that I shall speak unto thee, receive in heart.' -- Ezek. 3:10       "Thy word have I laid up in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.' - Ps. 119:11

      Long for the milk, that ye may grow thereby. This charming word taught every young Christian that, if he would grow, he must receive the word as milk, as the living participation of the life and the love of God. On this account is it of so great importance to know well how we must deal with the word. The Lord says that we must receive it and lay it in our heart. (Deut. 30:14; Ps. 1:2; 119:34,36; Is. 51:7; John 5:38; 8:31; 15:7; Rom. 10:8-9; Col. 3:16) The word must possess and fill the heart. What does that mean?       The heart is the temple of God. In the temple there was an outer court and an inner sanctuary. So also is it in the heart. The gate of the court is the understanding; what I do not understand cannot enter into the heart. Through the outer gate of the understanding, the word comes into the court. (Ps. 119:34; Mat.. 13:19; Acts 8:30) There it is kept by memory and reflection. (Ps. 119:15,16) Still it is not yet properly in the heart. From the court there is an entrance into the innermost sanctuary; the entrance of the door is faith. What I believe, that I receive into my heart. (John 5:38; Acts 8:37; Rom. 10:10,17) Here it then becomes held fast in love and in the surrender of the will. Where this takes place, there the heart becomes the sanctuary of God. His law is there, as in the ark, and the soul cries out: `The law is within my heart.' (Ex. 25:16; Ps. 37:31; 40:9; Col. 3:16)       Young Christian, God has asked your heart, your love, your whole self. You have given yourself to Him. He has received you, and would have you and your heart entirely for Himself. He will make that heart full of His word. What is in the heart one holds dear, because one thinks continually on that which gives joy. God would have the word in the heart. Where His word is, there is He Himself and His might. He considers Himself bound to fulfil His word; when you have the word, you have God Himself to work in you. (Gen. 21:1; Josh. 23:14) He wills that you should receive and lay up His words in your heart: then will He greatly bless you. (Deut. 11:10; 28:1,2; Ps. 1:2,3; 119;14,45,98,165; John 27:6,8,17)       How I wish that I could bring all young Christians to receive simply that word of their Father, `Lay up My words in your heart,' and to give their whole heart to become full of God's word. Resolve then to do this. Take pains to understand what you read. When you understand it, take then always one or another word to keep in remembrance and ponder. Learn words of God by heart; repeat them to yourself in the course of the day. The word is seed; the seed must have time, must be kept in the ground: so must the word be carried in the heart. Give the best powers of your heart, your love, your desire, the willing and joyful activity of your will, to God's word. `Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.' Let the hear

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