Nov
19

The Abundant Life — sermon idea

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(The following is an excerpt from chapter four of Andrew Murray’s book, PRAYER. It makes a neat outline to use for a message on the Abundant Life.)

THE ABUNDANT LIFE

What is it, then, which peculiarly constitutes this abundant life? We cannot too often repeat, or in different ways too often set it forth – the abundant life is nothing less than the full Jesus having the full mastery over our entire being, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

As the Spirit makes known in us the fullness of Christ, and the abundant life which he gives, it will be chiefly in three aspects:

1. As the crucified one

Not merely as the one who died for us, to atone for our sins; but as he who has taken us up with himself on the cross to die with him, and who now works out in us the power of his cross and death. You have the true fellowship with Christ when you can say: ‘I have been crucified with Christ – he, the crucified one, lives in me.’ The feelings and the disposition which were in him, his lowliness and obedience even to the death of the cross – these were what he referred to when he said of the Holy Spirit: ‘He shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you’ (John 16.15) – not as an instruction, but as childlike participation of the same life which was in him.

Do you desire that the Holy Spirit should take full possession of you, so as to cause the crucified Christ to dwell in you? Understand then, that this is just the end for which he has been given, and this he will surely accomplish in all who yield themselves to him.

2. As the risen one

The Scripture frequently mentions the resurrection in connection with the wonder-working power of God, by which Christ was raised from the dead; and from which comes the assurance of ‘the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead’ (Eph. 1.19, 20). Do not pass hastily from these words. Turn back and read them once more, and learn the great lesson that, however powerless and weak you feel, the omnipotence of God is working in you; and, if you only believe, will give you in daily life a share in the resurrection of his Son.

Yes, the Holy Spirit can fill you with the joy and victory of the resurrection of Christ, as the power of your daily life, here in the midst of the trials and temptations of this world. Let the cross humble you to death. God will work out the heavenly life in you through his Spirit. Ah, how little have we understood that it is entirely the work of the Holy Spirit to make us partakers of the crucified and risen Christ, and to conform us to his life and death!

3. As the glorified one

The glorified Christ is he who baptises with the Holy Spirit. When the Lord Jesus himself was baptised with the Spirit, it was because he had humbled himself and offered himself to take part in John’s baptism of repentance – a baptism for sinners – in Jordan. Even so, when he took upon himself the work of redemption, he received the Holy Spirit to fit him for his work from that hour till on the cross he ‘offered himself without spot to God’ (Heb. 9.14). Do you desire that this glorified Christ should baptise you with the Holy Spirit? Offer yourself then to him for his service, to further his great work of making known to sinners the love of the Father.

God help us to understand what a great thing it is to receive the Holy Spirit with power from the glorified Jesus! It means a willingness – a longing of the soul – to work for him, and, if need be, to suffer for him. You have known and loved your Lord, and have worked for him, and have had blessing in that work; but the Lord has more than that to bestow. He can so work in us, and in our brethren around us, and in the ministers of the church, by the power of the Holy Spirit, as to fill our hearts with adoring wonder.

Have you laid hold of it, my reader? The abundant life is neither more nor less than the full life of Christ as the crucified, the risen, the glorified one, who baptises with the Holy Ghost and reveals himself in our hearts and lives as Lord of all within us.

I read not long since an expression – ‘Live in what must be. ‘Do not live in your human imagination of what is possible. Live in the word – in the love and infinite faithfulness of the Lord Jesus. Even though it is slow, and with many a stumble, the faith that always thanks him not for experiences, but for the promises on which it can rely – goes on from strength to strength, still increasing in the blessed assurance that God himself will perfect his work in us.

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