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Murray, A. – The Secret of the Cross

THE SECRET OF THE CROSS

by Andrew Murray

Murray-s The Secret of the Cross is a monthly devotional reading book on the Cross. 

INTRODUCTION of The Secret of the Cross

The question often arises how it is, with so much church-going, Bible-reading, and prayer, that the Christian fails to live the life of complete victory over sin and lacks the love and joy of the Lord. One of the most important answers, undoubtedly, is that he does not know what it is to die to himself and to the world. Yet without this, God’s love and holiness cannot have their dwelling-place in his heart. He has repented of some sins, but knows not what it is to turn, not only from sin, but from his old nature and self-will.

Yet this is what the Lord Jesus taught. He said to the disciples that if any man would come after Him, he must hate and lose his own life. He taught them to take up the cross. That meant they were to consider their life as sinful and under sentence of death. They must give up themselves, their own will and power, and any goodness of their own. When their Lord had died on the cross, they would learn what it was to die to themselves and the world, and to live their life in the fullness of God.

Our Lord used the Apostle Paul to put this still more clearly. Paul did not know Christ after the flesh, but through the Holy Spirit Christ was revealed in his heart, and he could testify: “I am crucified with Christ; I live no longer; Christ liveth in me.” In more than one of his Epistles the truth is made clear that we are dead to sin, with Christ, and receive and experience the power of the new life through the continual working of God’s Spirit in us each day.

As the season of Lent approaches each year, our thoughts will be occupied with the sufferings and death of our Lord. Emphasis will be laid, in the preaching, on Christ for us on the cross as the foundation of our salvation. Less is said about our death with Christ. The subject is a deep and difficult one, yet every Christian needs to consider it. It is my earnest desire to help those Christians who are considering this great truth, that death to self and to the world is necessary for a life in the love and joy of Christ.

I have sought to explain the chief words of our Lord and of His disciples on this subject. May I point out two things to my reader. First, take time to read over what you do not understand at once. Spiritual truth is not easy to grasp. But experience has taught me that God’s words taken into the heart and meditated on with prayer help the soul by degrees to understand the truth. And secondly, be assured that only through the continual teaching of the Holy Spirit in your heart will you be able to appropriate spiritual truths. The great work of the Holy Spirit is to reveal Christ in our hearts and lives as the Crucified One who dwells within us. Let this be the chief aim of all your devotion: complete dependence on God, and an expectation of continually receiving all goodness and salvation from Him alone. Thus will you learn to die to yourself and to the world, and will receive Christ, the Crucified and Glorified One, into your heart, and be kept through the continual working of the Holy Spirit.

Let us pray fervently for each other that God may teach us what it is to die with Christ — a death to ourselves and to the world; a life in Christ Jesus.

Your Servant in the Lord, Andrew Murray

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, how shall I thank Thee for the unspeakable gift of Thy Son on the cross! How shall I thank Thee for our eternal salvation, wrought out by that death on the cross! He died for me that I might live eternally. Through His death on the cross I am dead to sin, and live in the power of His life.

Father in heaven, teach me, I humbly entreat Thee, what it means that I am dead with Christ and can live my life in Him. Teach me to realize that my sinful flesh is wholly corrupt and nailed to the cross to be destroyed, that the life of Christ may be manifest in me.

Teach me, above all, to believe that I cannot either understand or experience this except through the continual working of the Holy Spirit dwelling within me. Father, for Christ’s sake I ask it. Amen.

“Jesus hath now many lovers of His heavenly kingdom, but few bearers of His cross. He hath many desirous of consolation, but few of tribulation. He findeth many companions of His table, but few of His abstinence. All desire to rejoice with Him, few are willing to endure anything for Him, or with Him. Many follow Jesus unto the breaking of bread, but few to the drinking of the cup of His passion. Many reverence His miracles, few follow the ignominy of His cross.” –Thomas A Kempis Murray-s The Secret of the Cross is a monthly devotional reading book on the Cross.

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