(Bible quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise stated)
The Holiest of All
3rd July 2009
I'd like to recommend a book to you. It's Andrew Murray's commentary on Hebrews, called "The Holiest of All". Since Andrew Murray died in 1917, you'd expect the book to be a little old fashioned, and the Bible quotes in it are from the King James Version. Nevertheless, it's a very valuable study for those who want to grow as Christians and to understand Jesus Christ, the Son of God, better.
All I'm going to do this week is quote from the introduction to this book, in the hope that it will encourage you in your search for spiritual maturity, and perhaps encourage you to read the book. Murray writes:
The great complaint of all who have the care of souls is the lack of whole-heartedness, of steadfastness, of perseverance and progress in the Christian life. Many, of whom one cannot but hope they are true Christians, come to a standstill, and do not advance beyond the rudiments of Christian life and practice. And many more do not even remain stationary, but turn back to a life of worldliness, of formality, of indifference. And the question is continually being asked, What is the want in our religion that, in so many cases, it gives no power to stand, to advance, to press on unto perfection? And what is the teaching that is needed to give that health and vigour to the Christian life that, through all adverse circumstances, it may be able to hold fast the beginning firm to the end?
The teaching of the Epistle [to the Hebrews] is the divine answer to these questions. In every possible way it sets before us the truth that it is only the full and perfect knowledge of what Christ is and does for us that can bring us to a full and perfect Christian life. The knowledge of Christ Jesus that we need for conversion does not suffice for growth, for progress, for sanctification, for maturity. Just as there are two dispensations, the Old Testament and the New, and the saints of the Old, with all their faith and fear of God, could not obtain the more perfect life of the New, so with the two stages in the Christian life of which the Epistle speaks. Those who, through sloth, remain babes in Christ, and do not press on to maturity, are ever in danger of hardening their heart, of coming short and falling away. Only those who hold fast the beginning firm to the end, who give diligence to enter the rest, who press on unto perfection, do in very deed inherit and enjoy the wonderful New Covenant blessings secured for us in Christ. And the great object of the Epistle is to show us that if we will but follow the Lord fully, and yield ourselves wholly to what God in Christ is ready to do, we shall find in the gospel and in Christ everything that we need for a life of joy and strength and final victory.
The cure the Epistle has for all our failures and feebleness, the one preservative from all danger and disease, is - the knowledge of the higher truth concerning Jesus, the knowledge of Him in His heavenly priesthood. In connection with his truth, the writer has three great mysteries he seeks to unfold. The one is that the heavenly sanctuary has been opened to us, so that we may now come and take our place there, with Jesus in the very presence of God. The second, that the new and living way by which Jesus has entered, the way of self-sacrifice and perfect obedience to God, is the way in which we now may and must draw neigh. The third, that Jesus, as our heavenly High Priest, is the minister of the heavenly sanctuary, and dispenses to us its blessings, the spirit and power of the heavenly life, in such a way that we can live in the world as those who are come to the heavenly Jerusalem, and in whom the spirit of heaven is the spirit of all their life and conduct; the heavenly priesthood of Jesus, heaven opened to us day by day, our entering it by the new and living way, and heaven entering us by the Holy Spirit...
Our need is to know Jesus better.