Summary: From the book “The Master's Indwelling” By Andrew Murray Chapter 2 – THE SELF LIFE (words in italics added)
From the book “The Master's Indwelling” By Andrew Murray
Chapter 2 – THE SELF LIFE (words in italics added)
Matt. 16: 24. (Jesus) If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
In the 13th verse we read that Jesus asked His disciples, “Whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” When they had answered, He asked them, “But whom do you say that I am?” And in verse 16 Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus answered and said unto him: “Blessed are You, Simon Barjonas, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in Heaven. And I say also to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock (of the Father’s Spirit revealing through His word, to a person’s spirit, the knowledge of Me) I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Then in verse 21 we read how Jesus began to tell His disciples of His approaching death; and in verse 22 how Peter began to rebuke Him, saying, “Be it far from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You.” But Jesus turned and said to Peter; “Get behind me, Satan; You are an offense to me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.”
We often hear about Christians who compromise their lives and the question arises, what lies at the root of it? What is the reason that so many Christians are wasting their lives in the terrible bondage of the world instead of living in the manifestation and the privilege and the glory of the child of God? And another question perhaps comes to us: What can be the reason that when we see a thing is wrong and strive against it we cannot conquer it? What can be the reason that we have a hundred times prayed and vowed, yet here we are still living a mingled, divided, half-hearted life?
The Root of the Trouble
To those two questions there is one answer: it is self that is the root of the whole trouble. And therefore, if any one asks me, “How can I get rid of this compromised life?” the answer would not be, “You must do this, or that, or the other thing,” but the answer would be, “A new life from above, the life of Christ, must take the place of the self-life; then alone can we be conquerors.”
Let us consider from these words of our text the one word, “self.” Jesus said to Peter: “If anyone wants to come after me let him deny himself, his own self, and take up the cross and follow me.” This is a mark of the disciple; it is the secret of the Christian life. Deny self and reckon you died to self through Christ’s crucifixion, which you share in when you abide “in Christ”; and all will come right. Note that Peter was a believer, and a believer who had been taught by the Holy Spirit. He had given an answer that pleased Christ wonderfully: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Do not think that this was anything but extraordinary. Peter knew it; and Christ saw that the Holy Spirit of the Father had been teaching him, for He said: “Blessed are you, Simon Barjonas.”
But note how strong the carnal man still is in Peter. Christ speaks of His cross; Peter could only understand about the glory, “You are the Son of God;” but about His cross and His death he could not understand, and he ventured in his self-confidence to say, “Lord, that shall never be; You cannot be crucified and die.” And Christ had to rebuke him: “Get behind me, Satan. You are not mindful of the things of God.” You are talking like a mere carnal man (governed by your human nature), and not as the Spirit of God would teach you. Then Christ went on to say, “Remember, it is not only I who am to be crucified, but you as well; it is not only I who am to die, but you also. If a man wants to be my disciple, he must deny self, and he must take up his cross and follow me, in death.” Let us dwell upon this one word, “self.” It is only as we learn to know what self is that we really know what is at the root of all our failure, and are prepared to go to Christ for deliverance.