Andrew Murray was a Dutch Reformed
minister in South Africa. He has written many works which
are read by millions of Christians today. Some of his books
include Absolute Surrender, Abide in Christ, and the Deeper
Christian Life. Murray was greatly influenced by William Law.
While admitting his limitations as a man concerning such issues
as election, he wholeheartedly endorsed William Law's, An
Affectionate and Earnest Address to the Clergy. This book
clearly outlined Law's belief in universal salvation. This
book was later republished by Murray under the title Power
of the Spirit.
By Andrew Murray
(Chapter 23 of his book "God's Will")
"I exhort therefore, that, supplications, prayers, intercessions,
-and giving of thanks be made for all men....this is good
and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who will have
all men to be saved' --1 Timothy 2:14.
"The Lord is long suffering to us-ward,
not willing that any should perish, but that all should come
to repentance "--2 Peter 3:9.
After Paul urged that supplications, prayers,
and intercessions should be made for all men, he reminded
us that we may do so in confident assurance that it is good
and acceptable to God. He wills that all men should be saved.
The knowledge and faith of God's will for all is to be the
motivation and the measure of our prayer for all. What God
in heaven wills and works for His children on earth we are
to will and work for, too. As we enter into His will for all,
we will know what we are to do to fulfill that will. And,
as we pray and labor for all, the faith in His will for all
will inspire us with confidence and love.
Perhaps the question arises-If God wills the
salvation of all, why is it not happening? What about the
doctrine of election, as Scripture teaches us? And, what about
the Omnipotence of God, which is surely equal to His love
that wills the salvation of all? As to election, remember
that there are mysteries in God and in Scripture which are
beyond our reach. If there are apparently conflicting truths
which we cannot reconcile, we know that Scripture was not
written, like a book of science, to satisfy the intellect.
It is the revelation of the hidden wisdom of God, which tests
and strengthens faith and submission, and awakens love and
If we cannot understand why His power does not
work what His will has purposed, we will find that all that
God does or does not do is decided by conditions far beyond
our human comprehension. It requires a Divine wisdom to grasp
and to order God's ways. We will learn that God's will is
as much beyond our comprehension as God's being. And, it is
our wisdom, safety, and happiness to accept every revealed
truth with the simplicity and the faith of little children.
We must yield ourselves to it to prove its living power within
our hearts. Let us not fear to yield ourselves to the utmost
to this blessed word: God will have all men to be saved.
God is love. His will is love. As He makes
His sun to shine on the good and the evil, so His love rests
on all. However little we can understand why His love is so
long-suffering and patient, we can believe in and be assured
of the love that God gives to us-a love whose measure in heaven
is the gift of His Son, and on earth every child of man. His
love is nothing but His will in its Divine energy doing its
very utmost in accordance with the Divine law. Thus, His relationship
to mankind is regulated to make men partakers of His blessedness.
His will is nothing but His love in its infinite patience
and tenderness delighting to win and bless every heart into
which it can gain access.
If we only knew God and His love, how we would
look on every man we see as one upon whom that love rests
and for whom it longs. We would begin to wonder about the
mystery of grace that has taken up the Church, as the body
of Christ, as a partner in the great work of making that love
known, and rendered itself dependent upon its faithfulness.
And, we would see that all who live to do God's will must
believe this to be its central glory: our doing the will that
wills that all men should be saved.
God will have all men to be saved. This truth
is a supernatural mystery. It can only be understood by a
spiritual mind through the teaching of the Holy Spirit. It
is in itself so Divine and beyond our apprehension-the difficulties
that surround it are so many and so real-that it needs so
much time and sacrifice to master its teaching. To very many
who do not possess a humble, loving heart, the words carry
To the believer, who in very deed seeks to know
and to do all God's will, God's words give a new meaning to
life. He begins to see that this call to love and to save
his fellow men is not something accidental or additional.
He begins to realize that, along with the other things that
make up his life, he can devote as much time and thought to
this as he sees fit. He learns that just as this loving, saving
will of God is the secret source of all His will and rules
it all, so this loving, saving will is to be the chief thing
that he lives for, too. I have been redeemed, organically
united to, and made a member of the saving Christ, who came
to do this will of the Father.
I have been chosen and set apart and fitted
for this as the one object of my being in the world. I begin
to see that the prayer, Thy will be done! means, above everything
else, that I give myself for this loving, saving will of God
to possess, inspire, use, and if need be, consume me. And,
I feel the need of spelling out the words of the sentence
until my heart can call them its own: God-my God, who lives
in me--will have, with His whole heart, in that will which
He has revealed to His people that they may carry it into
effect--all men, here around me, and to the ends of the earth--to
be saved, to have everlasting life.
Paul wrote these words in connection with a
call to prayer for all men. Our faith in the truth of God's
loving, saving will must be put into practice. It must stir
us to prayer. And prayer will most certainly stir us to work.
We must not only seek to believe and feel the truth of these
words, but we must also act. This will of God must be done.
Let us look upon those around us as the objects of God's love,
whom His saving will is seeking to reach. Let us, as we yield
ourselves to this will, go and speak to those around us about
God's love in Christ.
It is possible that we are not succeeding
in doing God's will in our personal life because we neglect
the chief thing. As we pray to be possessed and filled with
the knowledge of God's will, let us seek, in all things, to
have our hearts filled with this love. Let us have tongues
which speak of Jesus and His salvation, and a will which finds
its strength in God's own will--that all men be saved. So
will our life, our love, our work, and our will in some measure
be like that of Jesus Christ--a doing of the Father's will,
that none of these little ones should perish.