The Universal Christ

"The resurrection gives us a Christ who is spiritually present; the Holy Spirit gives us a Christ who is universally present. By the coming of the Holy Spirit the risen Christ is made omnipresent, and the whole process of revelation here and now completed. Nothing higher can be looked for until the veil is dropped on the other side. Momentous consequences follow the acceptance of this truth. If the age of the Spirit under which we are now living marks the final outgoing of God to man; if the God who is manifested in Christ is every-where present in the Spirit; if through the medium-ship of the Spirit he dwells in the inner sanctuary of the soul; if he is not only with man, but in man; if through the Holy Spirit his presence within the soul is realized as the presence of Christ, then the time foretold by Jesus has come when temples and shrines are no longer indispensable, when every man has immediate access to God as the Father, and when every humble receptive soul may become "an habitation of God in the Spirit." "
- James Mann Campbell (The Presence, p. 89)

The New Covenant Gift of the Spirit

"Let us recall the three considerations that have been
mentioned. First, that our Lord Himself in His Divine-human nature was on earth, and is now in heaven, possessed of the fulness of the Spirit, and this in such a manner that the Spirit entered into all He was in the one sphere, and enters into all He is in the other. Secondly, that the Spirit given us by our Lord in His glorified condition is His own Spirit in the most definite and particular meaning of the words. Thirdly, that when the Spirit is bestowed upon us He must be made inwardly and experimentally ours, entering into all that we are in a manner similar to that in which He entered into all that Jesus was and is. Let us fix these three points distinctly in our minds, and it will follow that the Spirit promised as the chief gift of the New Covenant is pervaded by human as well as Divine elements. As the Spirit of the exalted and glorified Lord, He is not the Third Person of the Trinity in His absolute and metaphysical existence, but that Person as He is mediated through the Son, who is human as well as Divine. It is on this particular aspect of His being that He diffuses Himself through the members of Christ's body, and abides in them. Only as human, entering into and coalescing with what is human, can He be also our Spirit dwelling in a living and real way within us."
- William Milligan (The Ascension and Heavenly Priesthood of Our Lord, p. 189)

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Pattern after whom humanity is to be remodelled

    "But wherein does this fitness consist? Paul's designation of Christ as the Second Adam means that He is to be regarded as the true Type or Ideal of Manhood, that He is and possesses in Himself that which constitutes Him the Pattern after whom humanity is to be remodelled. And that statement calls for some explanation. There are various functions and activities of human nature, and we must distinguish amongst them if we would have a clear idea of the sphere in which Christ is to be recognised as Supreme, the Ideal to be followed as a Pattern. There is the sphere of Science and that of Art; and great names might be mentioned, of whom our race is proud, who have excelled in these forms of human activity and may be regarded as having reached an ideal greatness. But we do not think of Christ as the Ideal of Knowledge or of Art, because we know He did not come either to enlarge our knowledge of the world or to furnish conceptions of beauty such as we owe to the imagination of natural genius. He came to meet the moral and religious needs of the race that are far deeper and more imperative than those to which the scientist or artist makes his appeal. And it is in this moral and religious sphere that He is to be recognised as the Ideal, who lays on every man the obligation, and inspires in every man the hope of being what He is. For, while Newton and Shakespeare and Darwin obtain our admiration, they do not make us feel it is our duty to follow them, still less do they suggest that each one of us has that capacity of thought and imagination that can ever bring us into equality with them were we to make the attempt. But to understand what Christ is, and to have our eyes opened to His greatness, is to feel at the same time, amid all that humbles us in the discovery, this is what I was made for, what I ought to be, — to love as Jesus loved, to live as Jesus lived. What we mean by Christ being the Ideal Character is that He presents to us human nature in its typical or ideal form, related to God and to men as human nature ought to be, under which He is recognised to be the law for everyone, in obedience to which everyone reaches the true end of his being. There is no human being who may not see in Him the Divine Idea and Purpose, the true conception and end of himself. He is God's truth and word to every man of himself."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ, pgs. 58-60)

*Re-post from 11/8/15

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The type of excellence realised in Jesus

    "The truth is, as has often been pointed out, the character of Christ as depicted in the Gospels themselves is entirely independent of those peculiarities, arising out of circumstances of time and place, that are incident to the best human characters, and prevent any one of them being typical for others. The type of excellence realised in Jesus escaped all onesidedness and taint of peculiarity that could disqualify it from being the ideal. Although set in the mould of special circumstances, the life of Jesus issued in an example of goodness that included in it every essential feature of man's nobility, and that had in it nothing national, limited, isolated, or that was adapted to certain persons more than to others. It was the essence of man's moral nature embodied in a personality intensely individual, and capable of arousing the deepest affections of the soul, and at the same time free from any idiosyncrasy that could affect its universal import. And Paul, in investing the Risen Christ with the powers and prerogatives of a Second Adam, is just recognising the truth of what the records of the historical Jesus themselves bear witness to, of His possession of a humanity that was without one "transitory touch of time or kindred or aim," and is therefore of a universal significance. "If," as one has said, "the Christ of the Church is an Ideal Being, it was Jesus who made the Ideal. The Ideal in Him is simply the result of that disengagement from the earthly vestiture which death and distance work in all who live in history;" only, in the present instance, it was the Resurrection even more than the Death that revealed the inner life of the historic Jesus and illustrated His fitness to be the Second Head of the race."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ, pgs. 57-58)

*Re-post from 11/7/15

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Invested with universal significance as the Second Adam

    "The universalism of Paul's Gospel is closely connected with the significance he attaches to the Person of Christ as the Second Adam, and as forming a Type of spiritual Manhood that is universal and final. There are some, indeed, who would have it that in thus presenting the Risen Christ as the ideal for man, Paul has substituted for the Jesus of history, who is rich in human qualities of character, a bald conception of Manhood stripped of all definiteness and points of contact with reality. They criticise his conception of the Second Adam as being little more than the abstract idea of a Man who, having no longer any connection with the earth or the circumstances of an earthly life, is consequently destitute of those features of interest by which human beings are distinguished, and which are necessary to give warmth and colour to our ideas of human character. But it would be a great mistake to imagine that in placing the Risen Christ before our faith Paul has exalted a mere ideal, or has sacrificed historic truth to the demands of a speculative system. Christ was in no sense whatever an abstraction to him. Some of the expressions used of Him, such as the "Son of God" and "the Power and Wisdom of God," might be familiar to Jewish ears and readers of Rabbinical theology. But to Paul Christ was no incarnation of a Divine attribute. Although He was indeed divested of those characteristics and accidents of time and place by which human personalities are marked, He remained, in the ground-work of His human character, the same that He was on earth, unaffected by the change that followed death, possessed of a Personality so intense, so vivid, as to excite the most ardent affection, for "never man," as one has said, "loved Christ with so absorbing a passion as did Paul." His love for Christ is indeed without a parallel in the history of religious emotions. He never lost the vision of Him whom he saw but once on the way to Damascus. Dedicating his whole being to the Christ "who had loved him and had given Himself for him," he had no thought but to please Christ, no aim but to advance His glory. All this is evidence that he did not regard his Master as having undergone the deprivation of those qualities that evoke the boundless love and adoration of the human soul, or as having suffered the loss of aught essential to His true humanity, when He died and rose again, to be no longer a mere individual member of the race, but invested with universal significance as the Second Adam."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ, pgs. 56-57)

*Re-post from 11/6/15

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

This Life-giving Power belongs to Him who rose from the dead

    "It is indeed a radical part of the Pauline idea of the Second Adam that it is in Christ as Risen from the dead it is fully realised. It is the Man that has passed victorious through death, and has entered on a new life clothed in a body that is the appropriate organ of a spiritual nature, who is to be regarded as having lived the life and fulfilled the destiny of man. "If in Adam all die, while in Christ all shall be made alive,"1 this Life-giving Power belongs to Him who rose from the dead, and who is now in possession of a humanity that has been redeemed in its integrity from sin and death, and transfigured in all its parts. He is in this way fitted to be the seed in His people of a life similarly complete in its taking up into itself all the elements of our present life, changed and transfigured, into a form that will be the counterpart of the Glorified Manhood of Christ Himself.
    But for another reason also, death and resurrection had to intervene before Christ could be revealed as the Second Adam. As long as He was in the flesh, this significance of His Person was concealed from men. Belonging to a particular nation, appearing at a special period in the world's history, holding definite relations as an individual Man to certain other men, manifesting Himself in special ways and forms of activity called forth by the circumstances in which He was placed, He exhibited a particularism as regards the outward aspects of His Personality that hindered men perceiving what was universal, essential, and of worldwide significance in His human nature and in the ideals that were embodied in His life. There was needed a change in the outward form of His Being; and that change came when, laying aside the flesh at death, He rose again in the power of a Glorified Humanity, and entered on those universal relations to mankind that disclosed the higher, the ideal truth of His Person. It is a connection with the Risen Christ on which Paul insists as alone of worth, because alone securing for us those blessings and benefits that are moral and religious in their character, and have nothing to do with distinctions that arise out of the life of sense. As belonging to the sphere of the Spirit, Christ is now loosed from those relations that are rooted in the flesh. And in union with Him all differences pertaining to the lower sphere, whether of nationality, culture, social position, sex, are seen to be only provisional and temporary, and to be now merged in the higher unity of the Spirit and of those spiritual relations that bind together into one fellowship all who share the one Perfected Humanity of Christ. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female, but ye are all one in Christ Jesus."*

1: I Cor. xv. 22.; *Gal. iii. 28."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ, pgs. 54-56)

*Re-post from 11/5/15

Monday, July 17, 2017

Christ is the "Life-producing" Spirit

    "There may seem to be, indeed, a lack of propriety in the application of the term "Second Adam" to Christ, when we think of the dissimilarity between Him and Adam. They are alike, indeed, in this, that both were parents of orders of beings that take after those from whom they are severally descended. But in all other respects the parallel assumes the form of contrast, the most striking that can be imagined. The "first" man was natural; Christ is spiritual. The first was "from the earth"; Christ was "from heaven." The first was a "living soul," a being animated by a merely natural life, sensuous in his constitution; Christ is a "Life-producing" Spirit. If in spite of these differences Christ is still spoken of as a Man, the Second Man, it is to remind us that it is the spiritual that is the truly human, and that human nature is properly beheld in Him who was the Spiritual Man and Son of God, and not in the other in whom it existed only in an incomplete and imperfect form. In I Cor. xv. 45, 46, Paul seems to teach that there were two stages in the creation of the being that was to answer to the Divine idea. The initial stage was reached when the man stood forth, perfect in his physical organisation, with the possibilities of higher functions latent in him; the second, and final one, when he received a fresh accession of spiritual endowment for the realisation of these possibilities, and true manhood was seen to consist in union with God and in the exercise of a spiritual nature through an organ adapted to it.
    Whether the ascent from the lower to the higher might have been made by man himself, and the spiritual in this way evolved by a natural process in the course of obedience to the Divine Will; or whether, even had man not fallen, the Incarnation would still have been necessary to reveal the Archetypal Man, is a question on which much has been written on both sides. Many have held strongly the latter view,—that the idea of the incarnation corresponds with the very perfection of man as he was constituted at the first, and not merely with the restoration of man who had missed his end; that even, therefore, though sin had never entered, the Son of God would have come in order to raise man to the perfection that answered to the idea of his creation in the Divine mind. There is much to be said in favour of this view, especially when account is taken of the teaching of the Epistle to the Colossians, which will be considered at a later stage. Paul's Gospel, however, deals not with the ideal relations between God and man, but with the actual relations consequent on sin and death. It begins not with the Incarnation, but with the suffering and death of Jesus as necessitated by the actual condition of the race. The interest of the question is mainly speculative. The entrance of sin through our sensuous nature has rendered a normal development from the natural to the spiritual impossible; and by the supernatural act of God, a Personality has appeared who fully answers to God's idea of human nature, and who, like him who was the partial fulfilment of that idea, is a Public and Central Person, and is exalted to be the author, in all who attach themselves to Him, of a life that in its essential features and destiny answers to His own."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ, pgs. 52-54)

*Re-post from 11/4/15

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Revelation of the Divine idea of human nature

    "Here we come to the characteristic feature of the Christology of the apostle. In virtue of the constitution of His Person as now unfolded, Christ is the ARCHETYPAL Man, the Revelation of the Divine idea of human nature, the Second Man,1 the Prototype of a new race differing from that descended from the first man in its realising the capacity for the Divine and Spiritual that must otherwise remain a capacity only in the nature we are born with,—a race of men who are Spiritual in the law of their being, children in their relation to God, immortal in their destiny, in contrast with those who have the first Adam alone for their progenitor, who are carnal, under condemnation, doomed to die. As Head of a new Mankind He is called also the "Heavenly" Man 2 to describe His origin and nature. He is also called the "Last" Man,3 to intimate that He is the perfected Form of Manhood, that nothing higher or more Divine, or more fully answering to the capacities of our souls can be looked for than the Christ-Type already embodied in the Risen Jesus.
....The Person of the Risen One, seen as the complete expression of the Divine idea of man, was recognised by him as that Second Adam of whom philosophy vaguely talked, as the New Spiritual Head and Progenitor of the human race, from whom was derivable all that entered into God's great gift to men of life eternal, even as sin and death had come to all from their natural Head, the first Adam.

1: l Cor. xv. 47; 2: 1 Cor. xv. 49; 3: 1 Cor. xv. 45."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ, pgs. 50-52)

*Re-post from 11/3/15

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Spirit of Truth

   "We are so accustomed to think of the word Truth as meaning doctrine, that it is only by a distinct and oft repeated effort that we can realize that it is in a very different and very much higher sense that our Lord uses it. When John speaks of Christ as full of grace and Truth, and then explains this by saying, 'The Law came by Moses; Grace and Truth by Jesus Christ,' we notice at once that he contrasts the powerless shadows and forms of the law with the living substance and reality of what Christ brought, as the real communication of the eternal life of God from heaven. The following extract from Beck (Prop. p. 2) may help us to lay hold of the thought that Truth has indeed a Life and Kingdom of its own :—
'Man's creative power, both spiritual and bodily, can never attain to any true and real life, except as there is something already given and received to work on and to work out. It always supposes an objective external creation. So in nature we must always have the real matter, with its own life-power in it formed for us, before we can with our powers secure any product: in the real sense, whether spiritual or physical, we never produce, we only reproduce. Nature is an independent kingdom within which we live and work, but in which we call into existence or create nothing. And just so, Truth, the spiritual world, is an independent kingdom, which we do not bring forth out of our spirit, but which must in its self-existence reveal itself to us, that out of it we may receive the substance and elements of a real life before we can produce aught spiritually. An actual existence must in its own original power reveal itself to us, and with its creative energy enter into us, before we can produce aught from within. And where is now this actual existence, this Life Kingdom of Truth? This question compels every honest thinker to come out of his own isolated self, and in this objective world (it may be the inner one, as far as it has an actual objective existence) to seek for the revelation of Truth, that he may open to it his spirit and reproduce what it has set before him. And so faith is the substance of Christian truth, which enters into man as his spiritual property, and in living power becomes immanent within him. As a faith Christianity is neither idea, nor law, nor feeling, but a life, a deep, penetrating, and all-pervading life.'
It is of this Life Kingdom of Divine Truth, of actual Divine Life, that Jesus came to earth as the embodiment. It is of this Truth that the Holy Spirit is the animating principle, the very life. And when He comes out of Christ who has said, 'I am the Truth,' He comes as the bearer of all there is in Christ to make Him Truth within us, an actual living possession. It is only as we thus possess Christ the Truth that our knowledge of the doctrine-truth will be living and profitable. The Spirit of Truth gives us life-truth in the inmost part, thence He leads it into truth of conduct and character. And only as we yield to Him in this, is the doctrinal truth we hold really the Truth of God to us. The Church or the individual has only so much of the Truth of God as we have of the Spirit of God."

- Andrew Murray and Johann Tobias Beck

From Andrew Murray's The Spirit of Christ, Note E, pgs. 343-344.

*Re-post from 11/2/15

Friday, July 14, 2017

The full destruction of the Satanic power obtained

"'This is the foundation and preparation of the more special operation, in which the Spirit, as the new Life-Stream from above, flows into the individual souls that are united with the Lord, and fills them (John iii. 5; vii. 38; iv. 10,14). Here, in His quickening power, the Spirit is in union with water, just as in His judging power with fire. Comp. Gen. i. 2; (Water, Spirit, Light) Matt. iii. 11; (Spirit, Fire, Water) Rev. iv. 5; xv. 2; xxii. 1.
'Where the Spirit is thus represented as Fire and Water, it appears as a Power in nature,--but it is a Power of nature Divine and Spiritual, making itself felt within the physical world as a Cosmic Power,--this, however, not for daily objects in connection with the world, but at special epochs for objects in connection with the Kingdom of God. As such a cosmic power, the outpoured Spirit forms the connecting link between the Redeemer of the World, in as far as His whole nature has been lifted up into the Spirituality of heaven, and the Redemption and Transformation of the world of flesh out of it's natural state, without the Spirit and against the Spirit, into a spiritual corporeality. The Outpouring of the Spirit is thus, just as the reconciliation,--of which it is the immediate result,--a real, perfected organization in this earthly world of the holy Spirit-influence, the operation, and entrance of a substantial heavenly Spirit-life in humanity (Eph. i. 3; Heb. vi. 4), and at last in all nature (Rom. viii. 19), is mediated, and so the full destruction of the Satanic power obtained (1 John iii. 8; xii. 31; xvi. 8, 11).'"

- Johann Tobias Beck (Christlich. Ethik, i. 124)

As quoted in Andrew Murray's The Spirit of Christ, Note J: The Outpouring of the Spirit (Chap. 15), pgs. 364-365.

*Re-post from 1/5/15
*Re-post from 10/28/15

Thursday, July 13, 2017

A new Cosmic Power proceeding from Christ

"'We are thus led to regard the matter in this light: that the Spirit, as sent down or poured out, has now, by His descendence out of His previous transcendence, become a Power covering and influencing the world, a new Cosmic Power proceeding from Christ, on the ground of the accomplished reconciliation of the Kosmos in Christ, even while the Spirit—as individual gift, a subjective possession—has become personally immanent in but few. As Outpoured Spirit He is, and works in the world, independent of His indwelling in special individuals, even as the exalted Christ also exists and works as the Lord who fills heaven and earth, as a Cosmic Power. With the outpouring of the Spirit on all flesh a new Life Power has been set free from above, which now as Spirit, thus invisible, pervades the world system according to its own laws, as the Reaction of a holy Cosmic Spirit Power against the Cosmic Power of the Spirit of Falsehood and Destruction which had hitherto ruled the world. This latter does not only exist as a Spirit immanent in individual men, but as an independent Power, the Prince of this world. The operation of the new, holy, and spiritual World-power thus acts partly as general, as it works in the world, partly as special and individual, as it works in the Church of Christ. On the side towards the world, we have the world-judging work of the Spirit. The Spirit works as the Fire cast upon earth from above, in its separating and judging power embracing not only the moral, but even the physical world (Luke xii. 49, 51; iii. 16; the baptism and burning up with fire, Rev. iv. 5).'"

- Johann Tobias Beck (Christlich. Ethik, i. 124)

As quoted in Andrew Murray's The Spirit of Christ, Note J: The Outpouring of the Spirit (Chap. 15), p. 364.

*Re-post from 1/4/15
*Re-post from 10/27/15

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

He hath shed forth this

"'The question now comes, How have we to represent to ourselves this Outpouring of the Holy Spirit? 'The outpouring of the Spirit is not identical with the individual indwelling of the Spirit, but is the universal presupposition of the latter, for it is spoken of (see Acts. ii. 16, comp. 33) as an outpouring down upon all flesh, of which the being filled with the Spirit individually is only the consequence; the individual entering in of the Spirit is mediated by the universal outpouring. The relation is the same as that in which the universal reconciliation, as a reconciliation of the world stands to the personal reconciliation, which is mediated by the former. Each of these, the reconciliation of the world and the outpouring of the Spirit, stands as an all-embracing fact, accomplished once for all, an objective universality, while in subjective realization but few are partakers of either. The outpouring on all flesh is thus neither the inpouring in all flesh, nor a mere rhetorical expression for the inpouring in a few individual men, but indicates its direction and destiny for the whole of men. And yet again, not as a mere ideal destiny, for this it was already in the Old Testament; in the New it is a fact that has taken place (Acts ii. 33). Having received the promise of the Father, He hath shed forth this. Corresponding to this destination for the whole, for all flesh, there is also a world-embracing operation of the Spirit on the whole. Our Lord Himself, speaking of the coming or outpouring of the Spirit (John xvi. 8), attributed to Him a work on the unbelieving world, even when they do not individually receive Him. It is thus a work independent of His reception, a judicial one.'"

- Johann Tobias Beck (Christlich. Ethik, i. 124).

As quoted in Andrew Murray's The Spirit of Christ, Note J: The Outpouring of the Spirit (Chap. 15), pgs. 363-364.


*Re-post from 1/3/15
*Re-post from 10/26/15

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

In the New Testament Spirit the promise becomes fulfilment, actual bestowment, and possession

"'This action of the Spirit is, however, only mediated for the world by the Reconciliation which Jesus Christ has effected, and by His being glorified. Previous to this reconciliation, the Divine Spirit worked on earth either as the Spirit in nature, as the power of the earthly life, or as the Spirit of the Theocracy, with special temporary manifestations for special functions, as in the case of the prophets. But not in such a way that the Eternal Life, as it belongs to the Divine nature, and dwells in the Father and the Son, that the Spirit of the Divine personal life could become the personal life of man, the property of his inmost nature. In this special aspect the Spirit in the Old Testament was only a promise to be realized in Christ, and therefore bears the name of the Spirit of Promise. In the New Testament Spirit the promise becomes fulfilment, actual bestowment, and possession. Before this, however, could take place with any human individual, the Spirit had first as the Power of the Most High, that is, as He had hitherto existed only in the transcendence of the Divine nature, to form and secure for Himself in human nature a centre, whence He might communicate Himself. In this central nature the Spirit had to be brought into a free organic union with man's psychical and physical nature as existing in the flesh, and that nature had even so to be formed into the organ of the Spirit. In one word, a man, anointed and permeated with the Holy Spirit, the Anointed, had to be formed. And then, in this spiritually perfected central personality of Jesus Christ, the flesh had, by a voluntary sacrificial death, to be transformed into the true spiritual existence of the Divine Being; or glorified and lifted up into God, and so the reconciliation of the world with God accomplished. In this way alone could this visible life system, the organism of the sensible soul life, become judicially and ethically accessible to the operation and participation of the Divine Spirit, out of the Reconciler and through Him. Thus alone could the Spirit, in His new character, be set free out of the nature of Christ as now glorified in God, out of the Divine-human nature, to be poured out as the power of the heavenly life, the power of the eternal life, upon all flesh.'"

- Johann Tobias Beck (Christlich. Ethik, i. 124).

As quoted in Andrew Murray's The Spirit of Christ, Note J: The Outpouring of the Spirit (Chap. 15), pgs. 362-363.

*Re-post from 1/2/15
*Re-post from 10/25/15

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Dynamic Principle

"'As concerns the relation of the Spirit to Christ, He is the Witness who takes of what Christ contains and possesses to bring it to us, and thereby reveal and glorify Christ. (John xv. 26; xvi. 7, 14.) The witness of the Spirit has this peculiarity, that He acts as the Power from on High, and that where His witness enters, the Life comes in Divine Power. The Spirit is thus the Dynamic Principle, in whom concentrate all the life powers that flow from Christ, and from whom they are divided as the powers peculiar to each, as gifts and graces. He is thus the Formative Power, which from out of the substantial reality of what there is in Christ, begets and develops the individual life. His Witnessing mediates the Begetting; as the dynamic principle He is also the generative principle. Through Him the Christ is born in us, becomes, with His life of grace, our inner personal life, so that we are clothed upon with the Power from on High, with a supernatural life power. We have thus the grace of Christ, not only as an object without us, but within us as a Power of God. In the Spirit there dwells within us that Power of Divine Grace, in which all the powers of the new life concentrate. Spirit, Life, Power, are therefore in Scripture correlated ideas, just as, on the other side, Flesh, Weakness, Death, are one. The Eternal Life System, which from its Divine Head is again to bring the earth, the world of flesh, into organic union with, the upper, the Spiritual world, can alone be built up on a heavenly Dynamics, on the action of the Spirit as the Power of the Heavenly Life.'"

- Johann Tobias Beck (Christlich. Ethik, i. 124)

As quoted in Andrew Murray's The Spirit of Christ, Note J: The Outpouring of the Spirit (Chap. 15), pgs. 361-363.

*Re-post from 1/1/15
*Re-post from 10/24/15

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The united Gift of the Father and Son, part 4 of 4

"Dr. Dorner writes as follows :—

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE REVELATION OF GOD IN CHRIST, AND IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.

    'The character of Christ's substitution is not negative, nor repressive of personality, but productive. He is not content with the existence in Himself of the fulness of the spiritual life, into which His people are absorbed by faith. Believers are themselves to live and love as free personalities; Christ's redeeming purpose is directed to the creation, by the Holy Spirit whom He sends, of new personalities in whom Christ gains a settled, established being. But by this very means God exists in them after a new manner; new, not only because the power of redemption inheres only in God's being in Christ, but new also because, although Christ remains the Principle of this life, this life shapes itself in freedom and distinctness from Christ. Only by means of such freedom can the bond between Christ and man, instead of remaining a one-sided one, become two-sided, and therefore all the firmer,—the reciprocal relation of love. But, at the same time, the fulness of the Spirit of light and life, grace and truth, which dwells objectively in Christ, no longer remains merely objective to the world, but lives and unfolds itself in the world, as a living treasure of salvation. Through the Holy Spirit it comes to pass, that Christ's impulse is not simply continued and extended to men, but becomes an indigenous impulse in them, a new focus being formed for naturalized divine powers. As a new Divine principle, the Holy Spirit creates, though not substantially new faculties, a new volition, knowledge, feeling a new self-consciousness. In brief, He creates a new person, dissolving the old union-point of the faculties, and creating a new pure union of the same. The new personality is formed in inner resemblance to the second Adam, on the same family type, so to speak. Everything by which the new personality, in its independence, makes itself known, is ascribed by Holy Scripture to this third Divine principle. Through the Holy Spirit the believer has the consciousness of himself as a new man, and the power and living impulse of a new holy life, that is free in God. He is the spirit of joy and freedom, in opposition to the gramma or letter; subjection to the Divine impulse is now, in the blending of necessity and freedom, withal spontaneous impulse; mere passivity and receptiveness are transformed into spontaneity, nay, productiveness and independence. Through the Holy Spirit the individual personality is thus raised to complete charismatic personality. By all these means the Holy Spirit plants and cherishes the one relatively independent factor,—the presupposition of the origin of the Church, namely, the new believing personality.' (Dorner, System of Christian Doctrine, iv. 161.)
    This thought that the Spirit of God, as the Spirit of the Divine personality, becomes the life-principle of our personality, is one of extreme solemnity and of infinite fruitfulness. The Spirit not only dwells in me as a locality, or within me, alongside and around that inmost Ego in which I am conscious of myself, but, within that I, becomes the new and Divine life-principle of the new personality. The same Spirit that was and is in Christ, His inmost Self, becomes my inmost self. What new meaning it gives to the word, 'He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit with Him'! And what force to the question, 'Know ye that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?' The Holy Spirit is within me as a Personal Power, with a Will and a Purpose of His own. As I yield up my personality to His I shall not lose it, but find it renewed and strengthened to its highest capacity. Oh to see how entirely the Spirit will take the charge which the flesh has hitherto had! We thought ourselves free, and were slaves. The Holy Spirit working out His will and purpose in me, teaching me to work it out, makes me free."

- Andrew Murray (The Spirit of Christ, Note B, pgs. 330-332)

*Re-post from 10/23/15

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The united Gift of the Father and Son, part 3 of 4

   " 'What is needed for the Redemption of human nature out of its bondage to the world and its sin, and the revival within of the Supernatural, for which it had been destined, was such a union with the Divine Life that it should be revealed in man not only as a Law or a Hope, as the Postulate of the Will or the Desire, as an Ideal, but as an actual fulfilling of the real need of the personal life; that is, that the Divine life should become the real personal life. In virtue of its absolute worth, belonging to it by its very nature, the Divine can never be satisfied with being accepted as one of other elements only having a place in our personal thinking, willing, and doing. It is not enough that, along with other things that touch and interest us, it too should have a place in our regard or actions, and be something from which we gain certain desirable results for our life. Such an apparently moderate or sober view drags the Divine down and places it on a line with the objects of this world. Nor does it make any real difference when the Divine is spoken of as the highest and most worthy of all objects. The Divine only receives its true acknowledgment when it is accepted as what it really is, the absolute world-principle, and becomes the absolute Life-principle of our personal development. The Divine has, however, no longer creative personal power in our bondage to the power of the world, with its sin and death. To make the Divine become the Personal in us is what, under such circumstances, our spiritual power, or Reason, cannot accomplish. This needs the organization of a new nature, and to organize anew is the work of the Creator and of the Divine Principle of organization in the world. And this is now that in which Revelation finds its perfection, in the organizing of the Divine as a living formative Spirit, "the life-giving Spirit," so that as a productive Life-principle, or as the power of a personal life, it could become immanent in man's moral life, and so that out of that, in continuous development, the Divine could be reproduced in the individual as his personal life, and so God, in harmony with His idea as the Absolute, should indeed be the all-determining life-principle in man; it is in this that revelation finds its perfect completion' (i. 380).
    'Christ, as the personal word of God, had first as the incarnate Son to perfectly organize His special witness and mediation, before the Holy Spirit could in a new, hitherto transcendent, way of working, come forth from God as the Spirit immanent in the Father and the Son, as the Divine Personal Life-principle, and as the person-constituting principle begin His life-begetting work. The Divine Personal Spirit, flowing forth from the Divine Personal Word, now becomes the highest principle of Inspiration, which apprehends the mysteries of the Kingdom, as well as the highest personal life-forming principle of a new type of man, the image of the only-begotten Son' (ii. 104).
    'The Personality has its ground in the individualizing of the Spirit. It was thus in the first creation, when, by God breathing the Spirit of life, man became a living soul, a personality. It is even so in the second creation, in regeneration, when in the imparting of the Spirit to man, not only this and that becomes renewed in him, in his consciousness or conduct, but there comes into existence a new man, a new God-like personality' (ii. 107)."

- Johann Tobias Beck

Taken from The Spirit of Christ, Note B, pgs. 329-330, by Andrew Murray.

*Re-post from 10/22/15

Friday, July 7, 2017

The united Gift of the Father and Son, part 2 of 4

   " 'As regards the Spirit, it is never said of Him—the Spirit is God, or the Spirit is the Lord; but, on the contrary, God is Spirit, the Lord is the Spirit, "the quickening Spirit." It is thus the Spirit, through whom God and the Lord each is the person that He is, is (Greek phrase omitted). But the Spirit does not on this account belong to the Divine Being without an independent existence.1 As little is He a separate person outside of the Father and the Son; but He Himself forms the Divine personality within the Father and the Son. Outside of God, in the world and man, He effects an independent revelation of God, which reaches into the hidden depths of Deity on the one side, and on the side of man inwardly communicates God's very own life, even to the production of a Divine Son-life. The one Divine personality of THE FATHER is the all-including Divine central subject, in whom the Son and Spirit, in unity of Being, yet have a self-standing existence, and from whom they proceed— THE SON as the speaking SELF of the Father, in whom He reveals Himself as in His image; the SPIRIT as the inner SELF of the Father and the Son, in whom the inner life of God in the power of its personal Being, maintains and communicates itself. It is just because the Spirit is the bearer of the Inner Life of God that He does not manifest Himself externally, that there is no personal appearance as of the Son. Just as in the Son the Phanerosis (manifestation) of the Father took place externally, as in His outward self (John xiv. 19, xii. 45), so in the Spirit, as the inward self of the Father and the Son, all belongs to the inner life, that the perfected Phanerosis, the manifestation of God to us, may become the Apokalypsis, the revelation of God within us.' (Vorlesungen uber Chr. Glaubenslehre, ii. 136.)

1 See Leitfaden der Chr. Glaubenslehre, p. 229:—'The Spirit is so far from being, as with us, something belonging to God, that it is said: God is Spirit, the Lord is the Spirit, so that it really is just the Spirit, through whom God is the person that He is. The Divine Spirit is not only, as with us, something belonging to and in the Father and the Son, but that very thing through which Father and Son is God; the Spirit is the personal being of God in Father and Son. Therefore He is called the Holy and Holymaking, the Power and the Quickener; in Him the very own personal being of the Father and the Son is begotten into man. It is just in the spirit that the personal life of God is centred; so little can He Himself be anything impersonal.' "

- Johann Tobias Beck

Taken from The Spirit of Christ, Note B, pgs. 328-329, by Andrew Murray.

*Re-post from 10/21/15

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The united Gift of the Father and Son, part 1 of 4

    "If we are to understand the place and work of the Holy Spirit in us, we must know somewhat of His place and work in the Divine Being. He has been given to make us partakers of the Divine life and nature, to be in us and to do for us what He is and does in the Father and the Son. The adoring and reverent contemplation of what He is as the Spirit of the Father and the Son in the Holy Trinity, of what He was and wrought in the man Christ Jesus on earth, and what specially His relation is to our glorified Lord Jesus, need not lead us away from the practical question of what He is to ourselves, but may help us greatly in realizing the wondrous glory and mystery of this, the united gift of the Father and the Son—their own Spirit, the Spirit of their personal life, to be the Spirit of our personal life. The following suggestive quotations from one of the most deeply scriptural and spiritual theologians, J. T. Beck, may help us in our effort to apprehend what God has revealed to us in His word. It is a most blessed thing when a believer begins to realize, 'The Spirit of God dwelleth in me,' and knows that God has given Him something Divine—yea, a Divine Person—as his life. But it becomes a thousandfold more wonderful to him when he begins to see how really it is the very same Spirit who is the personal life of the Father and the Son, who has now become his own personal life, his inmost self.
    'In Christianity, revelation appears, not only in the character of an elementary witness for God, as in the revelation of nature, nor only, as in the Old Testament revelation, in the character of special legislative organization and ideal promise, but as a new life-organization of the quickening Spirit. Christianity thus brings a revelation in which the supernatural, the Divine, is Spirit and Life, dynamically and substantially, to become personal. With this in view, it must be mediated differently than in the previous stages; it must have a higher organ for its revelation. If the Divine is indeed dynamically and substantially as a personal life to be organized into the human individuality, the only adequate organ for such a mediation will be one in which the revelation, or the Divine principle of organization, shall make itself personal in a human being. That is, it will not be sufficient that the Divine should reveal itself in some man only, with whatever strength, in the way of his consciousness through the channel of conscience. As little that it should, as by way of inspiration, develop its power to influence and elevate in the life of Reason or Spirit, after the manner of prophecy. Conscience and inspiration do not suffice as the means of revelation, in the revelation that is to be perfect. What is needed is a mediation, in which God concentrates His own peculiar Spirit and Life as a principle in a human individual to be personally appropriated. In a revelation, which is really to translate the Divine into man's individual personal life, in truth, to form men of God, the Divine as such—that is, as a personal life—must first be embodied in a personal centre in humanity. For this reason. As soon as something strictly new is concerned, something that in its peculiarity has not yet existed, every new type of life, before it can multiply itself to a number of specimens, must first have its full contents combined in perfect unity, in an adequate new principle. And so, for the making personal of the Divine among men, the first thing needed is one in whom the principle of the Divine life has become personal. Christianity concentrates the whole fulness of revelation in the one human personality of Jesus Christ as Mediator—that is, as the mediating central principle of the new Divine organism, in its fulness of Spirit and Life, in and for the human personal life. With the entrance of Christ into the human individual, the Divine life becomes immanent in us, not in its universal world-relation, but as a personal principle, so that man is not only (Greek phrase omitted), a being made of God, but (Greek phrase omitted), or a being begotten of God. And with the growing transformation of the individual into the life-type of Christ there is perfected the development of the personal life out of God, in God, and to God—the development not only of a moral or theocratic communion, but a communion of nature. By the fall of man the Divine and human in man had been rent asunder, and the separation has grown into estrangement and enmity. Man has become an ungodly personality. In opposition to this, both the Divine and the human have been reconciled and united in Christ's Divine-human personality as the human manifestation of the otherwise invisible God.' (Vorlesungen Chr. Glaubenslehre, i. 383.)"

- Andrew Murray and Johann Tobias Beck

Taken from (The Spirit of Christ, Note B, pgs. 325-328) by Andrew Murray.

*Re-post from 10/20/15

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

He becomes to the soul the Spirit of both the divine and the human, as it was in Christ Jesus

    "Hence we are taught that the Holy Spirit
when He comes to the soul, does not speak of
Himself — of His own personality — but He takes
of the things that belong to Christ, and shows
them to the believer. (John xvi. 15.) When the soul is con-
scious of the Divine presence, it does not recog- 
nize two personalities; because the Spirit comes
clothed in the personality of Jesus, and its life
is bestowed through the manifestations which
God makes of Himself in His Son.
    The Holy Spirit gives to the soul by influx
through the susceptibility, a newer and higher
consciousness of the Divine nature, which is
love. But He is not a revealer of new truths,
nor an exhibitor of His own personality. When
He visits the pious mind, He does not lead that 
mind to think of Himself, but of Jesus. He 
takes of the manifestations of the Divine char- 
acter, made by Christ, and gives them efficacy, 
by power and love, in the human soul. He 
comes to us through the Son, baptized in his 
humanities, as a ray of light takes the hue of 
the medium through which it passes; and thus 
He becomes to the soul the Spirit of both the 
divine and the human, as it was in Christ Jesus. 
The Son of God manifests the Divine mind; the 
Spirit of God uses that manifestation to sanctify 
and save us. Hence Christ and the Spirit are 
one to the soul, and one in the Church to the 
end of the dispensation; as He said, "Lo, I am 
with you alway, even to the end of the world." "

- James Barr Walker (The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, pgs. 39-40)

*Re-post from 7/9/15
*Re-post from 10/4/15

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Larger Incarnation of the Divine in the Human

"Viewed thus, as the revelation of the immanent
God, the incarnation becomes related to the larger
incarnation of the divine in the human. It is the
incoming of God into all humanity. Christ came
into the common life of the world; his life took its
place in the cosmic process, every part of which is
glorified because he is in it. All that he has put
into our human life is a manifestation of God. In
the love which he awakens, in the good which he
produces, God is expressed. In every one whose
heart he has touched, God is present. And while
it is going beyond the truth to say that the larger
incarnation is ''the expression of God through all
humanity," it is within the truth to say that it is
the expression of God through that part of humanity
in which the Spirit of Christ has found a place."

- James Mann Campbell (The Presence, p. 65)

*Re-post from 9/23/15

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Presence enfleshed

"The Presence enfleshed in Jesus ever abides with
men. We have said that the incarnation was the
temporary outflashing of what has ever been. It
was more. It was also the temporary outflashing
of what is ever to be. What Jesus was in the days
of his flesh, God was, and is, and evermore shall be.
As Gregory of Nyssa has said : "We all believe that
the divine is in everything, pervading and embrac-
ing it, and dwelling in it. Why then do men take
offense at the dispensation of the mystery taught by
the incarnation of God, who is not even now outside
of mankind? If the form of the Divine Presence is
not now the same, we are as much agreed that God
is among us to-day as that he was in the world
then." This changeless Presence is the Presence of
Him who is the true brother-man, who is not ashamed
to acknowledge his kinship with us; the
human-hearted Friend who accompanies us into the
solitudes of the spiritual life where the dearest
earthly friend cannot enter; the abiding Companion
who is with us in the humiliation of defeat and in the
elation of success, in the loneliness of unshared sor-
row and in sweetness of love-shared joy; the Eternal
Lover of our souls, whose love is our constant por-
tion, and of whom we can say with Christina Ros-
setti, '0 Jesus ! better than thy gifts art thou thine
only self to me." "

- James Mann Campbell (The Presence, p. 64-65)

*Re-post from 9/22/15

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Pentecost, part 6 of 6

    "O Lord God! we worship before the Throne on which the Son is seated with Thee, crowned with glory and honour. We thank and bless Thee that it is for us, the children of men, that Thou hast done this, and that He in whom Thou delightest belongs as much to earth as to heaven, to us as to Thee. O God! we adore Thy love: we praise Thy Holy Name.
    We beseech Thee, O our Father, to reveal to Thy Church how our Blessed Head counts us as His own body, sharing with Him in His life, His power, and His glory, and how the Holy Spirit, as the bearer of that life and power and glory, is waiting to reveal it within us. Oh, that Thy people might awake to know what the Holy Spirit means, as the real Presence within them of the glorified Lord, and as the clothing with Power from on high for their work on earth. Oh that all Thy people might learn to gaze on their exalted King until their whole being were opened up for His reception, and His Spirit fill them to their utmost capacity!
    Our Father! we plead with Thee, in the name of Jesus, revive Thy Church. Make every believer to be indeed a temple full of the Holy Ghost. Make every church, in its believing members, a consecrated company ever testifying of a present Christ, ever waiting for the fulness of the power from on high. Make every preacher of the word a minister of the Spirit. And let throughout the earth Pentecost be the sign that Jesus reigns, that His redeemed are His body, that His Spirit works, and that every knee shall bow to Him. Amen.

1. Do let us try and take in the thought that when Jesus went to heaven, He could not bear the thought that His returning to His glory should cause the slightest separation between Himself and His faithful followers. The Mission of the Spirit was to secure and give to them His promised Presence, in this consists the blessedness of the Spirit's work, and it is this makes Him the power of God in us for our work.
2. The perfect health of a body means the health of every member. The healthy action of the Spirit in the Church requires the health of every individual believer. Let us pray and labour for this, that the Presence of Christ by the indwelling Spirit in every believer may be our preparation for the united prayer and service which shall make our seasons of worship one ever-repeated Pentecost: the waiting, receptive, worshipping company on earth met by the Spirit of Christ from heaven."

- Andrew Murray (The Spirit of Christ, pgs. 153-154)

*Re-post from 9/12/15

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Pentecost, part 5 of 6

" 'And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak, as the Spirit gave them utterance.'—Acts ii. 1-4.

    3. The effect of this preaching was marvellous, but not more marvellous than might be expected. The Presence and Power of Jesus are such a reality in the company of disciples, the Power from on High, from the Throne, so fills Peter, the sight and experience he has of Christ, as exalted at the right hand of God, is such a spiritual reality, that power goes out from him, and as his preaching reaches its application: 'Know assuredly that God hath made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified,' thousands bow in brokenness of spirit, ready to acknowledge the Crucified One as their Lord. The Spirit has come to the disciples, and through them convinced of unbelief. The penitent inquirers listen to the command to repent and believe, and they, too, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. The greater works Christ had promised to do through the disciples He has done. In one moment lifelong prejudice, and even bitter hatred, give way to surrender, and love, and adoration; from the glorified Lord power has filled His body, and from it power hath gone forth to conquer and to save.
    Pentecost is the glorious sunrise of 'that day,' the first of 'those days' of which the prophets and our Lord had so often spoken, the promise and the pledge of what the history of the Church was meant to be. It is universally admitted that the Church has but ill fulfilled her destiny, that even now, after eighteen centuries, she has not risen to the height of her glorious privilege. Even when she strives to accept her calling, to witness for her Lord unto the ends of the earth, she does it too little in the faith of the Pentecostal Spirit, and the possession of His Mighty Power. Instead of regarding Pentecost as sunrise, she too often speaks and acts as if it had been noonday, from which the light must needs begin to wane. Let the Church return to Pentecost, and Pentecost will return to her. The Spirit of God cannot take possession of believers beyond their capacity of receiving Him. The promise is waiting; the Spirit is now in all His fulness. Our capacity of reception needs enlargement. It is at the footstool of the throne, while believers continue with one accord in praise and love and prayer, while delay only intensifies the spirit of waiting and expectation, while faith holds fast the promise, and gazes up on the exalted Lord, in the confidence that He will make Himself known in power in the midst of His people,—it is at the footstool of the throne that Pentecost comes. Jesus Christ is still Lord of all, crowned with power and glory. His longing to reveal His presence in His disciples, and to make them share the glory-life in which He dwells, is as fresh and full as when He first ascended the throne. Let us take our place at the footstool. Let us yield ourselves in strong, expectant faith, to be filled with the Holy Ghost, and to testify for Jesus. Let the indwelling Christ be our life, and our strength, and our testimony. Out of such a Church Spirit-filled preachers will rise, and the power go forth that will make Christ's enemies bow at His feet."

- Andrew Murray (The Spirit of Christ, pgs. 151-153)

*Re-post from 9/11/15

Friday, June 30, 2017

Pentecost, part 4 of 6

" 'And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak, as the Spirit gave them utterance.'—Acts ii. 1-4.

    2. It was amid the interest and the questionings which the sight of this joyous praising company of believers awakened in the multitude that Peter stood up to preach. The story of Pentecost teaches us the true position of the ministry and the secret of its power. A church full of the Holy Ghost is a power of God to awaken the careless, and attract all honest, earnest hearts. It is to such an audience, roused by the testimony of believers, that the preaching will come with power. It is out of such a church of men and women full of the Holy Ghost that Spirit-led preachers will rise up, bold and free, to point to every believer as a living witness to the truth of their preaching and the Power of their Lord.
    Peter's preaching is a most remarkable lesson of what all Holy Ghost preaching will be. He preaches Christ from the Scriptures. In contrast with the thoughts of man, who had rejected Christ, He sets forth the thoughts of God, who had sent Christ, who delighted in Him, and had now exalted Him at His right hand. All preaching in the power of the Holy Spirit will be thus. The Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of His personal life, taking possession of our personality, and witnessing with our spirit to what Christ has won for us. The Spirit has come for the very purpose of continuing the work Christ had begun on earth, of making men partakers of His redemption and His life. It could not be otherwise; the Spirit always witnesses to Christ. He did so in the Scriptures; He does so in the believer; the believer's testimony will ever be according to Scripture. The Spirit in Christ, the Spirit in Scripture, the Spirit in the Church; as long as this threefold cord is kept intertwined, it cannot be broken."

- Andrew Murray (The Spirit of Christ, pgs. 150-151)

*Re-post from 9/10/15

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Pentecost, part 3 of 6

" 'And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak, as the Spirit gave them utterance.'—Acts ii. 1-4.

    It is only in the light of all that preceded Pentecost, of all the mighty sacrifice which God thought not too great if He might dwell with sinful men, that the narrative of the outpouring of the Spirit can be understood. It is the earthly reflection of Christ's exaltation in heaven; the participation He gives to His friends of the glory He now has with the Father. To be apprehended aright, it needs a spiritual vision; in the story that is so simply told the deepest mysteries of the Kingdom are unfolded, and the title-deeds given to the Church of her holy heritage until her Lord's return. What the Spirit is to be to believers and the Church, to the ministers of the word and their work, and to the unbelieving world, are the three chief thoughts.
    1. Christ had promised to His disciples that in the Comforter He Himself would again come to them. During his life on earth, His personal manifested Presence, as revealing the unseen Father, was the Father's great gift to men, was the one thing the disciples wished and needed. This was to be their portion now in greater power than before. Christ had entered the glory with this very purpose, that now, in a Divine way, 'He might fill all things,' He might specially fill the members of His body with Himself and His glory-life. When the Holy Spirit came down, He brought as a personal life within them what had previously only been a Life near them, but yet outside their own. The very Spirit of God's own Son, as He had lived and loved, had obeyed and died, had been raised and glorified by Almighty power, was now to become their personal life. The wondrous transaction that had taken place in heaven in the placing of their Friend and Lord on the throne of heaven, this the Holy Spirit came to be the witness of, yea, to communicate and maintain it within them as a heavenly reality. It is indeed no wonder that, as the Holy Ghost comes down from the Father through the glorified Son, their whole nature is filled to overflowing with the joy and power of heaven, with the presence of Jesus, and their lips overflow with the praise of the wonderful works of God.
    Such was the birth of the Church of Christ; such must be its growth and strength. The first and essential element of the true succession of the Pentecostal Church is a membership baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire, every heart filled with the experience of the presence of the glorified Lord, every tongue and life witnessing to the wonderful work God had done, in raising Jesus to the glory of His Throne, and then filling His disciples with that glory too. It is not so much the Baptism of Power for our preachers we must seek; it is that every individual member of Christ's body may know, and possess, and witness to, the Presence of an indwelling Christ through the Holy Spirit. It is this will draw the attention of the world, and compel the confession to the Power of Jesus."

- Andrew Murray (The Spirit of Christ, pgs. 148-150)

*Re-post from 9/9/15

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Pentecost, part 2 of 6

" 'And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak, as the Spirit gave them utterance.'—Acts ii. 1-4.

    Out of the depths of Godhead, the Holy Spirit is sent forth in a new character and a new power, such as He never had before. In creation and nature He came forth from God as the Spirit of Life. In the creation of man specially He acted as the power in which his god-likeness was grounded, and after his fall still testified for God. In Israel He appeared as the Spirit of the theocracy, distinctly inspiring and fitting certain men for their work. In Jesus Christ He came as the Spirit of the Father, given to Him without measure, and abiding in Him. All these are manifestations, in different degrees, of one and the same Spirit. But now there comes the last, the long-promised, an entirely new manifestation of the Divine Spirit, The Spirit that has dwelt in Jesus Christ, and in His life of obedience, has taken up His human spirit into perfect fellowship and unity with Himself, is now the Spirit of the exalted God-man. As the Man Christ Jesus enters the glory of God and the full fellowship of that Spirit-life in which God dwells, He receives from the Father the right to send forth His Spirit into His disciples, yea, in the Spirit to descend Himself, and dwell in them. In a new power, which hitherto had not been possible, because Jesus had not been crucified or glorified, as the very Spirit of the glorified Jesus, the Spirit comes. The work of the Son, the longing of the Father, receives its fulfilment. Man's heart is now indeed the home of his God.
    Said I not truly that Pentecost is the greatest of the Church's feasts? The mystery of Bethlehem is indeed incomprehensible and glorious, but when once I believe it, there is nothing that does not appear possible and becoming. That a pure, holy body should be formed for the Son of God by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that in that body the Spirit should dwell, is indeed a miracle of Divine Power. But that the same Spirit should now come and dwell in the bodies of sinful men, that in them too the Father should take up His abode, this is a mystery of grace that passeth all understanding. But this, glory be to God! is the blessing Pentecost brings and receives. The entrance of the Son of God into our flesh in Bethlehem, His entrance into the curse and death of sin as our Surety, His entrance in human nature as First-begotten from the dead into the Power of the Eternal Life, His entrance into the very Glory of the Father—these were but the preparatory steps: here is the consummation for which all the rest was accomplished. The word now begins to be fulfilled: 'Behold! the tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them.' "

- Andrew Murray (The Spirit of Christ, pgs. 147-148)

*Re-post from 9/8/15

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Pentecost, part 1 of 6

" 'And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak, as the Spirit gave them utterance.'—Acts ii. 1-4.

    IN the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the work of Christ culminates. The adorable mystery of the Incarnation in Bethlehem, the great Redemption accomplished on Calvary, the revelation of Christ as the Son of God in the power of the Eternal Life by the Resurrection, His entrance into glory in the Ascension—these are all preliminary stages; their goal and their crown was the coming down of the Holy Spirit. As Pentecost is the last, it is the greatest of the Christian feasts; in it the others find their realization and their fulfilment. It is because the Church has hardly acknowledged this, and has not seen that the glory of Pentecost is the highest glory of the Father and the Son, that the Holy Spirit has not yet been able to reveal and glorify the Son in her as He fain would. Let us see if we can realize what Pentecost means.
    God made man in His own image, and for His likeness, with the distinct object that he should become like Himself. Man was to be a temple for God to dwell in; he was to become the home in which God could rest. The closest and most intimate union, the indwelling of love: this was what the Holy One longed for, and looked forward to. What was very feebly set forth in type in the temple in Israel became a Divine reality in Jesus of Nazareth: God had found a man in whom He could rest, whose whole being was opened to the rule of His will and the fellowship of His love. In Him there was a human nature, possessed by the Divine Spirit; and such God would have had all men to be. And such all would be, who accepted of this Jesus and His Spirit as their life. His death was to remove the curse and power of sin, and make it possible for them to receive His Spirit. His resurrection was the entrance of human nature, free from all the weakness of the flesh, into the life of Deity, the Divine Spirit-life. His ascension was admittance as Man into the very glory of God; the participation by human nature of perfect fellowship with God in glory in the unity of the Spirit. And yet, with all this, the work was not yet complete. Something, the chief thing, was still wanting. How could the Father dwell in men even as He had dwelt in Christ? This was the great question to which Pentecost gives the answer."

- Andrew Murray (The Spirit of Christ, pgs. 145-146)

*Re-post from 9/7/15

Monday, June 26, 2017

Christ the Archetype of Humanity, part 8 of 8

    "From this peculiarity in the Person of Christ there flows a twofold distinction from others, in the light of which His supreme significance for the moral and religious life of mankind is apparent. On the one hand, He is the Image of God in humanity, the pure and perfect revelation of Divinity in a human life. We can know God only through the medium of the best and worthiest qualities of our own nature: and he who carries our humanity to its true height becomes thereby the organ by whom God can communicate Himself and reveal to us all that we are able to know of His nature. And in virtue of His human perfection Christ is to us the embodiment of the highest truth we can know about God as a spiritual Being. We learn from the goodness of Christ how we are to think of Him whose invisible qualities He translated into the language of human dispositions and actions. What of God became human in Him, was His Spiritual Being, His Love and Truth and Grace, not such natural or metaphysical attributes as His Omnipotence or Omniscience which cannot be expressed in a man. Only that can be in man and was in Christ, which man was made capable of sharing with God. This is limited to the Spiritual or Personal qualities. Christ is the Revelation of the Love and Holiness of God.
    It must be observed, however, that Paul does not dwell much on this aspect of Christ, on His being personally the human representation of God. In one passage,* indeed, he speaks of the "light of the knowledge of the glory of God" made visible in the face of Jesus Christ His Son, where it is evident that the Perfected humanity of Christ is viewed as the mirror in which we are to see reflected the glory of the Divine character. And the idea of Christ's Lordship, which, as will appear more fully by and by, is so prominent in Paul's conception, is based on the truth that He is the Son of God, and as such the Revealer of His mind and will. But while it is fundamental with the apostle that Christ is the revelation of the Grace of God, the exhibition of the Divine character, it is not so much to the personal life of Jesus that he makes his appeal in proof of this, as to the gracious ends accomplished by God through the death on the Cross. To this I shall return in my next lecture. For the present it is enough to remark, what is indeed obvious to everyone familiar with the Epistles, that the idea of Christ as personally the Image of God does not receive in the thought of the apostle anything like the place that is given to the other aspect of His Person, under which He is viewed, not in relation to God as His Image, but in relation to mankind as its Pattern or Archetype.

*2 Cor. iv. 6."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ: or, The Doctrine of the Second Adam, pgs. 48-50)

*Re-post from 9/20/15


 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Christ the Archetype of Humanity, part 7 of 8

    "At the same time, Paul teaches that as long as He was in the flesh, Jesus was the Son of God in weakness, and that it was not till He was raised from the dead that He was determined to be Son of God "in power." While He was in the flesh he was under the law, in appearance a servant rather than a son, submitting to all the legal ordinances of the Jews. Not that there was anything of the servile spirit in the obedience that was thus conditioned. As He partook of the flesh without its sin, so He was under the law without partaking of that spirit of slavish subjection which the legal system engendered in those in whom the spirit of sonship was absent. His goodness was none the  less spontaneous that it manifested itself in obedience to legal enactments. But the freedom which belongs to a spiritual Being from outward arrangements and ordinances that are carnal in their character was thereby concealed. And, moreover, He was, from His connection with the flesh, subject to weakness and death, under the power of that to which in His proper nature He was superior. Hence it was the Resurrection that manifested the real Glory and Power of Sonship. He then left behind Him all that impaired the freedom of His activity as a Son of God and the completeness of His spiritual resemblance to His Father, entering on a condition in which He was raised above weakness and death, and invested in all the prerogatives that belong to Divine Sonship in its perfected form.
    According to the teaching of our apostle, then, the constitution of the Person of Christ presents a radical contrast to that of all other men, in virtue of which He occupies a position that no other can share with Him. But let us mark wherein the difference and contrast consist. It is no exact or intelligible account of it to say that "He is God and Man in two distinct natures and one Person," while we are human beings only. The antithesis between the Divine and Human that is implied in this definition of His Person is not applicable to the matter, and does not give a true account of the difference between Christ and us. For, on the one hand, He is not represented as Divine in a sense that isolates or places Him out of relation to others as One possessed of qualities that cannot be communicated or transferred to them. And in the second place, it is ascribing to those with whom He is contrasted more than is true to say that, in our natural state, we are perfect and complete men, for we are defective in what constitutes proper manhood, in the higher life of the Spirit and Divine Sonship. The real contrast is to be found here, that while Christ is the Spiritual Man and Son of God, we are carnal, and at best servants of God, that while He perfectly fulfils the idea of a human personality, we entirely fail, being only potentially what He was in very truth. God made man capax Dei, capable of His own life, and of manifesting His own perfection. But Christ alone expresses the Divine thought, and stands out in contrast to all others in the very constitution of His inner life which was determined by the Divine Spirit to be the Life of God's true Son on earth. There is then a constitutional difference between Christ and all other men; but the ground of that difference is not so much metaphysical as religious, although there is a metaphysical element in the case too, as will appear in another lecture. We are not to find His Divinity in anything outside of His human life, but in the Divine Perfection of that human life itself, in the perfection of His love and holiness. He is more than Man, He is Divine; but His Divinity, in so far as it is apprehensible by us, is that of which human nature is capable, without which it is an imperfect and fragmentary thing, and infinitely less than what God made it to be—a Divinity which He communicates to as many as receive Him and in Him become children of God."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ: or, The Doctrine of the Second Adam, pgs. 46-48)

*Re-post from 9/19/15

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Christ the Archetype of Humanity, part 6 of 8

    "The other thing we learn from the opening words of the Epistle to the Romans is, that it was when He rose again from the dead that Jesus entered on His full glory as the Son of God. He was appointed, or determined, to be the "Son of God with power in consequence of His resurrection from the dead." The meaning is not that Jesus then first became Son of God, but that the glory of His Sonship, which was obscured before, was then manifested, and the full power that belonged to it entered upon. His Messiahship became an accomplished fact. His distinction from all others, as a Man who had lived a human life under our limitations, lay in this, that He was the Son of God. Paul does not allow that men in their natural state are sons of God any more than he will allow that they have the Spirit of God. And his teaching in this respect is criticised by many on the ground that it falls far behind that of his Master, who proclaimed the universal Fatherhood of God. But let us do no injustice to the apostle. He does indeed expressly say that the end of Christ's mission was that we might receive the "adoption of sons,"1 which implies that apart from Him this is not our privilege. But in the same passage he compares Humanity, while under the law and before Christ came, to a child that is "under tutors or governors." If then the actual relation of man to God as affected by sin is that of a servant, obeying a law that is foreign to his likings, and conscious of God as Law Giver and Judge rather than as a Father, man is nevertheless a servant who is by birth a son or child of God, and is destined to receive the position and spirit that are proper to sonship. In distinguishing between the legal relation, in which man is God's servant, and the relation of grace which he owes to Christ, in which man is God's son, Paul does not deny a natural capacity for sonship in man as made in the image of God. But the apostle sets no value on metaphysical distinction; he deals with religious facts. It is enough for him that men in their actual state are at best servants, and can make no claim either to the position or character of children. While acknowledging that God is Father of all, he declines to say that all men are God's sons in any real sense; for the only sonship that is of value in his eyes is that which is accompanied with the power of sonship, with the full status before God as well as the love and devotion to Him that enter into the very idea, and that were exemplified in the life and character of Him who was the Son of God. He alone was God's dear Child, the image of His Father, partaker with Him of a life of love and holiness.

1---Gal. iv. 5."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ: or, The Doctrine of the Second Adam, pgs, 44-46)

*Re-post from 9/18/15


Friday, June 23, 2017

Christ the Archetype of Humanity, part 5 of 8

    "2. But to Paul Christ was more than the Spiritual Man. He was also the SON OF GOD, the Original of that sonship that is a primary fact of Christian consciousness, the Man in whom the filial relationship was embodied in its absolute truth. The intimate connection between the Divine Sonship of Christ and the indwelling in Him of the Divine Spirit is set forth in the opening of the great Epistle to the Romans, where Paul speaks of the subject of the Gospel as being "God's Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, and marked out as, or appointed to be, Son of God, with power according to the Spirit of Holiness by (or in consequence of) His resurrection from the dead."1 Two things are to be noticed here.
    On the one hand, we have the statement of the two factors of Christ's Person, the Flesh and the Spirit, and of the relations arising out of these to men and to God. As regards the flesh, He was a Jew and the Son of David. He is declared here and elsewhere 2 to be a Man of a particular nationality, having in His veins the blood of the Royal House of Judah. The Davidic descent of Christ was after all a carnal distinction, and of no value in the kingdom of God, and it surprises us to find the apostle who is so strenuous an opponent of all inequalities among men that arise out of the flesh, taking account of this accident of Christ's birth. Possibly it was his object to commend the gospel thereby to the Jewish section of his readers, who from this description of Christ would recognise Him as the Messiah promised to their fathers. Or he may have wished, in condescending to particularise His nationality, to make broad and plain the fact that He was a true Man. But the real importance of the words quoted attaches to the account they contain of what Christ is in reference to the Spirit that constituted His higher Nature—"appointed to be the Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of Holiness." The ground of His Glorified Sonship is said to be the Indwelling in Him of the Holy Spirit of God; and we gather that the Sonship itself is a union with God that is ethical in its character and manifestation, consisting in a community of mind and spirit with God, an identity with Him in moral feature and purpose. It is a relationship in which, as a man, Christ stands to God. By the perfection of His filial Spirit and life He fulfils the idea of our humanity, and is thus qualified to be the First-born of many brethren and the Author of Sonship in His people. Inasmuch as it is a relationship which He graciously shares with us, it is plain that it is as a man, the Man in whom the Divine Life was found in its fulness, and who in His human excellences altogether resembled God, that He is called His Son. What deeper significance the term has in Paul's writings when applied to Christ will appear in another lecture; but there is no doubt it is as a human Son of God we are to think of Him when He is so called, His pre-eminence being not that He is God's Son, while all others are, and can only be, sons of men, but that He is what He is, in distinction from all others, God's Son, in order to share His glory with us, to invest us in His own Sonship, and so to raise us to the dignity and power of true manhood.

1---Rom. i. 4.; 2---Rom. ix. 5."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ: or, The Doctrine of the Second Adam, pgs. 41-43)

*Re-post from 9/17/15

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Christ the Archetype of Humanity, part 4 of 8

    "If the flesh of Christ was not in itself sinful, the being in the flesh was nevertheless a humiliation to Him, and marked a lower stage in His history compared with that which followed. The flesh is a hindrance to the full unimpeded activity of the Spirit; it is weak, mortal, perishable, and the death of Christ is spoken of as significant of a new and higher step in the development of His Person; for, rising again, He became wholly spiritual, filled and pervaded by the unbounded power of the Spirit of God, which, although given to Him without measure when He was in the world, was then restrained by the material conditions of His earthly life, and could not till death took place glorify every part of His humanity. He became, then, in the fullest sense a Spiritual Man, so identified with the Spirit of God indeed that He is called Spirit. "The Lord is the Spirit."1 It was as Spirit that Christ was first known to Paul, and it was the impression of Him as thus apprehended that ruled his thought of Christ to the end. Not that there is intended any negation of body. Paul does not conceive of Spirit apart from corporeity. He refers to the "Body of Glory"2 in which the Risen One is clothed. Nor is the manhood lost sight of in his conception of the Exalted One. It is noticeable that he often applies to Him the name of Jesus, redolent of earth and of human memories. But withal, Christ as Exalted is in His very nature in a pre-eminent sense Spirit, free from the limitations of sense and flesh, the "Life Giving Spirit,"* or Dispenser of Spiritual Energy to men. Moreover, in His Glory as Spiritual Man He is the Forerunner of His brethren, who, with the laying aside of the flesh, are destined to enter on a similar form of life and activity. Perfected in their spiritual nature they will then receive bodies "like unto His Body of Glory."
    To sum up then under this head: in the Risen Christ the apostle sees the triumph of the principle of Spirituality in Man. He beholds a manhood dwelt in by the Spirit of God and reaching its true end in the sinless perfection of its powers and in the attainment of eternal Life. Thus is Christ, Risen and Glorified, the realisation of the true idea of our nature,—Man, drawing his life from the Holy Spirit of God, become thereby holy and immortal.

1---2 Cor. iii. 17. ; 2---Phil. iii. 21. ; *---1 Cor. xv. 45."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ: or, The Doctrine of the Second Adam, pgs. 40-41)

*Re-post from 9/16/15

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Christ the Archetype of Humanity, part 3 of 8

    "In contrast is Jesus Christ, the Man in whom God is Immanent, and who, in consequence, realises the Ideal of our being. In Him also were Spirit and Flesh, but related to each other as they ought to be—the Spirit of God controlling the flesh and determining all the activities of the personal life, so that He became the Type of the Spiritual Man. To this peculiarity in the Person of Christ, the indwelling of the Spirit of God, is to be referred the fact, so fundamental in Paul's thought of Christ, of His personal holiness and entire freedom from sin. What distinguished Christ from all other men in the view of the apostle, and constituted the secret of His power to save, was His sinlessness. And in referring this exceptional position of Christ in humanity to His supernatural endowment by the Spirit of God, we are not to understand him as implying that it was not also the personal attainment of Christ. The apostle, indeed, says nothing explicit as to the process by which Christ achieved holiness, but that the latter was in no sense a ready-made virtue, or the result of a natural and necessary process, may, I think, be inferred from the fact that the apostle asserts the solidarity of Christ with mankind in sharing with them the flesh or material nature, with its weakness for good, its openness to temptation, its mortality.
    I can refer only in passing to the controversy on which so much has been written as to what precisely is meant by the term "flesh" in Paul's writings. A certain class of writers maintain that he was influenced in his use of the term by the usage of Greek philosophy, and that he held the essential evil of matter. According to them, his teaching is that the flesh, in virtue of its being material, is in itself evil, and that assumed by Christ it was in Him, as in us all, the seat of sinful passions and desires; His personal sinlessness being conserved by the admission that while it was an objective reality in His flesh it never became sin subjectively, or His own personal act, having been kept from passing into an act of will by the opposite principle of the Spirit. There is no proof, however, that Paul used the term in this metaphysical sense, while the strong probability is that he held the Old Testament view of the historical connection between the flesh and sin. The two things are separable in idea, although in concrete experience and in the life of the race the flesh is sinful; but the distinction leaves us free to hold that the flesh of Christ was that of unfallen human nature. It is another question whether it really was so. The doctrine that Christ was not born by ordinary generation seems to secure for Him a participation of flesh exempt from sin. But whatever Paul's view was concerning the supernatural origin of Christ's life, this doctrine was not taught by him, and we can scarcely proceed upon it in the interpretation of his language on the subject under consideration. Some accordingly have held, not on speculative grounds but on grounds of Scripture, and what appear to them the necessities of the case, that the flesh attributed by the apostle to our Lord in His humilation was in itself, and apart from His personal will, identical with ours,— convinced that unless we take this view we cannot hold that His temptations were ours, or that His victory over evil is available for us. On the other hand, we have statements of the apostle's that make us pause before we go so far. We are told that "Christ knew no sin";1 and such an aloofness of it from His very consciousness is scarcely consistent with its presence as an active principle or power in His material frame. Again, we read that He came in the "likeness of sinful flesh,"2 a phrase that seems to have been chosen to guard against the idea of a perfect identity between the flesh of Christ and that of ordinary men. Two things may be like without being the very same. And the similarity between Christ's flesh and our own may well have been accompanied by a difference affecting the experience of the moral life, when we remember the strength of the Divine consciousness in Him. At the same time, the dissimilarity must not be pressed. The likeness was real enough to involve Him in a conflict with sin in the flesh that called forth His active "condemnation"3 of it. For whatever else the apostle may mean to imply by that expression, he points to a dealing on the part of Christ with sin, in which He practically denied its right to rule in human nature, and demonstrated that a man who has the Holy Spirit for his life and strength is superior to the flesh, and need not succumb to its weakness. And this practical condemnation of sin in the flesh involved a continual resistance to it in its manifold approaches and forms of assault on His integrity, that establishes a community of feeling and experience between the sinless One and His brethren of a very real description.

1---2 Cor. v. 21.    2---Rom. viii. 3.    3---Rom. viii. 3."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ: or, The Doctrine of the Second Adam, pgs. 37-40)

*Re-post from 9/15/15


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Christ the Archetype of Humanity, part 2 of 8

    "I. The one element in the conception of Christ that ruled the thoughts of the apostle was that of Spirituality. Christ is the SPIRITUAL MAN in whom the old antagonism in human nature between flesh and spirit has been overcome. It is the Exalted Christ to whom the apostle always refers; and it is of Him that this description holds in its absolute truth; but it holds also of the historic Jesus and of His state of humiliation, and we must look at it as the account of what He was when on earth in order to understand the full significance of it as the account of His glorified Person.
    The supremacy of Christ as the Spiritual Man is best understood when we bear in mind what Paul's doctrine of human nature is. He regards man in his ideal constitution as made up of two parts, spirit and flesh. This is, of course, not a metaphysical definition, it is a religious account of the matter. It has respect to man as a religious being, having a nature that connects him with God and the spiritual world, as well as one that connects him with the world of sense and the material order of things. In virtue of his power of choice, man may determine himself either in the one direction or the other; he may obey the higher law of his being, or he may surrender himself to the desire and impulse of his sensuous nature; and, according to the choice he makes, he becomes either a spiritual or a carnal man. In point of fact he has made his choice in favour of the flesh, and this choice is repeated in every member of the human race, so that owing to the preponderating influence of the appetites and desires that have their seat in the material part of us, we are now carnal in character and mind, conformed to the principle of the flesh. Paul denies to human nature in its actual condition the possession of the Spirit of God. He recognises, of course, the presence and working in human nature of spiritual elements, the activity of the nous, or mind, with its perception of a law that coerces the animal nature, the existence, in short, of an Inner Man that responds to the voice of God and duty. But when he speaks of Spirit, there is present to his mind the idea of power, energy, a principle of life and activity, and there is no such principle in man's nature. We are "without strength,"* though we strive after the Ideal we cannot reach it. The flesh is supreme, and if elements that are spiritual are still found in us, we are without the Spirit of God whose energy is needed to make them vital and dominant. Without this indwelling of God man is now a moral failure, and the highest capacities of his nature remain undeveloped.

* Rom. v. 6."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ: or, The Doctrine of the Second Adam, pgs. 35-37)

*Re-post from 9/14/15

Monday, June 19, 2017

Christ the Archetype of Humanity, part 1 of 8

    "In my opening lecture I aimed at showing that if we would be guided aright in our inquiry regarding Paul's thought of Christ, we must interrogate his inner life and experience as formed in union with the Risen Lord. It was the consciousness of the Power of Christ on his personal life that led him into that understanding of his Master, "for whose excellency he counted all things loss."1 His Christology was in this way the product of his experience, the expression of what he had found Christ to be in his deepest life. There is in friendship such a thing as a union between two of so intimate a character that the inner forces that mould the life of the one pass into and become factors in the personal life of the other, and by their effects on his experience disclose to him the inmost nature of the man who has thus entered his personality to possess and dominate it. Now, from the moment that Paul was arrested by the Risen Lord on the way to Damascus and surrendered himself to Him, his whole soul was thrown wide open to His influence, to receive impressions that resulted in the communication to him of what was most distinctive in the personal life of his Master, and in the forming within him of an experience, with features of its own, that in its turn shed light on the nature of the Heavenly Being with whom he had been brought into so intimate a fellowship. The new elements that enriched his personal life, and that were due to the influence of the Exalted Christ, supplied him with the means of construing to his thought the nature of that wonderful Personality that had made all things new within him.
    His Epistles contain the record of that experience; and from them we learn that in its essential features it was, on the one hand, a consciousness of new moral power identified by him with the power of the Holy Spirit of God, and, on the other hand, a consciousness of religious satisfaction rooting itself in reconciliation or sonship to God. He was conscious, in short, from the outset of his connection with Christ, of power proceeding from Him that was the power of the Holy Spirit, for by it that which was spiritual in him regained its supremacy over the flesh. And He who shed that influence on his inner life was thus revealed to him as a Being whose nature was Spirit, a Man distinguished from and contrasted with all others in this, that the Spirit of God was the indwelling Power of His personal life. Again, in communion with Christ, the old Judaic feeling of legalism and estrangement in his relation to God had given place to the consciousness of forgiveness and sonship; and this too, derived from Christ, pointed back to Him as the Son of God, differing from all others in the reality and power of His Divine Sonship and in His perfect oneness with God, constituting Him the Source to all who believed in Him of the Standing, Spirit, and Character of the children of God.
    We have here the root conception of Christ in the mind of the apostle. He is at once the PNEUMATIC or SPIRITUAL MAN, in whom the Holy Spirit of God is operative as the very principle of His Personality; and the MAN who is the SON OF GOD, the embodiment through His full participation of the life of the Father of the filial relation of Man to God.

1-Phil. iii. 8."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ; or, The Doctrine of the Second Adam, pgs. 33-35)

*Re-post from 9/13/15

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Lord, the Spirit

"3. But Paul not only identifies the Spirit of God with that of Christ, he identifies both with the very Person of Christ. "The Lord is the Spirit,"1 we read; and, again, "we are changed into the same image by the Lord, the Spirit."2 The intention of the apostle in this passage is evidently to bring out the fact, that He whom Christians acknowledged to be the Lord was not such an one as the Jews, with their worldly ideas of the Messiah, believed in,—a Messiah distinguished by outward prerogatives, but one who was Spirit, ruling men by a Divine power at the centre of their lives. Being "in Christ" and "being in the Spirit" are the same thing; and in the thought of the apostle, "Christ," the "Spirit of Christ," and "the Spirit of God" are practically synonymous. At the Resurrection Christ became a Life-giving Spirit to mankind, and by the heightening of the powers of His Personality that then took place, He was so made one with the very life of God as to be constituted a perfect medium through whom the Spirit of God could act upon us; and His Personal Influence and Working being, to the entire exclusion of every lower element, the influence and working of the Holy Spirit, He, Himself Personally, might be spoken of as the Lord, the Spirit.

1 2 Cor. iii. 17.
2 2 Cor iii. 18. Compare also 1 Cor. xv. 45 with vi. 17."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ: or, The Doctrine of the Second Adam, pgs. 117-118)

*Re-post from 9/6/15


Saturday, June 17, 2017

A true understanding of the Gift of the Spirit

"2. Paul identified the Spirit of God, bestowed on believers under the Gospel, with the Spirit of Christ. Effects that are referred by him in some passages to the Divine Spirit, are in others attributed to Christ's Spirit, the two being evidently in his view one and the same power.* There was an historical justification for this; for the Spirit of the historic Jesus, that was stamped on all He said and did, was recognised as the Spirit of God Himself. It was the holiness and graciousness and truth of the living God that were expressed in the acts and words of Jesus on earth. Accordingly, when, as Risen and Glorified, He entered on His perfected fellowship with God, the Spirit proceeding from Him, by which He continues to live and energise in the hearts of men, is in the most real sense the very Spirit of God; and the experiences of the life of faith are referred both to the Spirit of Christ and to the Spirit of God. Here, too, we mark an advance on the primitive doctrine, for while it was the original belief that the Divine Spirit is given to men through Christ, it does not seem to have been held, till Paul taught it, that this Divine Gift is itself the Spirit of Christ, the active principle of His Personality. And we can understand the significance and value of the contribution the apostle thereby made to a true understanding of the Gift of the Spirit. As long as the connection in men's minds between the Person of Christ and the Gift of God's Spirit was loose and uncertain, manifestations of mere enthusiasm, originating in unsanctified human nature, might be declared to be the outcome of that Spirit which was the peculiar endowment of the Church. But by drawing close the bond between the Gift and the Person, and identifying the Spirit of God with the energy of the Personal life of Jesus, Paul furnished a test by which phenomena really due to the Divine Spirit might be discriminated from others that did not proceed from that source. For what comes from the Spirit of God must authenticate itself as such by its being in harmony with the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit exhibited in the character and deeds of Jesus of Nazareth.

* Rom. viii. 9, 14; Gal. iv. 6."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ: or, The Doctrine of the Second Adam, pgs. 116-117)

*Re-post from 9/5/15