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)

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life

NOTE:  I hope everyone reading this will please check out a wonderful site I found called Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life.  It is authored by a gentleman and his wife named Lee and Annette Woofenden.  If you are ready to delve deeply and practically into your relationship with Jesus Christ, then the articles at this site can definitely help you along your journey.  The articles are on a variety of topics ranging from the Trinity to everyday practical topics.  I can't recommend it highly enough!

P.S.  Lee's favorite theologian is Emanuel Swedenborg.  If you have never heard of him I highly recommend you check out the article about him on Wikipedia by clicking on his name.  Swedenborg was much more than a theologian and had a fascinating life journey.  The Lord was able to show Swedenborg many wonderful things and use him in many wonderful ways.  If you are interested further you can access Swedenborg's writings and many wonderful other resources at the Swedenborg Foundation's website..  And lastly, the Swedenborg Foundation has a YouTube channel entitled offTheLeftEye. If your interested you can check out videos there from the team at the Swedenborg Foundation where they break down into everyday language the many spiritual insights that Swedenborg received.  I hope you benefit from these Christ given resources like my family and I have!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

All that the soul needs and craves

"This truth of the Spirit in relation to the individual
clearly teaches that the power of the Personality of Christ
is only really available through the Holy Spirit. It is
not what Jesus was when on earth, precious though that
is; it is not what He taught when on earth, wonderful
though that is; it is what He is now as the living exalted
Christ, brought near by the Holy Spirit, that guarantees
communion with God, and in that communion all that the
soul needs and craves. It is for this reason that the
Example of Christ or the Teaching of Christ is of no real
value when considered alone. Imitatio Christi is but a
small part of the Christian's relation to Christ. Repetitio 
Christi is nearer the truth,* and in the act and fact of
revealing Christ as a present living reality to the soul the
Holy Spirit as the Paraclete is also thereby the Revealer
of the value and the power of human personality. As the
Spirit of Truth He reveals God to man and man to himself.
He shows what God intends man to be and to have, and
thereby shows to man the possibilities of life in the Divine
purpose. As the Spirit of Grace He provides man with
the needful dynamic for daily life. 'God's biddings are
enablings.' He never reveals truth without bestowing
grace in Christ, and the ideal and the real are both assured.

* Tasker, Spiritual Religion, pp. 107-112."

- W.H. Griffith Thomas (The Holy Spirit of God, pgs. 166-167)

**Re-post from 2/11/16

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Between the Spirit and Christ in the heart no experimental distinction can be made

"The coming of the Spirit, however, is not to be conceived as forming a compensation or substitute for the absent Christ; it is the higher mode in which Christ Himself is present. "I will come to you" and "when the Comforter is come" occur interchangeably, and any doctrine of the Trinity which finds this an insuperable obstacle stands so far convicted of tritheism. Between the Spirit and Christ in the heart no experimental distinction can be made. The one is the method of the other. That the Spirit should have overshadowed the historic Christ by opening a new and loftier stage of revelation is a notion which the apostolic mind could not have formed. As it has been expressed, "the office of the Spirit consists in declaring the mind of Jesus and perpetuating the work He had accomplished in His earthly life...The Spirit is the perennial source of new revelation, and yet this new revelation is only the unfolding, ever more largely and clearly, of what has already been imparted in the life of Jesus. All our knowledge of God and His truth is ultimately derived from the historical manifestation, which conveys a different message to each succeeding time, but can never be superseded." (Scott, The Fourth Gospel, 351.) The glorified Saviour is identical with the Jesus who sojourned on earth, and the work resumed under larger conditions, with an access of Divine power, is but the continuation of His earthly task, in the light of which it must be interpreted."

- Hugh Ross Mackintosh (The Doctrine of the Person of Jesus Christ, p. 374)

*Re-post from 10/13/14
*Re-post from 2/10/16

Friday, August 25, 2017

The needs of mankind met and satisfied

"It is only in the presence of the living Christ, mediated
by the knowledge of His earthly life of redemption through
the constant action of the Holy Spirit, that all the needs of
mankind are met and satisfied."

- W. H. Griffith Thomas (The Holy Spirit of God, p. 210)

*Re-post from 2/9/16

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The meaning of human personality is consummated and realized

"Human penitence, human atonement, human righteousness,--all are first before our eyes, as external objects, that they may be the secret of our hearts, that they may be the very truth of ourselves. But the transforming power, the power of real reflection and effective allegiance, is not to be found in ourselves. Or, at least, the question has to be seriously raised,--What do we mean by ourselves? What is the true account of human personality? And the answer to this question can only be given in the light, if not in the language, of Pentecostal doctrine, the doctrine of the Holy Ghost. It is Pentecost, it is the gift progressively transforming, it is the indwelling of the Spirit of Holiness, the Spirit of the Crucified, which is the transfiguring of human personality: a transfiguring in which at last, for the first time, self has become fully self, and the meaning of human personality is consummated and realized."

- Robert Campbell Moberly (Atonement and Personality, p. 153)

*Re-post from 10/23/14
*Re-post from 2/9/16

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Spirit of the Crucified could not be ours until...

 "The Spirit of the crucified Christ could not become our spirit, nor we live on, and by, Him, till Christ was crucified, and ascended, and enthroned. The Spirit of human penitence could not be ours, till penitence had been realized in humanity. The Spirit of human righteousness could not be ours, till humanity, in the consummation of penitence, had become perfectly one with the righteousness of God."

- Robert Campbell Moberly (Atonement and Personality, pp. 152-153)

*Re-post from 10/22/14
*Re-post from 2/8/16

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Pentecost is the realization, in human spirits, of Calvary

 "Now we have made no attempt at all hitherto to enter upon the exposition of Pentecost, the crucial doctrine--professed so often, and so often without a meaning!--of the Holy Spirit, as constituting the Church. But at least the things which we have tried to say may serve to illustrate the cardinal principle, that Calvary is the condition, precedent and enabling, to Pentecost. The objective reality is completed first, that it may be indeed subjectively realized. Christ is crucified first and risen before our eyes; that Christ crucified and risen may be the secret love and power of our hearts. Calvary without Pentecost, would not be an atonement to us. But Pentecost could not be without Calvary. Calvary is the possibility of Pentecost: and Pentecost is the realization, in human spirits, of Calvary."

- Robert Campbell Moberly (Atonement and Personality, p. 152)

*Re-post from 10/21/14
*Re-post from 2/7/16

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The very Spirit of the Crucified become our spirit--ourselves translated into the Spirit of the Crucified

"We, then, have not reached--we have hardly as yet even touched upon--the heart of the matter. The heart of the matter would lie in the exposition, and realization, of Pentecost. The atonement as a transaction without ourselves--expound it how you will--is not yet consummated for us. In terms simply of a transaction without ourselves, the mystery of the atonement cannot be expounded. This is why so many expositions of the atonement are, to us, justly inconclusive, or worse. They have tried to explain the method, or justice, of its relation to us. And they stop short at a point at which its relation to us is not yet properly real. What Jesus in Himself suffered, or did, on Calvary, you may perhaps explain in terms of Calvary. The meaning of His Ascension into Heaven, you may in some part at least explain without looking onwards to its further effects. But the relation of what He did to us, its working, its reality for and in us, you can only explain at all in terms of Pentecost. An exposition of atonement which leaves out Pentecost, leaves the atonement unintelligible--in relation to us. For what is the real consummation of the atonement to be? It is to be--the very Spirit of the Crucified become our spirit--ourselves translated into the Spirit of the Crucified. The Spirit of the Crucified, the Spirit of Him who died and is alive, may be, and please God shall be, the very constituting reality of ourselves. Here as always when we come to the deeper truths of Christian exposition, all is found to turn, not on explaining away, but on making vital and real, that membership, unity, identification with Christ, which is so familiar a feature of Scriptural language. He who could say with the most unaffected sincerity, "I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified," (1 Cor. ii. 2) said also "far be it from me to glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world hath been crucified unto me, and I unto the world," (Gal. vi. 14) and "I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live; and yet no longer I but Christ liveth in me." (Gal. ii. 20) I am appealing only to our own language, familiar indeed as language at every turn, which yet we find it too often almost impossible to assimilate or to conceive. "Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of Thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink His Blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by His Body, and our souls washed through His most precious Blood, and that we may evermore dwell in Him, and He in us.""

- Robert Campbell Moberly (Atonement and Personality, pp. 151-152)

*Re-post from 10/20/14
*Re-post from 2/6/16

Monday, August 7, 2017

Christ is here to heal, part 3 of 3

"Now, it is in harmony with the established order
of things that this power for health should widen
its scope as man was able to take advantage of it,
and that when it came to its fullness in the Christ
it should take its place within the operation of
unfolding law. Jesus was the pleroma, the fullness
of divine power; his works of healing were simply
the attestation of the fact that in him was the
Presence fully manifested. And now that he is
in the unseen realm, we have the same evidence
that he possesses divine power in the works which
he is producing. As the one who before his coming
in the flesh stood in organic union with the race;
as the one who by his coming in the flesh revealed
the nature of the Presence which had always
brooded over the world, he has since his resurrec-
tion been seeking to bring to fulfillment in the
spiritual sphere all that was outwardly manifested
in his human life. There is no change in his work
except in its conditions. It is larger, deeper, and
more effective. As the Infinite Christ he is the
Infinite Power working for health. With him the
Presence found in nature, in the world, in man, and
in the Christ of history is identified. He is the
abiding Presence, immanent in all things, a living,
redeeming reality, flooding the soul with strength,
healing the body of its diseases, reducing to
harmony life's discords, soothing frayed nerves,
calming troubled hearts, and bringing the entire
man into perfect oneness with the divine will and
with the divine order. To come into touch with
him is to come into touch with the Infinite; it is 
to tap the hidden fountain of divine energy, which 
flowing into the soul, makes its possessor "every 
whit whole." "

- James Mann Campbell (The Presence, pgs. 170-171)

*Re-post from 9/29/15

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Christ is here to heal, part 2 of 3

"The healing ministry of Christ still goes on. Out
of the unseen he continues to operate upon this
diseased and disordered world. From him power
to heal is constantly going forth. "His touch has
still its ancient power." He is to-day "bearing our 
infirmities and carrying our sicknesses." His 
mighty unseen personality radiates life-giving 

The healing of the seamless dress 
    Is by our beds of pain; 
We touch him in life's throng and press, 
    And we are whole again. 

In this world into which sin and sickness have 
entered there is a power working for repair, a 
power which is seeking to restore all things to the 
divine order from which they have fallen. Scientists 
speak of that power as a vis medicatrix natura
that is, a power in nature working for health. 
Although every breath of air, every drop of water, 
every mouthful of food contains germs of disease, 
health is maintained because this power for health 
is working to neutralize them. If a finger is cut, 
or a bone broken, the power for health rushes to 
the spot to repair the damage. Upon the constant 
operation of this power all who labor for the 
removal of disease can confidently reckon. Of the 
working of this recuperative power the ancient Jew 
caught a glimpse when he spoke of God as the 
health of man's countenance, and his saving health 
as being for all nations. He saw that all health 
is from the original, fontal source of life, and that 
hence anyone who is healed is divinely healed. Dr. 
Worcester testifies of this when he says, "It is 
always the power of God that effects a cure, whether 
the means employed be medicine or miracle." "

- James Mann Campbell (The Presence, pgs. 168-169)

*Re-post from 9/28/15

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Christ is here to heal, part 1 of 3

"In the days of his flesh Jesus went about "healing
all manner of disease and sickness among the
people." When those who were sick came to him,
after every other resource had been exhausted, "he
had compassion on them, and healed them." He
stood in the midst of this sin-stricken and disease-
ridden world as an open fountain of life and power,
bringing the saving health of God into such intimate
and effectual contact with men as to accomplish
results over which the wise ones of the world have
ever since been puzzled, but upon which humble
believers have looked with reverential awe, as
affording incontestable proof that God has indeed
visited his people.
After his departure the apostles performed
miracles of healing in his name, and in his power.
The explanation which Peter gives of the healing
of the lame man at the gate of the temple which
was called Beautiful covers every similar case.
"Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this man? or
why fasten ye your eyes on us, as though by our
own power or godliness we had made him to walk ?
. . . By faith in his name hath his name made
this man strong, whom ye behold and know: yea,
the faith which is through him hath given him this
perfect soundness in the presence of you all" (Acts
3. 12-16). The apostles attributed every particle
of healing power which they exercised to the power
of the risen Christ working through them. They
were living dynamos, charged with a force not their
own — a force which they themselves explained as
coming from Christ, and as an evidence of his
continued activity in the spiritual sphere. It was
his presence with them and in them that made them
the conquerors of disease."

- James Mann Campbell (The Presence, pgs. 167-168)

*Re-post from 9/27/15

Friday, August 4, 2017

Christ is here to save, part 3 of 3

"It is said that men are saved by the work of
Christ, meaning by that the work which he accom-
plished on earth. Ought it not, rather, to be said
that men are saved by Christ through the work
accomplished on earth — the work consummated in
his death upon the cross? The atonement is a
method of personal influence. Life is imparted
through truth. Revelation is for redemption. The
written Word is a direct attempt on the part of
God to influence men. The manifestation of holy, 
suffering, atoning love in the life and death of 
Jesus is for the purpose of drawing men unto him- 
self. Religion, which is at bottom the personal 
influence of God upon man, is the same in nature, 
although not in degree, as the influence of man upon 
men. In no other way can Christ save than through 
the power of his personal influence. And whatever 
be the means by which that influence is conveyed, 
it is Christ himself, the living, personal, and present 
Christ, who saves. 
This view is corroborated by the experience of 
men in conversion. Every one who is saved 
ascribes his salvation to the personal influence of 
Christ. He heard of what Christ had done for 
him. The story of the earthly life of Christ brought 
into view his wondrous love. He beheld Christ 
dying upon the cross to take away his sins. But 
his thoughts quickly passed from the dead to the 
living Christ. He saw him at his side, as a present 
Saviour. He did not rest upon some abstract thing 
called his work; he rested upon Christ himself. He 
found a Saviour, and in him he found salvation. 
He found the Atoner, and in him he found at-one- 
ment. He came to the living Christ, had personal 
contact with him, personal experience of his saving 
power. As he looked upon him he felt like the 
Knight of the Round Table, who said, 

"The sweetest vision of the Holy Grail 
Drove me from all vain glories, rivalries, 
And earthly heats." 

This is the vision which brought salvation to Saul 
of Tarsus. It is the vision which brings salvation 
to every one who beholds it. A striking modern 
instance of its power is found in the case of Pastor 
Hsi. Although a scholar, and a man of influence, 
he had become an opium slave. One day a New 
Testament was given him, and he retired to read it. 
So fascinated was he that he sank upon his knees 
still reading, when he became conscious of a 
strange mystical power around him, which grew 
into an overpowering sense of the presence of 
Christ. Suddenly the flower of faith burst open, 
and he exclaimed, "He has enthralled me, and I 
am his forever." For anyone to behold the vision 
of that face of grace is to become his everlasting 
"O, Iole," said one of the beautiful princesses of 
Attica, "how did you know that Hercules was a 
god?" "Because I was content," was the reply, 
"the moment my eyes rested upon him. He con- 
quered whether he stood, or walked, or sat." "

- James Mann Campbell (The Presence, pgs. 165-167)

*Re-post from 9/26/15

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Christ is here to save, part 2 of 3

"A Moslem who, after a careful study of the New
Testament, became a convert to Christianity, when
asked why he wanted to be baptized, replied, "Jesus
is alive, and Mohammed is dead; how can a dead
man save?" He was right. Saving efficacy be-
longs only to a living Saviour; and it is because
the atoning, redeeming Christ has not passed beyond
human reach that sinful men can experience his
saving power.
To be real and vital, faith must, therefore, take
hold of the glorious truth that Christ is now alive.
The quality of faith is determined by its object.
Faith in a living Christ is a living faith. A mere
historical faith, that is, a faith which has regard
to the record of what Christ has done, gives an
historical Christ; but a faith which has regard to
what Christ is now doing gives the Christian's Christ
— the Christ of universal Christian experience. 
The former faith differs from the latter as a botani- 
cal name differs from a living flower. Yet it must 
not be forgotten that historical faith forms the 
basis of saving faith. The Christ who died is the 
Christ who lives; the Christ who loved is the Christ 
who loves; the Christ who went about doing good 
is the Christ who is now everywhere doing good; 
the Christ who came and vanished is the Christ 
who is here to-day saving men from sin and from 
ignoble ends. He is living, active, potential, effec- 
tive, suflicient. 
We have no right to speak of the saving work 
of Christ as finished. Only on its Godward side 
was it completed, when upon the cross he bowed 
his head and gave up the ghost. On its manward 
side it still goes on, and will go on as long as there 
is sin in the world. He has not got through with 
a single human soul, much less with the world at 
large. The kingdom which he at last delivers to 
the Father will be a kingdom redeemed from the 
curse of sin."

- James Mann Campbell (The Presence, pgs. 164-165)

*Re-post from 9/25/15

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Christ is here to save, part 1 of 3

"If Christ is here, what is he doing? What does
his presence imply ? What are his present relations
to men? What is he now doing for them? Impor-
tant as it is to know what he has done in the past,
and to know what he has promised to do in the
future, still more important is it to know what
he is doing for us now.
The work which the post-incarnate Christ is here
to accomplish is one, yet manifold. It can be looked
at from a great variety of aspects.
I. He Is Here to Save
This must be his main mission. A French
philosopher irreverently asks, "Christ has come;
when cometh salvation?" We answer: Salvation
has come because the Saviour has come. He is
here delivering souls from the power of sin. His
strong right arm is striking off the fetters of evil
habit. It is distinctly stated that his Second Advent
was to be for the purpose of salvation. The promise
runs: "He having been once offered to bear the
sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from
sin, to them that wait for him, unto salvation"
(Heb. 9. 28). His feet follow every wandering
soul. He comes to seek and to save that which is
lost. He stands by every sinner's side, waiting for
him to fling himself into his outstretched arms.
If he had not risen from the dead, and returned
to earth, he could not have brought salvation to
men. His death would have availed nothing if he
had not possessed the power to take up again the
life which he had laid down. His shed blood
derives its efficacy from his restored life. A pres-
ent deliverer must be a living deliverer. To find
the Christ who is mighty to save we are not to visit
his tomb. The tomb is empty. "Come see the place
where the Lord lay" — not the place where he lies.
Why seek the living among the dead? The Lord
whom ye seek stands beside you. Behold him as
your Saviour and the midnight of your gloom will
be turned into the glory of a new born day."

- James Mann Campbell (The Presence, pgs. 163-164)

*Re-post from 9/24/15

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The satisfaction of humanity in Jesus Christ, part 9 of 9

   "In concluding this discussion of the satisfaction of humanity in Jesus Christ, the question reverts for the moment to his own consciousness in respect to himself and his work. Did he anticipate such a result? Was he conscious of that within himself which must have its correspondence in the return of the human heart to him in confidence and trust? The answer to this question is found in the recorded meditation of Jesus, among the most unquestioned of his words, in which, as he contemplates his union with the Father, he contemplates also the meaning of it to the wearied and troubled soul of man. The spirit of prayer passes into that of invitation as he communes with his own heart, and he anticipates in his own soul the utterance of that compassion which was to break from his lips.
   "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.
   "All things are delivered unto me of my Father; and no man knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any man the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son willeth to reveal him.
   "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." "

- Smyth, Tucker, Churchill, Harris, and Hincks (The Divinity of Jesus Christ, pgs. 231-233)

*Re-post from 8/25/15

Monday, July 31, 2017

The satisfaction of humanity in Jesus Christ, part 8 of 9

   "The conclusion which we reach concerning the person of Christ, through the study of his sacrificial method, is sustained by the further inquiry into the ground of the assurance we have in his unfailing development of the race. Without doubt the trend of modern thought and faith is toward the more perfect identification of Christ with humanity. We cannot overestimate the advantage to Christianity of this tendency. The world must know and feel the "humanity" of Jesus. But it makes the greatest difference in result whether the ground of the common humanity is in him or in us. To borrow the expressive language of Paul, was he "created" in us? or are we "created" in him? Grant the right of the affirmation that "there is no difference in kind between the divine and the human;" allow the interchange of terms, so that one may speak of "the humanity of God and the divinity of man;" appropriate the motive which lies in these attempts to bring God and man together, and thus to explain the personality of Jesus Christ, — it is still a matter of infinite concern to us whether his home is in the higher or lower regions of divinity. After all, very little is gained by the transfer of terms. Humanity is in no way satisfied with its degree of divinity. We are still as anxious as ever to rise above ourselves. And in this anxiety we want to know concerning our great helper whether he has in himself anything more than the possible increase of a common humanity. What is his power to lift, and how long may it last? Shall we ever reach his level, attain to his measure, become as divine as he, or does he have part in the absolute and infinite? This question may seem remote in result, but it is everything in principle. The immanence of Christ has its present meaning and value because of his transcendence. "Our fortunes — shall I say it ?" — we borrow the words of Dr. Dale in his "Lectures on the Ephesians," — "were identified with the fortunes of Christ. In the divine thought and purpose we were inseparable from him. Had we been true and loyal to the divine idea, the energy of Christ's righteousness would have drawn us upward to height after height of goodness and joy, until we ascended from this earthly life to the larger powers and loftier services and richer delights of other and diviner worlds; and still, through one golden age of intellectual and ethical and spiritual growth after another, we should have continued to rise towards Christ's transcendent and infinite perfection. But we sinned; and as the union between Christ and us could not be broken without the final and irrevocable defeat of the divine purpose, as separation from Christ meant for us eternal death, Christ was drawn down from the serene heavens to the shame and sorrow of the confused and troubled life of our race, to pain, to temptation, to anguish, to the cross, and to the grave, and so the mystery of his atonement for our sin was consummated." Such an identification of the race with Jesus Christ not only declares the meaning of the Incarnation and the Atonement, but sets forth the ground of that hope for the race, which is cherished by the Christian heart, that humanity will yet find its full perfection in the human — because the divine — Christ."

- Smyth, Tucker, Churchill, Harris, and Hincks (The Divinity of Jesus Christ, pgs. 228-231)

*Re-post from 8/24/15

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The satisfaction of humanity in Jesus Christ, part 7 of 9

   "Passing now to the relation of Jesus Christ to the sin of the world, we find much in this relation which points to the same general estimate of his person. The method of Jesus, as we have seen, was sacrificial, ethical indeed, but not to the exclusion or subordination of the sacrificial. But when we begin to study the method of Jesus, we are startled to find that he reversed the whole course and current of sacrifice. The great volume of sacrifice had been pouring through innumerable channels from the heart of man into the heart of God. Christ met and overwhelmed the sacrifices of men with the sacrifice of God. It was the inflowing tide of the ocean staying and returning the waters which were seeking its bosom. The act of Jesus was an act of sublime daring. We instinctively ask, Who is it that dares to make this reversal? Who is it that bids men cease their propitiatory rites? Who is it that puts out the fires on sacrificial altars, and stanches the blood of sacrificial victims? Who is it that carries out the change in and through his own person, and offers himself "the lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world"?
    If the change wrought out through the method of Jesus had been from the sacrificial to the ethical, it would not have been so astounding. If he had abolished not only the system, but the principle of sacrifice, we might say that his act represented a new stage in the divine administration of the world. But no, the principle was not abolished, it was rather acknowledged, accepted, and obeyed. It was ratified in suffering and death.
    That the method of Jesus was sacrificial seems to us to be beyond dispute, the only question about it being this, Was it simply a part of the pain and suffering under which the whole creation groaneth and travaileth, or was it more distinctly God's part in the work of redemption? And this is really asking in respect to Jesus, Was his sacrifice voluntary or involuntary? What did he mean when he said of his life, "I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father"? Here again it seems to us natural and rational to interpret the sacrifice of Christ through his relation to the nature of God, and to think that in that relation lies the security of the Christian conception of sacrifice. Nothing less than the absolute assurance that the act of Jesus Christ in reversing the course of sacrifice was a divine act can avail to prevent a return of the race to the old course. No ethical provision can satisfy men in their sins. The correlative of sin is sacrifice. It is the sacrificial element which makes the ethics of Jesus permanent and universal. Confucius may have anticipated some of the sayings of Jesus, but the words of Jesus have gone abroad in their saving power into all the earth. "Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them," is another saying when interpreted in the light of the cross. The sacrifice of Jesus has transfigured all human duty. "The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge that one died for all, therefore all died; and he died for all, that they which live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who for their sakes died and rose again." "

- Smyth, Tucker, Churchill, Harris, and Hincks (The Divinity of Jesus Christ, pgs. 225-228)

*Re-post from 8/23/15

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The satisfaction of humanity in Jesus Christ, part 6 of 9

   "We have thus far been considering a most singular and unique fact, which is inseparably connected in all its parts with a person. Here is one through whom men know God, and know that they know Him; through whom they are relieved of the burden of sin, and to whom they turn in the gratitude of their deliverance ; and through whom they are able to rise in their freed powers into the new joy of sonship and go about the Father's business on earth. The fact is the most unique as it is the most glorious in human experience, and offers itself as an essential aid in our attempt to interpret the person of Jesus Christ. Happily for our generation, the chief approach to his person is not by the way of controversial or even speculative interest, but rather by the way of interpretation. His personality comes before us, not as a metaphysical problem to be solved, but as an acknowledged reality to be apprehended and interpreted. The question which one serious-minded man puts to another is not, How do you explain Christ? but, How do you understand him? What does he mean to you? How do you place him in your own life and in the life of the world? The interpretation of a person, not the solution of a problem, represents the attitude of the religious mind toward Christ, and determines the method of our approach to his personality.
    The fact before us, which must be considered as one of the sources of interpretation, necessitates some conclusion in regard to the person of Christ. To begin with the revelation which we have of God through him, — that revelation is so peculiar that it implies a peculiar relation on his part to God. Christ's revelation of God was that of a new relationship in the divine nature, namely, fatherhood. What guarantees to us that relationship? How do we know that it is anything more than an idea, an analogy taken up out of earthly relations and carried back into the nature of God? To our mind, the guaranty of the absolute and essential fatherhood of God is the absolute and essential sonship of Jesus Christ. In this way the assurance is given, not in word, but in fact. When we say that men are the sons of God, we proclaim a comforting truth, but we do not thereby gain a better knowledge of what God is. We do not reach through the assumption of this relationship a sure and satisfying knowledge of God. To get a true idea of fatherhood we must have a true idea of sonship. That idea completely and perfectly realized, we know at once that there must be a corresponding idea of a complete and perfect fatherhood. The order of thought in the statement of John seems to us natural and rational, — "The only begotten which is in the bosom of the Father he hath declared him;" a statement which accords exactly with the utterance of Christ: "No man knoweth the Father save the Son and he to whom the Son willeth to reveal him." The revealer of God the Father is naturally God the Son. The revelation must hold the quality and substance of the life revealed. The Nicene Creed was not written in the language of the nineteenth century, but we believe that it still utters a reasonable faith: "Light of Light, Very God of God." When a spiritual relationship has been established and has become familiar, we are apt to think that it is self-evident or easily discoverable. This thought finds constant exemplification in the conception of the divine fatherhood. We cannot think of God apart from it. But until the sonship of Christ made it evident, the world had never caught sight of it in any clear or sufficient sense. Earthly relations did not establish it, however much they may now appear to us to suggest it. And we are not at all sure that the conception would abide as a fixed reality if its original support should be withdrawn. Take away the fact of the absolute and essential sonship of Christ, and, though we may not deny that fatherhood is inherent in the divine nature, yet we do not know how we can justify the belief to our certain consciousness. The sonship of Christ is the pledge of the fatherhood of God. It is difficult to see how we can accept the relationship, and refuse the guaranty which Christ offers in himself. Fatherhood and sonship have their abiding reality in the spiritual world because of the eternal correspondence revealed in the Father and the Son."

- Smyth, Tucker, Churchill, Harris, and Hincks (The Divinity of Jesus Christ, pgs. 221-225

*Re-post from 8/22/15

Friday, July 28, 2017

The satisfaction of humanity in Jesus Christ, part 5 of 9

   "These are the two great matters of spiritual concern about which the heart of man demands satisfaction, — the sure knowledge of God, the conscious relief from sin. Jesus Christ has given at these points a satisfaction which is true and full.
    But here comes in a new fact, which is of the greater significance because it is not precisely like those upon which we have been dwelling. As long as the human heart was unsatisfied, uncertain about God, unrelieved of the sense of sin, what could it do but expend all its energies in trying to gain some kind of satisfaction? What could the man do, who would know God, but "feel after him, if haply he might find him"? What could the man do, oppressed with the sin of sin, but strive by penance and sacrifice to purge the guilt of his soul? As long as these great necessitous desires were unsatisfied, all other spiritual desires were held back and repressed, until at times it seemed as if they had no existence, as if the individual man cared only for a personal and selfish salvation. But when Christ satisfied these imperious desires, then all other spiritual desires were set free and sprang forth into newness of life. Nothing is more inspiring than to note the growth of those new desires which Christ called forth, and of which he took the leadership. Christianity meant at once, in idea, not simply the knowledge of God and the relief from the sense of sin, but a new society, new laws and customs, a new literature and life, another and a better world. The meaning of the new liberty was exemplified in Paul. Here was a man of essential greatness of nature, but dwarfed in his powers, and in danger of perishing in his narrowness. Christ met him and set him free, and instantly the freed and enlarged powers of his nature went out to the saving of the world. It was the manifest intent of Christ that it should always be thus with his followers. He never intended that freedom should be an end in itself. He never intended that any soul should rest in the satisfaction which he had brought to it. The Christian was to be a new man, conscious of new and larger desires, and set to new and larger tasks.
    Jesus Christ thus declares himself in respect to man by the twofold sign of power, — able to satisfy his deepest longings, and able also to lead forth into wide activity those latent desires of his spiritual nature which he has set at liberty. And it is evident that humanity responds to the spiritual leadership of Christ, as it acknowledges the satisfaction which it has found in him. One by one the great leaders of humanity have been taken up in the progress of the race, and absorbed in the volume of its better life. Jesus Christ has not been taken up and absorbed. His leadership is the constant and undiminished factor in human progress. The race gains upon itself, but it makes no gain upon him. It has been sententiously said that "Christianity is always the best thing in the world." That may mean much or little. Christ does not share the varying fortune of Christianity. He is, as we know, "the same yesterday and to-day," and as we believe, "yea and forever."

- Smyth, Tucker, Churchill, Harris and Hincks (The Divinity of Jesus Christ, pgs. 218-221)

*Re-post from 8/21/15

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The satisfaction of humanity in Jesus Christ, part 4 of 9

   "But there is another form of satisfaction which he has rendered which is even deeper and more intense than this. Jesus Christ has satisfied humanity in the relief which he has brought to it under the consciousness of sin. There is really no experience which can compare in intensity with the experience of sin. The reality of sin is not to be confused with the experience of it. The reality is universal, the experience is unequal. Some know what sin is by its bitter fruits in their own souls and bodies, or in the souls and bodies of those yet dearer to them than their own; others know what sin is only in principle, through the selfishness which has some lodgment in every heart. Now, as the experience of sin is unequal, so the satisfaction which Christ brings to sinning men is unequal. And no one may argue from any knowledge which he may have of sin, short of the experience of it, how great that satisfaction is which Christ can render. For he who would satisfy humanity under the consciousness of sin must be able to meet it in its lowest conditions and in its extreme possibilities. But the fact which bears its constant witness to the power of Christ is, that when the lowest conditions are reached, and the most extreme possibilities are realized, then the satisfaction is most complete. The saying of Paul is verified a thousand times with every day, "Where sin abounded grace did abound more exceedingly."
    It is not to our present purpose to say how this result is brought about. If it were, it might not be possible. No theory is as wide as the fact. No philosophy of the atonement can altogether explain the process by which the sacrifice of Christ finds its sure result in purity and inward peace at the heart of a penitent and believing sinner. All that we can do is to watch the phenomena which attend the method of Jesus. We know that his approach to sin is through his own sinlessness. We can see that his purity wins its way where anything short of that would falter and fail. We know something of the power of his passion for sinners,—how irresistible at times it is, working against the love of sin by "the expulsive power of a new affection." And we know that the method of Jesus is always sacrificial, in its deepest sense vicariously sacrificial, life for life, the cross the standard and the measure of the satisfaction which he imparts to a sinner. So much of the process we can see — and then the result.
    There are two ways in which we can measure the impression which Christ has made upon the world as to his power over sin in the human heart. One is that which we have just been considering, in the case of those consciously delivered by him from its bondage, and consciously changed in the disposition and temper of their minds. The other appears as the painful opposite to this experience, in that false sense of security which the marvelous power of Christ has begotten in many minds, against which Christianity is obliged to put forth its constant and most serious warnings. The power of Christ seems so great and is so accessible that many presume upon it. Their presumption is their acknowledgment of it. The false sense of security, which is the counterfeit of the true satisfaction of the soul in the actual relief from sin, is one proof of the genuineness of that satisfaction. If the saving power of Jesus Christ was not so evident, if it was not so constantly evidenced, some men at least would not dare to sin."

- Smyth, Tucker, Churchill, Harris, and Hincks (The Divinity of Jesus Christ, pgs. 215-218)

*Re-post from 8/20/15

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The satisfaction of humanity in Jesus Christ, part 3 of 9

   "Another evidence, not as impressive but specially appreciable by our time, is the fact that the revelation of God in Christ is rectifying all other and minor beliefs, and bringing them into harmony with this which is central and supreme; revising those which went before, and revising with no less freedom those which have followed after. Perhaps no age of the church has been made more conscious of this rectifying power of the Christian revelation of God than our own age, certainly not because we are further in spirit from that revelation, but because, we think it may be fairly said, we are more sensitive to it. It is the Christian conception of God which is taking high precedence in all the religious thought of our time, which is informing its religious consciousness, which is reconstructing our systems of belief, which is compelling a larger and a more Christian interpretation of the doctrine of sacred Scripture. No one can altogether escape the power of this conception, not even those who persistently refuse its application to mooted points of Christian doctrine. It has, at least, brought about this singular result in the case of those who are unwilling to thoroughly Christianize theology, that it has forced them for the most part to take refuge in the vagueness of extra-Christian conjectures or beliefs.
    But the certainty that we know God through Christ has its more directly spiritual uses. It is the chief stimulus to faith. The desire to know God is not purely an intellectual desire. It is more than "the passionate curiosity which we feel before the mystery of the universe." It has in it the longing for companionship, the craving for communion. It belongs to the demand of the spiritual nature for life, for life in continuance and in fullness. So the soul instinctively turns to God, "whom to know is life eternal." It is knowledge in this sense which gives the communicating impulse to the thought of God. Whoever knows Him in the way of fellowship must strive to bring others into that relationship to Him. The intellectual knowledge of God may be held as a personal possession, but the spiritual knowledge of Him, the knowledge which admits the daily intercourse, the freedom of communion, the walk with God, has in it the "woe is me if I preach not the gospel." It is this communicating impulse which runs with such gladness and urgency through the first Epistle of John. The whole epistle is conceived in the spirit of the opening words. "That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we beheld and our hands handled concerning the word of life (and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness, and declare unto you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested unto us), that which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship with us: yea, and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ; and these things we write that your joy may be fulfilled." Such is the satisfaction which Jesus Christ has brought into the world, and made possible to all men, and profoundly real to many, through his revelation of God."

- Smyth, Tucker, Churchill, Harris, and Hincks (The Divinity of Jesus Christ, pgs. 211-214)

*Re-post from 8/19/15

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The satisfaction of humanity in Jesus Christ, part 2 of 9

   "Manifestly such a fact must have a bearing upon our conception of the person of Christ. We must interpret Christ in part through that humanity of which he is so great a present factor, and in which he lives according to the conscious experience of so large a portion of the race. It would be as unscientific as it would be unnatural to ignore the fact in our interpretation of his person. We will try to apprehend with some definiteness the satisfaction of humanity in Jesus Christ, before we attempt to apply the fact to the present discussion of his divinity.
    Jesus Christ has satisfied humanity in its desire to know God. Through him, and through him alone, we know that we know God. The certainty of our knowledge, in things spiritual as in things natural, is always worth more to us than the completeness of that knowledge. There is a sense in which the revelation of God in Jesus Christ is not complete, but we feel that it is sure, which is but saying that it is morally complete. Other disclosures concerning God await our entrance upon the larger realities of our being, when once we take our place more intelligently in the universe, but of what God is to us here and now, and of what He must always be to us morally, we can no longer have a doubt. The revelation of God in Christ matches the whole ethical nature of man.
    One evidence of this assertion, and at times a very impressive evidence, is the fact that the Christian revelation of God has put down that protesting element in human nature which always attends the false conception of God. The God whom we know through Jesus Christ commends himself to bad men as well as to good men. No man is able, under that revelation, to rise up in his sin and wickedness, and say, in any kind of self-justification, or with any consent whatever of his moral nature, I protest against God. God rules in the revelation of Jesus Christ with an absolute supremacy, because He rules there, not by the authority of might, but by the authority of a merciful righteousness."

- Smyth, Tucker, Churchill, Harris, and Hincks (The Divinity of Jesus Christ, pgs. 209-211)

*Re-post from 8/18/15

Monday, July 24, 2017

The satisfaction of humanity in Jesus Christ, part 1 of 9

   "If we put beside the life of Paul the life of any one of his great contemporaries in the pagan world, we note a striking difference in our estimate of them. We naturally think of his contemporaries simply in their own personality; we cannot think of Paul without thinking more of Christ. The life of Seneca, for example, cannot be referred in any considerable degree to another person, only to the general civilization of which he was a part. The life of Paul is distinctly referable to Jesus Christ. No philosopher, or moralist, or religious devotee of Paul's time could have said, after the analogy of his memorable utterance, "That life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in (One) who loved me and gave himself up for me."..... But within Christianity the utterance of Paul became the familiar language of the growing fellowship, and at length one of the commonplaces of human experience. A constantly increasing proportion of the human race acknowledges, gratefully and joyfully, the fact that its life is not altogether its own, but that, like Paul's, it is distinctly referable in its new spiritual capacity to the indwelling life of Christ.
    Jesus Christ has not imposed or enforced his life upon men. This fact is quite as significant as the fact of his possession of humanity. He has possessed no heart which he did not first satisfy. He continues to possess only because he satisfies. Satisfaction is the secret, as it is the measure, of the power of Jesus over the human heart. He renders satisfaction at points in respect to which it is otherwise impossible to obtain it, and that which he renders is absolute and complete."

- Smyth, Tucker, Churchill, Harris, and Hincks (The Divinity of Jesus Christ, pgs. 208-209)

*Re-post from 8/17/15

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Heavenly Ideal of human character Who had the power to create a new humanity

    "Paul makes little reference, as we saw in last lecture, to the historic Christ. But the new type of character that the historic Christ originated and exemplified is never absent from his thoughts, and the Epistles are largely occupied with its delineation, and with precept illustrative of it. These writings are considered to be doctrinal by some; they are really ethical. The mind of the author is absorbed in the Heavenly Ideal of human character that had appeared on earth, and that had in it the power to create a new humanity. And where doctrine is taught it is to show how that new type of character is produced, and what motives the Christian religion can bring to bear on its production. "Paul's writings," to use the words of another, "retain their hold, not because he is thought to be inspired, nor because he was the first and greatest of the apostles, but because he held up the Ideal of renewed character with a vividness, a reality, a sense of never-ending wonder, which are always needed to express the feelings appropriate to the faith struggling up in every age towards that same Ideal to embrace and possess it." It is, indeed, only in the course of the ages, and bit by bit, that the rich fulness of that Ideal is apprehended. Many degrees of religious culture are found amongst men, many varieties of mental gift and moral discernment. These differences reveal themselves in the presence of Christ, each individual, each race of mankind, each age of the world discovering in Him that virtue it is prepared specially to value, the embodiment of that idea of human worth that is peculiar to it. It has been finely said by Dean Church in his well-known sermon on "Christ's Example," 1 "That one and the same Form has borne the eager scrutiny of each anxious and imperfect age: and each age has recognised with boundless sympathy and devotion what it missed in the world, and has found in Him what is wanted. Each age has caught in those august lineaments what most touched and swayed its heart, and as generations go on and unfold themselves, they still find that Character answering to their best thoughts and hopes: they still find in it what their predecessors had not seen or cared for: they bow down to it as their inimitable pattern, and draw comfort from a model who was plain enough and universal enough to be the Master as of rich and poor, so of the first century and the last. It has been the root of all that was great and good in our fathers. We look forward with hope to its making our children greater and better still...."

1: In his The Gifts of Civilisation, pp. 111, 112."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ, pgs. 61-62)

*Re-post from 11/10/15

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Jesus Christ is the Religious and the Moral Ideal for men

    "And if the further question be asked, in what respect does the apostle teach us so to regard Christ, the answer is suggested by the view of the constitution of the Person of our Lord that was sketched in the beginning of this lecture. That indwelling of the Spirit of God that was the moulding principle of His Person secured that He was all that a man ought to be, both in His relation to God and to His fellowmen, both as a Son of God and a Brother to man. And accordingly we find in the letters of the apostle references to His commanding importance both as the Religious and the Moral Ideal for men.
    He is the Religious Ideal. He is the Son of God; in Him we behold, in a perfect form, the true relation of man to God. Paul does not dwell on the Sonship of Christ or on its ideal character, on the trust, the childlike obedience, the humility and sincerity in which it was manifested. His Epistles seem to take for granted the readers' familiarity with the Gospel Picture, and simply refer to the Sonship of Christ as an essential part of the good that comes to believers, a religious ideal realised in Christ that it might be realised in those who connect themselves with Him—"as many as put on Christ," by faith and love, "have become sons of God."1
    He is also the Moral Ideal. The Spirit of God, the principle of the Personality of Christ, is in fact the Spirit of Love. In asserting the supremacy in Him of the Spirit over the flesh, Paul meant that in Him the Spirit of Love was supreme. The life and character of Christ were the incarnation of grace to sinners, of sympathy, of humble, loving service. And therein is He the Ideal for us in our social relations. But neither on this does Paul enlarge. The history of Jesus was known to his readers. It was universally recognised as an imperishable memorial of pure unselfish love. We are surely not wrong in supposing that the apostle was drawing from his own impressions of that wonderful history when he sang the praises of Love in I Cor. xiii., and outlined the character that love inspires. We learn how deeply he was impressed with the all-sufficiency of Christ as the Moral Ideal in one passage in the Epistle to Romans (xiii. 14), where, after enumerating the graces of the Christian life and the dispositions it becomes believers to manifest in their relations to one another, he sums up all and ends the discussion in these words, "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh," intimating that in fellowship with Him they will be united with Love at its source and will be mastered by a principle of action that must issue in all goodness.

1: Gal. iii 22."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ, pgs. 60-61)

*Re-post from 11/9/15

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 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