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, October 10, 2015

Christ is here to reign, part 3 of 7

"The force upon which Christ depends for the
bringing in of the kingdom is set forth by Peter,
in his sermon in Solomon's porch, in the words,
''Repent ye therefore, and turn again, that your
sins may be blotted out, that so there may come
seasons of refreshing from the presence of the
Lord; and that he may send the Christ who hath
been appointed for you, even Jesus: whom the
heaven must receive until the times of restoration
of all things" (Acts 3. 19-21). Mark, the times of
refreshing were to come from the presence of the
Lord. The point, then, to be settled is whether
or not the heaven which received him has restored
him. If he has not returned, he is not present;
and if he is not present, the better times which he
was to bring are still in the future. That the early
Christians believed in his speedy revisitation is
beyond question. They believed also that with his
return a happy era was to dawn upon them. From
his Presence would come times of invigoration.
National prosperity would be revived. New life
and strength would be breathed into the nation's
withered heart. The dry bones which the prophet
saw in the valley of vision would start into life,
and would become a conquering host. With times
of refreshing would come times of restoration, for
these are linked together, or, more properly, are
identified as one. Ancient wrongs would be
redressed. The glory of the former days would
be restored, and Zion would become the joy and
praise of the whole earth. Now, the object of
Peter in his sermon was to show that in a far
grander sense than they had ever dreamed of, the
great consummation ''whereof God spake by the
mouth of his holy prophets which have been since
the world began," was about to be realized in Jesus
the Christ. From his presence was to come the
inbreathing of new life into the heart of a repentant
people. As the true Messiah, in whom all hope
centered, he was to be received with spiritual pre-
paredness and acknowledged with glad acclaim.
    But to what dire straits are those commentators
driven who hold that the words of Peter refer to
the return of the Lord at the end of the world.
''The apostle," says Hackett, "enforces his exhor-
tation to repent by an appeal to the final coming
of Christ, not because he would represent it as near
in point of time, but because the event was always
near to the feeling and consciousness of the first
believers." That is to say, the apostle would have
them feel that the Lord was near, he would have
them conscious of his nearness for practical effects,
although he himself knew that they were hugging
to their hearts a delusive hope. A needless slight
upon the apostle's honesty, to say the least of it!"

- James Mann Campbell (The Presence, pgs. 186-188)

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