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)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Christ is here to reign, part 4 of 7

    "In their survey of the future the early Chris-
tians did not take a long perspective. They were
too deeply impressed with the things that were near
to give much thought to the things that were dis-
tant. But while they looked upon the Lord's com-
ing as imminent, not until after Pentecost did they
begin to have a glimmering sense of the nature
of his kingdom, and to look for the quickening
of spiritual life rather than for the reviving of
national prosperity, for a heavenly rule rather than
for a heavenly realm, for the restoration of the
world into harmony with the divine order rather
than for the restoration of national glory. They,
in fine, began then to look at the things of Christ
from the Christian rather than from the Jewish
point of view.
    And we who live in the new age, upon the thresh-
old of which they stood, will utterly fail to under-
stand its significance, if we do not see that Christ
the Quickener and Restorer has come, and is now
at work. Since his return he has entered into new
and closer relations with men. All times of
refreshing are from his presence. From him come
all the influences which are making for individual
and social reconstruction. He is here, bringing a
dead world back to life; restoring to the divine unity
a world disordered by sin. As the Head of the new
creation, he is bringing earth into everlasting 
reunion with heaven. 
    To the question, What does the Presence fore- 
token? there can, therefore, be only one answer. It 
foretokens the fulfillment of Christ's purpose, to 
wit, the establishment on earth of his universal rule. 
He is to be King of the only real world-empire. 
Upon his head are to be many crowns. The uni- 
versal dominion which is his by right he is to 
possess. He will reach his kingdom by the recog- 
nition of his kinghood. To see him coming as a 
King is to see him coming in his kingdom.
    The presence of Christ is the pledge of the ulti-
mate triumph of his kingdom. If he is here in
the power of the Spirit we have every reason to
expect great things from him. We cannot paint
the future too brightly if it is in his hands. To
those who believe in the potency of the Presence
pessimism is impossible. The reason why the
inspiration of hope has died out of the church is
because the sense of Christ's presence has become
dim. The days of buoyant, youthful hopefulness
have always been days when the church has been
deeply imbued with the consciousness of the pres-
ence of her Lord."

- James Mann Campbell (The Presence, pgs. 188-189)

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