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 4, 2015

Christ is here to strengthen and transform, part 2 of 3

"In personal attachment to the unseen Christ the
Christian life has its roots. It is created and sus-
tained by the contagion of his personal influence.
To enjoy the friendship of Christ is to have a new
force brought into life. The secret of many a
noble life has been expressed in the words, "I have
found a friend." Students get more from personal
contact with an inspiring teacher than from books.
In the formation of character there is no stronger
factor than personal association. The formation
of a new friendship may be the beginning of a new
life; the finding of the heavenly Friend always
means the beginning of a heavenly life.
Companionship with the unseen Christ will slay
all base desire and put a restraint upon wrongdoing.
It will create that holy fear of offending which
Cotton Mather describes in his "Magnalia" as "a
trembling walk with God." It will lead men to
put over the door of their hearts the words which
Linnaeus, the celebrated naturalist, put over the 
door of his library, "Live innocently, God is pres- 
ent." Those who live in Christ's sight will live 
carefully. They will check the unkind word before 
it leaps from their lips; they will repress the cruel 
criticism before it drops from the pen; they will, 
like Moses, endure things otherwise unendurable 
"as seeing him who is invisible." By keeping him 
in their thoughts they will keep evil out of their 
hearts. In his presence unholy ambitions will be 
withered up. A single look into his face will break 
the spell of temptation and shame them out of sin. 
Thus it was with a young man addicted to gam- 
bling, who told his Sunday school teacher that he 
had not been able to break away from that evil 
habit, and added, "Were you always with me, I 
might manage to keep from it." When told of 
One who is with us always, as the power that makes 
for righteousness, upon whose help he could count 
at every crisis in his life, yielding to his spell, and 
relying upon his power, he entered upon a life of 
victory. 
Companionship with the Presence also constrains 
to rightdoing. It is impossible for those who live 
in the Presence to live at "a poor, dying rate." 
They will experience a great moral uplift. The 
Presence is dynamical. It is both an impulse and 
a power; it urges and enables. It makes the weak 
strong and the strong stronger. At the time of 
his first trial before Caesar, when he was forsaken 
by his friends, Paul said, "But the Lord stood by 
me, and gave me power" (2 Tim. 4. 17). What 
a glorious "but" ! When other helpers failed, the 
Lord he loved and served pressed up close to his 
side, giving him a sense of immeasurable help, and 
enabling him not only to pass triumphantly through 
that ordeal, but to prevail over every difficulty, and 
to go on fulfilling his mission of proclaiming to the 
world the message of salvation which had been 
committed to his trust."

- James Mann Campbell (The Presence, pgs. 176-178)

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