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 31, 2015

Growth in the knowledge of the Spirit, part 3 of 4

   " 'As the believer progresses, and his path becomes more complicated, he is taught more about the Spirit, for he needs this doctrine increasingly for his comfort and growth. His faith is not so strong and unwavering as he imagined; the ardour of his love soon vanishes; the power of sin, which at first he fancied was utterly broken, makes itself felt again; prayer becomes languid, and joy seems to have taken flight. In other words, God leads him into the valley, and lest he should make a Christ of his faith, and a well-spring of a cistern, he is taught something of himself. Who does not know of this second stage in the Christian life, at first so painful, so humiliating, and filling the soul with perplexity? It is thus that we learn that the Spirit who has renewed our hearts must also sustain the new life; that we depend entirely on Divine grace and power, not merely to bring us to Christ, but to keep us in Him.
    'Thus, as in all God's dealings, there is progress in ever-increasing, widening, and deepening cycles. The believer experiences again in a more enlarged and profound manner what he was taught at his first conversion. He sees now more clearly the guilt and helplessness of man, our utter dependence on a Father to love us, on a Saviour to save us by the shedding of His blood, and on a Divine Spirit to quicken and enlighten the soul, and fill it with the love of God. He feels now with deeper humility and truer joy that salvation is of God, that Divine grace lays the foundation and performs the good work in us until the day of Christ. Then he beholds the gift and the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. Thus was it that the first disciples, after a season of childlike peace and joy in the presence and companionship of Jesus, lost the Saviour; and with Him the garden of the soul, trees and flowers and songs of birds, vanished, and all was winter, cold, silent, and dead. And then He returned unto them never to leave them; and, on the day of Pentecost, He, in the person of the Comforter, descended and made all things new; and it was summer, full of fragrance and brightness. They had to lose Jesus for a while, to long for the Spirit, and to rejoice in His coming.
    'The gift of the Holy Ghost is the most precious gift of that love which the Father has towards us for the sake of His dear Son, and because we love Him, and believe that He came from God. It is the gift in which the purposes of God towards us are fulfilled and consummated.
    'The Messiah and the Spirit always go together; and the gift of the Spirit is the great purpose of the Messiah's coming and the first-fruits of His work' (pp. 116-123)."

- Dr. Adolph Saphir (Christ Crucified: Lectures on 1 Corinthians ii)

From Andrew Murray's The Spirit of Christ, Note D, pgs. 341-342.

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