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)

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Spirit and the flesh, part 5 of 5

    "Blessed God and Father! we thank Thee for the wondrous provision Thou hast made for Thy children's drawing nigh to Thee, glorying in Christ Jesus, and worshipping by the Spirit. Grant, we pray Thee, that such may be our life and all our religious service.
    We feel the need of asking Thee to show us how the one great hindrance to such a life is the power of the flesh and the efforts of the self-life. Open our eyes, we pray Thee, to this snare of Satan. May we all see how secret and how subtle is the temptation to have confidence in the flesh, and how easily we are led to perfect in the flesh what has been begun in the Spirit. May we learn to trust Thee to work in us by Thy Holy Spirit, both to will and to do.
    Teach us, too, we pray Thee, to know how the flesh can be conquered and its power broken. In the death of Thy beloved Son our old man has been crucified: may we count all things but loss to be made conformable to that death, and have the old nature kept in the place of death. We do yield ourselves to the lead and rule of Thy Holy Spirit. We do believe that through the Spirit Christ is our life, so that instead of the life of effort and work, an entirely new life works within us. Our Father! in faith we give up all to Thy Spirit to be our life in us. Amen.

1. Christ is the Wisdom and the Power of God. The root of all trust in our own strength is trust in our own wisdom, the idea that we know how to serve God, because we have His word. This wisdom of man, in his accepting God's word, is the greatest danger of the Church, because it is the secret and most subtle form in which we are led to perfect in the flesh what was begun in the Spirit.

2. Our only safety here is the Holy Spirit. A great willingness to be taught by Him, a holy fear of in the least thing walking after the flesh, a loving surrender in everything to the obedience to which Christ promises the Spirit, and with all this, the living faith that the Spirit will in Divine power possess our life and live it for us,—this is the path of safety.

3. let us try and realize fully that there are these two animating principles of man's life. In most Christians there is a mixed life, yielding now to the one, and then to the other. God's will is that we walk 'not'—never, not for a moment—,'after the flesh, but after the Spirit.' Let as accept God's will. The Holy Spirit has been given to bring your life into conformity with it. May God show us how entirely the Holy Spirit can dispossess the life of the flesh, and Himself become an entirely new life in us, revealing Christ as our life. Then we can say, 'It is no longer I that live, but Christ that liveth in me.'

4. The Church must learn from this Epistle that justification by faith is only the means to an end, the entrance to a life of walking by the Spirit of God. We must return to the preaching of John the Baptist,—Christ who bears the sin of the world, Christ who baptizes with the Holy Ghost.

5. 'Why is it that people lay stress, almost exclusively, with a view to faith in Jesus, on this, that He bears the sin of the world, and neglect so much the other point, that He is able to baptize with the Holy Ghost? The prophets and apostles, on the contrary, lay stress on this gift of the Spirit as the source of a new life, a new disposition and walk, in which both the impression and the expression of God's law is to be seen. Prophets and apostles treat the matter in its ethical aspect, whereas the traditional treatment represents the gift of the Spirit chiefly as a seal of forgiveness and adoption, and holds that from the joy of gratitude for this,—that is, from a mere psychological factor,—the new life and strength for good are to spring. This view we find in our best authors. The Scriptures, on the contrary, lay stress on the new creating and satisfying power of the Holy Ghost as the principle of all Christian disposition and personal activity (Rom viii. 2). Christ's sin-bearing only prepares the way for the coming of the Spirit (John vii. 39; Gal. iii. 13, 14); it is the foundation, but not the whole,'-- Beck, Pastorallehrm. (Tr. Pastoral Theology. Clark.)"

- Andrew Murray (The Spirit of Christ, pgs. 261-263)

No comments:

Post a Comment