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, March 13, 2016

Freedom, part 9 in a 10 part series

  "The result of all this is that the Christian is a free
man. It is here to be observed that the term "free-
dom" is ambiguous in common usage. It is some-
times used to imply that a man can do just as he likes,
undetermined by any external force. To this the de-
terminist replies that as a matter of fact this freedom
is so limited by the laws which condition man's empirical
existence as to be illusory. The rejoinder from the advocates
of free will is that no external force can determine a man's
moral conduct (and with mere automatism we are not con-
cerned), unless it is presented in consciousness, and that in
being so presented it becomes a desire, or a temptation, or a
motive. In suffering himself to be determined by these the
man is not submitting to external control, but to something
which he has already made a part of himself for good or ill.
When, however, we have said that, we are faced with a
further problem. Not all that is desired is desirable, and
in being moved by my immediate desire I may be balking
myself of that ultimate satisfaction which is the real object
of all effort. If that is so, then to "do as I like" may well
be no freedom at all. There is a law of our being which
forbids satisfaction to be found along that line, as it is written,
"He gave them their desire, and sent leanness into their
souls." He, then, whose action is governed by mere desire
is not free to attain the satisfaction which alone gives
meaning to that desire. There is no breaking through
this law of our being. Every attempt to do so proves
itself in experience to be futile. Hence we are in a more
hopeless state of bondage than that which materialistic
determinism holds; for the tyrant is established within
our own consciousness. One way, and one way only,
out of this bondage remains. If we can discover how to
make our own immediate desire, and the act of will springing
out of it, accord with the supreme law of our being, then
to "do as we like" will no longer be to run our heads
against the stone wall of necessity which shuts us out from
the heaven of satisfaction. For we shall only "like" doing
what we "ought." This introduces a new sense of the
word "freedom." It does not now mean freedom from
restraint to follow our desires, but freedom from the tyranny
of futile desires to follow what is really good."

- C.H. Dodd (The Meaning of Paul for Today, pgs. 135-137)

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