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)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

St. Paul the Christian, part 3 of 6

    "This assurance of the nearness of Christ is much more frequent with St. Paul than the upward look to the distant Christ 'highly exalted' to heaven.
                                                          'Christ in me'

—that is indeed a confession poured forth from the very depths of the soul, the confession of an assurance, a certitude, which brings light to the lowest recesses of the ego and takes commanding possession. Corresponding with this is the other assurance: 'In Christ.' Christ is Spirit; therefore He can live in Paul and Paul in Him. Just as the air of life which we breathe is 'in' us and fills us, and yet we at the same time live and breathe 'in' this air, so it is with St. Paul's fellowship of Christ: Christ in him, he in Christ. This thoroughly Pauline watchword, 'in Christ,' is meant vividly and mystically, and so is the analogous 'Christ in me.' The formula 'in Christ' (or 'in the Lord,' etc.) occurs 164 times in St. Paul: it is really the characteristic expression of his Christianity. Greatly misunderstood by the commentators, rationalised, often applied to the 'historic' Jesus and so weakened in effect, often ignored, this formula— so closely connected in meaning with the other: 'in the Spirit'—must be conceived as the peculiarly Pauline expression of the most intimate fellowship imaginable of the Christian with the living, spiritual Christ.1
    Related, if not identical, is the formula ' through Christ,' which has also been often misunderstood, but which in by far the greatest number of cases is also to be referred to the spiritual Christ.2"

- Adolf Deissmann (St. Paul: a study in social and religious history, pgs. 127-128)

*See link for footnotes.

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