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)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Christian approach to all practical problems of ethics, part 6 in a 10 part series

  "This knowledge of God gives a new ground for the
ethical life. We have seen that for Paul the "conscience,"
or consciousness of oneself as a moral being, is the court of
moral judgment. Now when a man has received the Spirit
of Christ, that Spirit enters and inhabits the central place of
his self-consciousness: [12] he is conscious of himself, not as a
man merely, but as a son of God, standing in a special
relation to Jesus Christ. When a moral question arises, it
takes the form, not "Is this unworthy of myself ? Does it
hurt my self-respect?" but "Does this hurt my relation to
Jesus Christ? Is it unworthy of Him?" Not that Jesus
is referred to as an outside standard: it is "Christ living in
me" who is the judge. In this way the Christian approaches
all practical problems of ethics: he brings the mind of
Christ to bear on it. This, of course, he cannot do unless
the mind of Christ is his mind too. That is to say, the
Christian solution of any difficulty cannot be reached by
one who disinterestedly and externally examines and com-
pares the evidence, without being committed to the result
of his examination. It is revealed to him who lets Christ's
mind dominate him day by day, and then sees things as they
appear to that mind. He has thus his ethical standard within
himself. Here is the real secret of moral emancipation.
In the Gospels we see Jesus taking up a wonderfully detached
attitude to traditional morality, picking and choosing,
rejecting and sanctioning, in a way which must have appeared
bewildering to his contemporaries — in a way, indeed, which
few of His followers really understood. Paul grasped the
secret of it. Jesus dealt in this sovereign way with the moral
law because the Spirit of God who gave the law was His
Spirit: because the inward impulse that shaped His own
life was the very central impulse of all true morality. He was
God's Son, and lived in His Father's house; and the law of
the family of God was His very nature. In all this the
Christian is a "partner of the Son of God." "He who has
the Spirit judges all things, and is judged by no one." The
principle of moral autonomy could not be more strenuously
asserted.[13] And Paul's willingness to trust the autonomy of
others is often really touching,[14] though we need not seek
to excuse his occasional attempts at a dictation which was
really not consistent with his principles.

[12] Rom. ix. I, I Cor. viii. 12.
[13] I Cor. ii. 15, iv. 3-5.
[14] See especially Phil. iii. 15-16, which a false reading repre-
sented by the A.V. has changed into a plea for uniformity!"

- C.H. Dodd (The Meaning of Paul for Today, pgs. 132-134)

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