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, March 12, 2016

The indwelling of Christ's Spirit means not only moral discernment, but moral power, part 8 in a 10 part series

  "The indwelling of Christ's Spirit means not only moral
discernment, but moral power. Paul's count against the
Law is that it was impotent through the flesh. Against
this impotence Paul sets the ethical competence of the
Spirit. "I can do anything in Him who makes me strong," 
he exclaims. For his friends in Asia he prays "that 
God may grant you, according to the wealth of His splen- 
dour, to be made strong with power through His Spirit in 
the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through 
your trust in Him." [16] This is the antithesis of the dismal 
picture presented in the seventh chapter of the Epistle to 
the Romans, and it comes, just as evidently as that, out of 
experience. Indeed, we may say that the thing above all 
which distinguished the early Christian community from 
its environment was the moral competence of its members. 
In order to maintain this we need not idealize unduly the 
early Christians. There were sins and scandals at Corinth 
and Ephesus, but it is impossible to miss the note of genuine 
power of renewal and recuperation — the power of the 
simple person progressively to approximate to his moral ideals 
in spite of failures. The very fact that the term "Spirit" 
is used points to a sense of something essentially "super- 
natural" in such ethical attainment. For the primitive 
Christians the Spirit was manifested in what they regarded 
as miraculous. Paul does not whittle away the miraculous 
sense when he transfers it to the moral sphere. He con- 
centrates attention on the moral miracle as something 
more wonderful far than any "speaking with tongues." So 
fully convinced is he of the new and miraculous nature 
of this moral power that he can regard the Christian as a 
"new creation." This is not the old person at all: it is a 
"new man," "created in Christ Jesus for good deeds." [17]

[16]  Phil, iv.13, Eph. iii. 14-19, I Cor. i. 18, 24, iv. 20, Rom. i. 
        16, II Cor. xii. 9-10, xiii. 3-4. 
[17] II Cor. V. 17 (cf. I Cor. iv. 15), Eph. ii. 10, iv. 24, Col. iii. 
        9-1 1, Rom. xii. 2."


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