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)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The relation between Christ and the Spirit, part 1 of 3

  "There were two other aspects in which St Paul
deepened the conception of the Messiah-Jesus to the
extent of transforming it. He who by the resurrection
had been publicly installed and proclaimed as the
Messianic Son with power, had at and through the same
resurrection become on the one hand 'a life-giving
spirit' (or 'the life-giving spirit') and on the other hand
the new Adam, spiritual progenitor and Head of a
new race.
  The Synoptic Gospels represent Jesus as specially
qualified for His Messianic work by His possession of
the Holy Spirit. At His baptism the spirit came upon
Him in all the fullness of its power. And the influence
of the same spirit by which He was led up into the
wilderness of Temptation is understood to have been
part of His constant experience. It was indeed part of
His Messianic prerogative to be endowed with the
spirit of wisdom and revelation by which the prophets
had been guided. Down to the time of Pentecost the
Spirit was conceived of as a divine power manifesting
itself in selected men and coming to the fullness of its
expression in the life and teaching of Jesus. At the same
time allusions to the Spirit by Jesus Himself are sur-
prisingly few. It has been suggested that 'the subject
was not entirely congenial to his own mind. His sense
of God was immediate and personal. He may have felt
that an idea like that of the Spirit removed God to a
distance, or put an abstract power in place of Him.
His silence on the Spirit would result unconsciously
from the effort to think of God directly as the Father
who was ever near to his children' 1 If this be so, it
indicates an important distinction between Jesus and
the Evangelists; to them it was natural to trace what
seemed strange and supernatural in Him to the
operation of the Spirit.
  In the Acts there is only one passage bearing on the
subject (xvi. 7), where a similar hindering to that traced
to the Holy Spirit in v. 6 is ascribed to 'the spirit of
Jesus.'

1 E. F. Scott, The Spirit in the New Testament, p. 79."

- C.A.A. Scott (Christianity According to St. Paul, pgs. 257-258)

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