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 16, 2016

The relation between Christ and the Spirit, part 2 of 3

  "But it was St Paul who brought the Spiritual Christ
and the Spirit of God into the very closest relation, yet
a relation not so much of identity as of equivalence.
Direct indications of this are few, and their interpre-
tation is not certain. In Romans i. 3, 4 (Greek phrase)
is balanced with (Greek phrase) in such a way
as to suggest a personal holiness in Jesus which was
complementary to his physical constitution [1]. On the
other hand, good authorities interpret the phrase to
mean that Jesus was identified with the Holy Spirit in
the same way as he was with the human stock of David,
and so was raised to be the Son of God 'with power.'
A more direct statement is found in I Corinthians
xv. 45, though the authorities are here again divided;
'the first Adam became an animate being, the last Adam
a life-giving spirit.' The second clause is commonly
taken to refer to Christ prior to His incarnation, and to
do no more than emphasise the distinction between Him
and a 'psychic' or animate being. But apart from other
reasons to be given later this is to ignore the force of
(Greek phrase), 'life-giving,' and the special association of
the Holy Spirit with the function of creating life. The
probability is that St Paul means here that Christ after
the resurrection became One who exercised the same
function and so came into the closest relation with the
Holy Spirit.
  The third passage (2 Cor. iii. 17) is not lacking in
clearness, and appears to state the relation in terms
which do not stop short of identification. 'The Lord
is the Spirit.' Moreover, this statement is followed in
the next verse by a phrase which seems to repeat the
thought: 'as from the Lord the Spirit.' There are,
however, other renderings of this phrase which are
grammatically possible and remove the support which
it would otherwise give to the clear statement in the
first. And even the first phrase is not so free from
ambiguity as it seems. We have already observed that
the verb (Greek word) may convey not identity but repre-
sentation. And a careful study of the contents makes
it probable that the phrase means, 'now "the Lord"
signifies the spirit.' In turning to the Lord men turn
from the letter to the spirit *.

 1 So Feine, NTT, p. 260, 'nach seinem Heiligkeitsgeist.'
 * E. F. Scott, ut cit. p. 181."

- C.A.A. Scott (Christianity According to St. Paul, pgs. 258-260)

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