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 8, 2016

The Spirit we have received, part 4 in a 10 part series

  "We can trace how in Paul's writings this thought of "the
Lord the Spirit" dominated the whole range of Christian
experience. The initiation into the Christian life — the
baptism by which we die and rise again with Christ — is
"baptism in the Spirit," the steeping of the whole being
in the Spirit of Christ.[8] This is the true baptism, of which
the immersion in water is only the effectual sign. It means 
the implanting within our human nature of a divine element, 
present indeed in germ and in potentiality before, but woe- 
fully obscured and frustrated by our participation in the 
wrongness which infects all human society as it is. This 
divine element, freed now and brought to conscious life, 
salutes the Lord and Giver of Life with the acclamation 
"Abba, Father!" For the Spirit we have received is the 
Spirit of the Son of God, and we possessing it are God's 
sons too, and "that of God in us" leaps out towards the 
God who is the source of it. The Spirit of Jesus within 
us moves us to prayer: indeed, prayer is just that moving of 
God's Son in us towards the Father. Though we are 
burdened with the greatness of our need, so that our prayers 
are not even articulate, yet in such "inarticulate sighs" 
the Spirit "intercedes for us." This gives us the true 
character of all Christian worship. It is an expression of our 
"partnership with God's Son." [9] Whatever outward forms 
it may use — or shun — Christian worship is the reciprocal 
fellowship of God and His sons. He gives the Spirit, which 
then returns to Him in prayer and adoration. The norm 
and prototype is Christ the Son of God. The lonely 
prayers on Galilaean hills by night, the "exultation in the 
Spirit" when He cried "I thank Thee, Father, Lord of 
heaven and earth," the agonizing supplications of Geth- 
semane — "Abba, Father, Thy will be done!" — these 
are re-enacted in His brethren in whom the Spirit prays.

[8]  I Cor. xii. 13, cf. Gal. iii. 27, Rom. vi. 3.
[9] Gal. iv. 6-7, Rom. viii. 14-17, I Cor. i. 9 ; Rom. viii. 26- 
      27, Eph. vi. 18."

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