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 5, 2016

There are two sides to Christian experience, part 1 of a 10 part series

"We have seen that Paul believed in a "life-giving Spirit"
who all through the ages was the fountain of life to men,
and was manifested at last in an individual human person,
Jesus Christ. In accordance with this belief he held the
Spirit, which the early Church believed it possessed, to be
no other than Christ Himself, now liberated from the
necessary limitations of His human life, and entering by
direct fellowship into the Christian. This did not mean,
as has been said, "a certain de-personalizing" of Christ.
On the contrary, it meant the elevation of the idea of Spirit
from the category of substance to that of personality. To
have the Spirit does not mean, as it used to mean, that some
mysterious stream of divine essence is passing into the human
organism. It means being in the most intimate conceivable
touch with a Person. There are two sides to Christian
experience as Paul knows it. On the one side it is a life
of trust and love towards "the Son of God, who loved me
and gave Himself for me"; on the other side it is a life
renewed from within by an immanent Spirit. Yet the
Lord we trust is none other than the indwelling Spirit that
is the inspirer of our thoughts, our prayers, and our moral
acts.4 Christ without, our Saviour, Friend, and Guide;
Christ within, the power by which we live.

4--II Cor. iii. 17. Instead of multiplying references to show
the identity of Christ's work with that of the Spirit, I would suggest
to the interested reader that he should take a Concordance and
discover for himself how often a statement made about Christ
in one place can be confronted with a closely similar statement
made in another place about the Spirit. He should have no
difficulty in filling a quarto sheet with such doublets."

- C.H. Dodd (The Meaning of Paul for Today, p. 127)

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