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 9, 2016

To share Christ's Spirit, part 5 in a 10 part series

  "Therewith comes also a new possibility of knowledge
of God. There is indeed a natural knowledge of God
innate in man, but it is, in experience at least, dim and
lacking in conviction, being mediated by His works.[10]
But to share Christ's Spirit is to be admitted to the secrets of
God. Perhaps one of the most striking features of the early
Christian movement was the re-appearance of a confidence
that man can know God immediately. Judaism had become
traditional: the word of the Lord, the Rabbis held, came
to the prophets of old, but we can only preserve and interpret
the truth they handed down. Jesus Christ, with a con-
fidence that to the timid traditionalism of His time
appeared blasphemous, asserted that He knew the Father
and was prepared to let others into that knowledge. He did
so, not by handing down a new tradition about God, but
by making others sharers in His own attitude to God.
This is what Paul means by "having the mind of Christ."
Having that mind, we do know God. It was this
clear, unquestioning conviction that gave Paul his power
as a missionary: but he expected it also in his converts.
To them too "the word of knowledge" came "by
the same Spirit." He prayed that God would give
them a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the know-
ledge of Him. Such knowledge is, as Paul freely grants,
only partial, but it is real, personal, undeniable know-
ledge.[11] In friendship between men there is a mutual
knowledge which is never complete or free from mystery:
yet you can know with a certainty nothing could shake
that your friend is "not the man to do such a thing," or
that such and such a thing that you have heard is "just like
him." You have a real knowledge which gives you a
criterion. Such is the knowledge the Christian has of his
Father.

[10] Rom. i. 19-21.
[11] I Cor. ii., xii. 8, II Cor. x. 3-6, I Thess. i. 5, Phil.
        i. 9-10, Col. ii. 2-3, Eph. i. 17, I Cor. viii. 1-3, Gal. iv. 9,
        I Cor. xiii. 12."

- C.H. Dodd (The Meaning of Paul for Today, pgs. 131-132)

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