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 1, 2016

"What is the real meaning and character of revelation as given by God in Jesus Christ?", part 2 of 5

"This new movement in the sum total of things —in God and in the world—was a definite new planting-out (that word is one which Martineau uses in another context, and is just the word which for our present purposes we require) of God's creative power in the midst of the world-order, so that man, instead of merely improving and accentuating those processes of spiritual development and culture which he had carried on till now, might attach himself to and sink himself into that creative power, and thus be morally and spiritually created afresh. For Jesus Christ came to bring and to be life to men— not merely to talk about it or to explain it or to indicate how and where it might be found, but to be it; and God's revelation in Jesus Christ is God moving, not something which He has created, but His actual creativeness itself, down to the earthly plane, and offering it there for the uses of mankind. God reveals Himself in Jesus Christ because in Jesus Christ the whole of God (not of course quantitatively, for you cannot talk quantitatively about the Infinite, but qualitatively)—the whole of God, including that creativeness which, since it is inherent in and diffuses itself from every one of God's qualities and attributes, is really another name for God Himself, makes its entry upon the world-stage. At the first beginning of things in the remote past, when God created the heavens and the earth, when He said "Let there be light" and there was light, when He set going that long evolution of things which came to its crown of glory in man, God had flung forth something out of His creativeness; and He had thereafter, with worlds on worlds hanging on His hand, sustained by the breath of His power and by the ceaseless pressing out of the forces of His will the universe He had made. But God had never, from the earliest day to which the first chapter of Genesis looks back up to the day when there was born in Bethlehem of Judaea One who was to be the life and the light of men— God had never put His own creative power forth out of Himself and planted it among the facts and forces of the temporal order, the facts and forces which made direct appeal to and were immediately usable by the family of mankind. This is what He did in Jesus Christ; so that as the Father had life in Himself it was given to the Son to have life in Himself—to have life in Himself, note the force of the saying—to have life in Himself, a thing which could have been said of no one else in all the centuries gone by. The new fact in the sum total of facts and realities, the new fact constituting the new revelation, was this—a movement, not of something out of God's creativeness, but a movement of God's creativeness from its eternal hiding-place in the infinite divine Personality to its temporal (but not temporary), to its temporal and thereafter permanent dwelling in that Jesus whom it is eternal life to know. It was the coming of God's creative power to join, and necessarily in great part to supersede, the moral and spiritual forces already at man's command. God's revelation in Jesus Christ was God putting Himself as Creator—potential Creator, if it be so preferred, since this is a matter of re-creation rather than of creation, and until man surrenders himself the re-creative work cannot be done—God putting Himself as potential Creator in Jesus Christ alongside of man: it was a veritable approach of one of the component elements in a projected vital relationship to meet and seek out the other: it was the planting of the eternal and inexhaustible spring of life right down upon the path where human feet were travelling, so that men, instead of digging deeper such springs of life as they already possessed and improving the existing channels whereby the scanty streams were reaching them, had but to stoop and drink, with no fear that they need ever thirst again: it was the whole of God offering Himself from a new source and from a new direction for the acceptance of every one who was willing to receive and submit and be re-made. Having sent forth from Himself, and supported through all its successive steps, that long and curving process of things which ended in man, God now in Jesus Christ--it is not enough to say sends forth from Himself something He had not sent before—God now in Jesus Christ takes one step which at once brings Him over, as if by some other and swifter and straighter path, from the point at which the process started to the point which the process has attained, presents Himself there in that creativeness which is in truth the whole of God, and arrests man thus: "All this that has been— the growing world and all the run of its history— did indeed come forth from Me; but now I Myself am here in this My Son, so that henceforth, if you will have it so, and will maintain your side of the relationship between us as I offer and maintain Mine, it shall be no more you that live, but I that live in you." God's revelation in Christ is God moving, not something which He has created, but His actual creativeness itself, down to the earthly plane, and offering it there for the uses of mankind."

- Henry William Clark (Liberal Orthodoxy, Epilogue, pgs. 296-299)

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