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 2, 2016

"What is the real meaning and character of revelation as given by God in Jesus Christ?", part 3 of 5

"In doing this, God of course provides a new revelation in that narrower and smaller sense in which the term is commonly employed, but He does much more. Of course fresh knowledge of God comes to man when God thus sets Himself by a fresh movement among the actualities of the world-order, enters at a fresh door. God cannot so stand there, with His own creative life palpitating at a newly-established centre, without telling to those who care to learn many secrets about Himself which they could not know before. But while fresh knowledge comes, its coming is almost an incidental thing, and certainly does not exhaust the significance of the tremendous and transcendent event. We set the emphasis wrongly if it is upon the new knowledge about God we concentrate our thought. This planting-out of God's creative power in the world is the advent of a new fact added to the world's total sum of facts, and moreover, the advent of a new fact which is in itself a new dynamic—not in any metaphorical or semi-metaphorical sense like to that in which the sudden out-starting of a great idea or a great hope or a great purpose may be a dynamic, but in a sense entirely literal and exact. I drew just now a sort of negative parallel—indicated, perhaps it is better to say, how no parallel holds good—between God's revelation through Jesus Christ and the revelation given through any human specialist in any department of human thought. It may be worth while to indicate at this point what, if it ever happened, would afford some sort of analogy, though a faint one, to the greater thing. Imagine, then, what it would be, what it would mean, if electricity were to-day, not discovered, but actually created, for the first time—if we could say that yesterday it was not, but that to-day it is. Of course the suggestion is grotesque, but let it stand. Would it not be a real addition to the sum total of the actualities of our world, a new fact, and moreover, the addition of a veritable dynamic in the strictest sense of the word? It would mean the entrance among, the superimposing upon, those physical forces which had hitherto energised the physical development of the world, of a new force which would work according to its own nature and along its own lines: it would signalise the presence, not so much of a new product as of a new producer; and it would be a breaking into the hitherto closed circle of powers of a fresh power from out of an eternal and boundless deep of powers lying outside and beyond. And all the formulae as to the method of the world's working and development would require restating now, because that method would itself have changed. In some feeble way the poor imagination may serve as an analogy to the advent of the new life-dynamic in Jesus Christ. God's revelation in Jesus Christ was God in His creativeness putting Himself afresh among the moral and spiritual forces at the disposal of man; and this life-force it was which was meant thenceforward to take the moral and spiritual progress of man into its charge, all the other moral and spiritual forces adjusting themselves to the sway of this, grouping themselves round it and having still their own work to do, but occupying now a quite secondary place. It is not by teaching and illuminating and revealing in the ordinary sense (though by its very presence it necessarily does all these things), but by working, and working creatively, that the creativeness of God, set in Jesus Christ in among the actualities of the temporal world, must fulfil itself. To take added knowledge as the chief matter is in this case to mistake a subordinate member of the retinue for the King. It is as veritable, literal dynamic, life-dynamic, life-force whereby and wherefrom man is meant henceforward to live, that God's revelation in Jesus Christ must— because that revelation is God Himself coming in His creative power—be viewed."

- Henry William Clark (Liberal Orthodoxy, Epilogue, pgs. 299-301)

No comments:

Post a Comment