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, April 20, 2016

H.R. Mackintosh on the Christology of St. Paul, part 2 of 6

   "In tracing now his conception of Christ we shall endeavour to follow as far as possible the movement of his own mind, beginning with the thought of the exalted Lord, and passing back thereafter to the historical, and what may be called the eternal, antecedents of Christ's present glory.
   It was due to his amazing experience of conversion that St. Paul's faith came to be fixed steadily, and from the very outset, on the risen and glorified Redeemer. He habitually conceives of Christ as clothed in the (see link for Greek word) or Divine radiance in which he first beheld Him at Damascus. That moment was for him a piercing glimpse of a new world; his sight of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ he can compare with nothing but that first creative hour when God said: "Let there be light!" (2 Co. 4. 6). Here is the basis of his faith. From day to day he is preoccupied with the risen Lord, the Son whom it had pleased God to reveal in him (Gal. 1. 16). The attitude is one, of course, really common to all New Testament writers, but St. Paul's unique experience lent to it a peculiar intensity and passion. All redeeming influences are streaming out from Christ's risen power to fill the life of the believer. He is not to be separated, whether in thought or prayer, from God Himself. It is with this one purpose that He has been exalted, that in the Spirit He should bring home to men the universal reconciliation with God once for all accomplished on the cross. He is Head of the Church, which is His body; yet not of the Church alone, for His omnipotence, like His knowledge and His love, is complete and all-embracing. God has set Him far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come (Eph. l. 21). The hour of doom struck for the power of darkness when He rose from the grave. Even yet He has not attained the full victory, which will culminate only in His final advent, when the last enemy shall be vanquished and God will fulfil His purpose to sum up all things in Christ, both things in heaven and things in earth. Nevertheless, this glorious, royal Lord is not far away from His people, too high for human need or for that sympathy and care on which they are dependent while yet in the body. On the contrary, He is within and beside them always, to guide, comfort, warn, inspire, so that the apostle could literally speak of himself as being in Christ, of his life as being his own no longer, but the life of Christ living in him (Gal. 2. 20), and could pray for his converts that Christ might dwell in their hearts by faith. Thus in Ro. 8. 31ff. the strain of confidence and praise sweeps up from point to point with gathering intensity; from the death of Christ to what is greater still, His rising from the dead, from His rising to His session at the right hand of God, and finally, as to a height at which imagination fails, to His work of intercession. This is the Christ before whose face St. Paul lives from day to day, and to whose advent he strains forward with keen desire."

- H.R. Mackintosh (The doctrine of the person of Jesus Christ, pgs. 54-55)

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