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)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

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

   "We have already encountered the principle that on St. Paul's view the Lordship of Christ first came to full reality at His exaltation to the right hand of God. There is a sense in which His glory is superior even to His pre-existent life. He is now possessed of the Name above every name. It is represented as somehow a reward of His voluntary sacrifice: "He humbled Himself . . . wherefore God also highly exalted Him" (Ph. 2. 9). The classic passage for this side of the Pauline teaching is Ro. 1. 4, which declares that He was constituted or declared Son of God with power, in virtue of the Spirit of holiness, by rising from the dead. The Divine energy which effected the resurrection set Christ free from the confining limits of life in the flesh, and gave untrammelled and complete expression to His proper Sonship. With this we may compare Ro. 14. 9, a verse which points to the authority of Christ as now covering all men, in this life and the next. Similarly, it is always the risen Lord who bestows the Spirit. In these statements it appears to be implied, first, that Christ has ascended to be Lord of all things, taking this place subsequently to and as a result of the resurrection; and in the second place, that originally His personal nature was such as to qualify Him for this transcendent place. Presently He will come to judge the world in God's name. But in strictness no sharp line of distinction is drawn between God and Christ as regards this judicial act or function. The two names occur jointly, or as alternatives.1 God, or Christ, or God through Christ, will judge men and work the last great change on believers. But we must not play off the future against the present, as if even for St. Paul the believer "never is, but always to be, blest." He shares to the full the ardent primitive hope of Jesus' return, as inaugurating the final consummation; none the less on his view salvation is already real through the present activity of the Lord who became incarnate, died, and rose again. The crucifixion had been the ruin of the hostile cosmic powers; having disarmed and exposed them, Christ triumphed over them in the cross (Col. 2. 15). The Kingdom of God, which is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Ro. 14. 17), is actual even now. Christ died once, but the redemptorial virtue of His death is in Him for ever.
   The relation of the exalted Christ to men as Life-giver leads the apostle, in one place, to designate Him by the title of "the last Adam" (1 Co. 15. 45). Adam was head, representative, and type of the race derived from him; through transgression this race became carnal and subject to death: so in like manner, Christ as risen is Head of a new redeemed race made one with God by His death and raised above the power of the flesh by contact with the Spirit. Adam was earthly, Jesus heavenly; Adam a transgressor, Jesus obedient; Adam only a living soul, Jesus a quickening spirit, "a Being above nature, who had life and was capable of giving it."2 The new spiritual principle that came with Him is made incorporate with all who trust Him, thus vivifying their whole being in its relation to God, self, and all things else. The Spirit of holiness being the inmost reality of Christ, He becomes the organic head of a new spiritual creation; and as grace and life are more potent than sin and death, His reign will far exceed in scope and triumph the doom entailed by ancient transgression.1"

- H.R. Mackintosh (The doctrine of the person of Jesus Christ, pgs. 60-62)

*See link for footnotes.

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