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)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

St. Paul the Christian, part 6 of 6

    "St. Paul of course could not have exerted this great influence if the fires of mysticism had consumed away the ethical element in him. But the ethos in his case stood the ordeal of fire. The Pauline fellowship of Christ is no magic transformation, nor is it an orgy of enthusiasts who are left mere yawning sluggards when the transport is over. St. Paul himself subordinated ecstasy to ethos.1 The mysticism of Christ in him is rather a glowing than a flaming fire. The man whom Christ has 'apprehended' says with all humility 2:—

                                             'Not that I have already seized [Him] .... !'

    But he also makes the heroic confession 3:—

                                         'I can do all things in Him that strengtheneth me.'

    Similarly, too, the gift of the Spirit set the saints of St. Paul's churches mighty tasks. Having 'put on Christ'4 they are to put Him on anew daily,5 and 'in' this Christ only that faith is of value which proves its energy by love.6
    Let us look back for a moment. Christ the Living, highly exalted with the Father, but also as Spirit living in Paul, and Paul in Him by God's grace—that is the Apostle Paul's assurance of Christ and experience of Christ. According to the doctrinaire view 'Paulinism' establishes at this point an 'antinomy' through the 'dualism' of the transcendence and immanence of Christ. But in fact we see two moods of St. Paul's piety, both of which could exist side by side in his capacious soul. They no more represent an internal contradiction than the experiences of the transcendent and immanent God which every believer knows. The polar contradiction of these two moods gives rather to the inner life of the apostle its prophetic tension.
    This tension relieves itself in an abundance of great detailed assurances, particular experiences, and confessions."

- Adolf Deissmann (St. Paul: a study in social and religious history, pgs. 133-135)

*See link for footnotes.

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