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, April 12, 2016

The apostle Paul on the Spirit in relation to the person of Christ and to the Christian experience, part 2 of 8

   "The Spirit, in this usage of Paul, is not to be regarded as equivalent to the mere influence of God. It includes an ontological as well as an ethical element, in modern parlance, and this applies not simply to the glorified nature of the risen Christ, but to the believing man upon whom the vital power of that nature streams out. The Spirit affects the organism of the human spirit; it is hyper-physical as well as moral in its working. Paul shrank, for example, with Pharisaic dislike, from any Hellenic conception of the immortality of the soul apart from a body. His realism made him shudder at any idea of disembodiment. It is not possible to determine his exact view of the risen body, which he regarded as essential to the risen life; sometimes he suggests that the present body will be transformed, sometimes that an entirely fresh body will be ours; but he certainly believed in the creation of a new organism by the Spirit which should be adequate to the needs of the new spirit.
   Upon the opposite side Paul safeguarded his conception against vague fancies by identifying the Spirit of God, which had been promised as a messianic gift, with the Spirit of Jesus the Christ. This association of the idea with the personality of Jesus lent it precision and reality. It was not a mere force or a supernatural power like the numerous spirits and oracles in the pagan world; the Spirit of Christ is to Paul the Spirit. The Lord, he once said, is the Spirit. To be in the Spirit means not ecstasy and transports but a life in Christ, an identification or incorporation of one's self with him, which differs on the one hand from the reveries of a mystical pantheism, and on the other from the frenzy of prophetic raptures."

- James Moffat (Paul and Paulinism, pgs. 37-38)

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