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 26, 2016

The last Adam a life-giving Spirit, James Moffat on 1 Cor. 15: 45-49

"45 As there is an animate body, so there is a spiritual body. Thus
it is written,
'The first man, Adam, became an animate being,
the last Adam a life-giving Spirit ';
46 but the animate, not the spiritual, comes first,
and only then the spiritual.
47 Man the first is from the earth, material;
Man the second is from heaven.
48 As Man the material is, so are the material;
as Man the heavenly is, so are the heavenly.
49 Thus, as we have borne the likeness of material Man,
so we are to bear the likeness of the heavenly Man." 1 Cor. 15: 45-49

"45   As in Matt. v. 43, the citation of a text is completed by
supplying its opposite. The words of Gen. ii. 7, man became a
living soul (psyche) or person (i.e. an animate being), were not
much discussed by rabbis, but they had started speculation in
Hellenistic Judaism, possibly under Iranian influence, about
the two Men in the dual stories of creation. Thus in Philo we
overhear an interpretation of some haggada which contrasted
the ideal first Man with the mortal second; the first, created
in God's own likeness (Gen. i. 27) corresponds to Plato's ideal
Man, spiritual and immortal, i.e. the genus as conceived in the
divine mind, while the second, the historical Adam (of Gen.
ii. 7, with his descendants), answers to the person of material
man, made from the earth and modelled after the first. If this
speculation ever occurred to Paul, he reverses it, not on any
speculative ground, but owing to the facts of revelation in
history and providence. He interprets Gen. ii. 7 in the light of
the messianic hope, not of metaphysics, though a metaphysic
of being is implicit in his statement. Thinking not simply of
the pre-existent messiah, but of the current Jewish notion of
Adam as the original, ideal man, whose lost glory was to be
restored by messiah (ii. 7,8), he coins the title of the last Adam,
in order of historic time and succession. Jews spoke of the
'first man,' Adam, but never of a second Adam, as the apostle
did. For Paul, Christ is not the primal Man of Iranian or
Philonic speculation on the cosmos, but One who has towards
the End entered history, as the Lord of glory, in order to inau-
gurate the new order of being. Instead of equating this second
Man with the first, he presses the unique function of the
heavenly Man for mankind. Men would die in their mortality,
were it not for the new Act and Order of God which, in Christ,
the life-giving Spirit, restores and completes man's destiny.
As Adam was animate or material, in the sense of being made 46
out of earth, the second Man is heavenly, or, as it is put else- 47
where, he was originally divine by nature, 'in the form of
God.' As descendants of Adam we all have the human exis-48
tence that man shares with men. Those who are heavenly are
those who belong to Christ (verse 23), possessing what he alone
can give, the life of the Spirit, which at the resurrection
acquires its full expression in the likeness of the heavenly Man. 49
To ' bear the likeness ' of anyone was to share or reproduce his
nature. By a not uncommon slip (mistaking phoresomen for
phoresdmen), some early editors of the text turned the ringing
prophecy we are to bear into a pious exhortation,' let us bear,'
forgetting that this change is accomplished by God (verse 53),
not an achievement of man. The alteration unfortunately
slipped into the Vulgate; as usual Tyndale was the first to put
the English versions on the right line. The likeness (as in
Rom. viii. 29) is expected at the resurrection, since Christ's
full power of life had itself come into force at his resurrection
(Rom. i. 4). It is implied elsewhere that Christ was indeed at
the creation of the world (viii. 6), and that as life-giving Spirit
he is in a real sense active, prior even to the resurrection of the
dead; but the chief interest of the apostle at this point is to
maintain the final triumph over death which completes God's
purpose in the first Adam, rather than to bring out (as in
Romans) the reversal of Adam's disobedience with its ill
effects for the race.
    This may be the reason why he omits any mention of the
last judgement, if, as some think, he retained such a conception
at all. Judaism held various views about a general resurrec-
tion; some believed it was a resuscitation of all men, which
formed a prelude to the judgement of gentiles and Israel, while
others confined it to the just. At any rate Paul is not sketching
a programme of the End, even in its messianic outlook; the
apocalyptic mind of primitive Christians who dealt with the
future was always imaginative, not fanciful but free, bent on
flashing this or that authentic truth upon the soul rather than
on constructing any definite synthesis. Paul catches up meta-
phors and ideas for his immediate purpose of exalting the
victory of Christ in terms of some current messianic categories,
fusing them, as best he can, into a glowing vision of the End."

- James Moffat (The First epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, pgs. 262-264)

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