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)

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Spirit of Jesus, part 3 of 13

    "The other version reproduced by Matthew arid
partly by Luke, contrasts blasphemy against the
Holy Spirit with blasphemy against the Son of man.
Son of man here means Jesus in His human aspect
as the messiah ; it is in the last degree unlikely
that the term was originally generic, and that the
contrast was between insulting criticism of a human
being and blasphemy against the divine Spirit. So
far as the two renderings of the original Aramaic
are concerned, however, the probability lies on the
side of Matthew's. To the primitive Christians,
as Schmiedel points out, it would appear the height
of blasphemy to say that blasphemy against Jesus
was pardonable, and unless the saying had been
extant in some authoritative source like Q, it is
unlikely that it would have been constructed out
of the Marcan version. The reverse is much more
probable, as indeed Wellhausen considers was the case
in the saying of Mark iii. 28. We may claim, on the
whole, that this consideration outweighs the difficulty
of interpreting the saying intelligibly, as implying a
distinction between Jesus the Son of man and Jesus
as an agent of the divine Spirit. It would be easier if
Son of man here were a personal self -designation, but
in any case Jesus was speaking of Himself, and one
clue to His meaning lies in the misjudgment of His
family (Mark iii. 20: They said, He is beside himself).
By omitting this, from motives of reverence, Matthew
and Luke have failed to supply a contemporary
illustration of what blasphemy against Jesus as the
Son of man really was. 1 His relatives might be par-
doned for their crude misapprehension of His actions;
but for people like the scribes, who were face to face
with His supernatural acts of healing, to discredit
Him by asserting that He was inspired by the devil
instead of by the pure Spirit of God was unpardon-
able. The difference between the two versions is
one of form, therefore, rather than of spirit. Mark's
tends to identify Jesus with the Holy Spirit; a
calumny against Him is a blasphemy against the
very power of God. The other version contrasts
the Son of man and the Spirit, and yet includes
the scribes' calumny against Jesus, 'the most sense-
less and infamous accusation which they ever
uttered,' 2 under the category of sins against the
Spirit; it is pronounced more than a personal
insult to Jesus, which might be due to thoughtless-
ness or ignorance. The main drawback to the latter
view is that such a distinction between the two
aspects of Jesus seems to indicate a theological
position of the early church, rather than what
He would have been likely to say Himself in the
historical situation presupposed. 1"

- James Moffat (The theology of the gospels, pgs. 181-183)

*See link for footnotes.

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