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 30, 2016

The Spirit of Jesus, part 4 of 13

    "(ii) The allusions to the Spirit in the teaching of
Jesus are comparatively rare. 2 It is promised to
the disciples as a special equipment for defence,
when they are brought before civil and religious
tribunals, pagan and Jewish. Jesus assures them
that in such moments they will be inspired to speak
the apt and telling word, instead of being left to
their own resources. Do not be anxious beforehand 
about what you are to say; say whatever is given to 
you at that hour, for it is not you who speak but the 
Holy Spirit. Mark puts this promise among the
final directions of Jesus, in the eschatological section
of the gospel (xiii. 11). Matthew sets it earlier, in
the instructions of Jesus for the mission of the
twelve during His lifetime, and presents a slightly
altered version: Do not be anxious about how or what 
you are to say, for it is not you who speak but the Spirit 
of your Father which speaks through you (see link for Greek phrase,
x. 19-20.) Luke again replaces the Holy
Spirit in Mark's logion by the personal Jesus:
Settle it in your hearts not to plan your answer before- 
hand; I myself will give you a mouth and wisdom 
which all your adversaries will be unable to resist or 
refute (xxi. 14-15). Here the telling effect of a
Christian defence is heightened, but the remarkable
feature is that Luke, who elsewhere goes beyond
Mark and Matthew in emphasising the place of the
Spirit in the teaching of Jesus, should omit it in
favour of Jesus Himself (cf. xxiv. 49). His parallel
to the Matthean logion is set unhistorically as a
pendant to another saying upon the Spirit: Do not 
be anxious about how or what you are to answer or 
say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that hour 
what has to be said (xii. 11-12), but the modification in
xxi. 14-15 marks the first stage of the process which
ends in the Fourth gospel, under the influence of
Paulinism, with the correlation of Christ and the
Spirit, the latter being no longer a special equip-
ment for exorcising demons or making an effective
confession, but the principle of a new life. The
developed stage of reflection in Luke's version is
indicated not merely by the change of an adequate
testimony into an irresistible defence, but by the sub-
stitution of Jesus for the Spirit. The latter touch
points to the view elaborated in the Fourth gospel,
where the Spirit (see link for Greek word) as the alter ego of
Jesus animates and inspires Christians for effective
testimony in face of an incredulous world (John xiv.
26, xv. 26, xvi. 13).
    The background of the apostolic age is obvious
in Luke's version especially ; compare passages like
Acts xvi. 24, 2 Tim. iv. 16, 1 Cor. ii. 13, Eph. vi. 19,
and the experiences of Stephen and Paul. But the
tone of the saying, particularly in its Marcan form, is
consonant with the teaching of Jesus. The Spirit is
promised not as the principle of a new life but as a
special equipment for emergencies, which ensures
an adequate witness to the gospel, not the personal
safety of the witnesses. This is on the lines of the
Old Testament conception of the Spirit as prophetic
and inspiring. There is no attempt, as in the Fourth
gospel, to follow Paul in grouping under the Spirit
faith, love, fellowship, and life eternal. Jesus
stated these in other terms, and it is an incidental
proof of the authenticity of this saying that it con-
fines the Spirit to the special emergencies which met
the Christian in his vocation of witnessing to the
messianic cause, instead of connecting the Spirit
with Jesus Himself or representing it as given in
answer to prayer."

- James Moffat (The theology of the gospels, pgs. 183-185)

*See link for footnotes.

No comments:

Post a Comment