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)

Monday, May 16, 2016

The chief blessing bestowed by our Lord Jesus Christ as High-priest of His people is the gift of the Spirit, part 1

“If any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Rom. viii. 9.

  "Towards the close of the last Lecture the remark was made that the chief blessing bestowed by our Lord as High-priest of His people is the gift of the Spirit. The subject was too important to be considered at the time, and we turn to it now.
    Every reader of the New Testament is familiar with the fact that the gift of the Spirit is spoken of by the sacred writers with remarkable frequency and emphasis, that it is referred to as the great gift of that dispensation under which Christians live, and that it is described as embracing in itself alone everything that the believer needs. The thought of a written word does not there occupy the place assigned to it in the later ages of the Church, in which it has to a large extent practically excluded the work of the Spirit as a living agent from the minds of many. It was not a written gospel, but a message and a power to come from the inspiration of the Spirit, that the Saviour had in view when, after His Resurrection, He instructed the Apostles whom He had chosen to “wait for the promise of the Father, which, said He, ye heard from Me.”1 On the day of Pentecost the Church was planted by means not of writings, but of the Holy Spirit, who descended in tongues of fire upon the heads of the disciples. In the energy of the same Spirit the Church continued to be propagated; and numerous passages of the Acts of the Apostles make it clear that the first gift bestowed upon converts to the faith of Christ, after they had been admitted into the Church by Baptism — the gift which sealed them in their new position and fitted them for their new duties —was that of the Spirit, imparted by the laying on of hands. The fulness of blessing, also, everywhere connected with the gift of the Spirit, is not less remarkable than the frequent mention of the gift itself. Even in the earlier Gospels, in which the teaching of our Lord upon the point is less emphatic than in the fourth, we read, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?”2 There had been no reference to the Spirit in any previous part of the discourse in which these words occur. In answer to the request of His disciples our Lord had just taught them that prayer in which the universal Church delights to recognise the expression of all her wants, when in a sudden and unexpected turn of language He closes with the promise of this gift of the Holy Spirit. From that gift, then, we cannot exclude the thought of provision for every want experienced by us; and in the parallel passage of St. Matthew the one form of expression is even substituted for the other, “How much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?”1 The gift of “the Holy Spirit” and that of “good things” cover the same ground."

- William Milligan (The Ascension and Heavenly Priesthood of Our Lord, pgs. 166-168)

*See link for footnotes

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