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, May 17, 2016

The chief blessing bestowed by our Lord Jesus Christ as High-priest of His people is the gift of the Spirit, part 2

   "The truth thus indicated is brought out with still greater force in the last discourses of our Lord in the Gospel of St. John.2 There the Paraclete or Advocate takes the place of all other gifts which the departing Redeemer might be expected to allude to in that trying hour. Two great lines of promise appear in these discourses—the first, that the disciples shall be fitted for their work; the second, that they shall be supported in performing it; and both lines are directly associated with the Advocate to be sent after Jesus had gone away. Of the first we read, “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Advocate, that He may be with you for ever, even the Spirit of Truth”; “But the Advocate, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you.”3 Of the second we also read, “But when the Advocate is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth which proceedeth from the Father, He shall bear witness of Me: and ye also bear witness, because ye have been with Me from the beginning”; “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Advocate will not come unto you; but if I go, I will send Him unto you.”1 Nor is this all; for here too, as in the earlier Gospels, the specific promise of the Spirit immediately follows promises of the most general kind, as if to combine them into a simpler and more concrete form: “If ye shall ask anything in My name, that will I do”; “That whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you.”2 Then comes the promise of the Advocate, who is thus in Himself the fulfilment alike of the “anything” and of the “whatsoever” that we ask.
    The same lesson is implied, if not so expressly taught, throughout the rest of the New Testament. Every grant and privilege enjoyed by the disciple of Jesus is connected with the Spirit's work. He is the Spirit of truth, and adoption, and freedom, and purity, and brotherly love.3 He is the soul of acceptable worship and the sustainer of effectual prayer.4 He reveals to us the deep things of God; giving us the word both of wisdom and knowledge.5 He helps our infirmities, making intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.6 He not only quickens us into spiritual life, but, after we are quickened, carries forward the work of Sanctification in our souls.7 Christians “live” by the Spirit, “walk” by the Spirit, are “led” by the Spirit, are a “habitation of God” in the Spirit, and are “filled” with the Spirit.8 In addition to all this the Spirit is also the earnest of our inheritance. He witnesses with our spirits that we are the children of God. He seals us unto the day of redemption; and, when believers at last rise from their graves on the morning of the resurrection, their mortal bodies are quickened because of the Spirit of Christ that dwelleth in them.1
    Allusions so numerous as these and many others leave no doubt upon the point that the gift of the Holy Spirit is the leading and characteristic gift of the Christian dispensation; and that from His grace and power flow alike the privileges which Christians enjoy, and the distinctive graces of their new and higher life. There is not, in short, one single office in the Church of Christ, not one good work done, not one grace exhibited, by any of its members that is not dependent upon the operation of the Spirit. There are diversities of gifts, of ministrations, and of workings, but each of these is part of what St. Paul styles “the manifestation of the Spirit.”2"

- William Milligan (The Ascension and Heavenly Priesthood of Our Lord, pgs. 168-170)

*See link for footnotes

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