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)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The chief blessing bestowed by our Lord Jesus Christ as High-priest of His people is the gift of the Spirit, part 4

   "1. Even during His life on earth our Lord possessed, and He still possesses, the fulness of the Spirit. At the very opening of His ministry in the synagogue at Nazareth He applied to Himself the language of ancient prophecy, “Spirit of the Lord is upon Me”;3 and, in so applying it, He obviously intended to express the character of His ministry as a whole. According, therefore, to His own claim thus distinctly made we are called upon to think of Him as One who, from the beginning to the close of His Messianic work, was dwelt in, moulded, guided, encouraged, and strengthened by the Spirit of God. All the other statements of Scripture upon the point lead to the same conclusion.
    By the power of Holy Spirit His flesh was so formed within the womb of the Virgin Mary that, while truly our flesh, with all its characteristic qualities and natural infirmities, it was yet free from that taint of sin which would have rendered it impossible for Him to become the new Head of a line of spiritual descendants, to the ideal conception of whom (a conception to be ultimately realised) no sin belongs. “Holy Spirit,” said the angel to Mary, “shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also that which is to be born shall be called Holy, the Son of God.”1 When at His Baptism. He was solemnly inaugurated to the task assigned to Him, “the heavens were rent asunder, and the Spirit as a dove descended and abode upon Him,”—a visible symbol satisfying the highest expectations of the Baptist, who “saw and believed that this was the Son of God.”2 Immediately after His Baptism the Temptation in the wilderness followed, when He met and conquered in their intensest form specimens of all the trials He was to encounter in His future work; and of that season in His history we are expressly told that “Jesus, full of Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led in the Spirit in the wilderness during forty days, being tempted of the devil.”3 When the temptation was over and His ministry began, it is said that “He returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee.”4 The accounts given us in the Gospels of the manner in which He carried on that ministry teach the same lesson. Throughout it all He was “anointed with Holy Spirit and with power,”5 and of some of the most important of His miracles, such as the casting out of demons, He tells us Himself that He did them “by Spirit of God.”1 Nor was it otherwise with the various characteristics of His inner life. We are never permitted to think of Him as of one who exhibited only a complete human development, or in whom there was nothing higher than a strong and harmonious growth of the different parts of man's complex nature. Beneath and pervading all there was a Divine presence, a heavenly power, the immediate influence of God Himself. The peace which He possessed was not simply that of a wellbalanced mind when the winds of earthly passion have been hushed; it was peace of which He said, “Not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”2 His joy was not merely that of a happy disposition, able to separate the sweet from the bitter in the mixed cup of worldly fortune; at a moment when it is spoken of we are told that “He rejoiced in the Holy Spirit.”3 While His love was no mere tenderness or sympathy for brothers and sisters surrounded by the adversities of life; it was a Divine love passing knowledge, “the love wherewith the Father had loved Him.”4
    As it was thus throughout the course of our Lord's life, so the same manifestation was made at its close. When He sent forth His disciples to carry on the great purposes of His mission, it was through “Holy Spirit” that He gave them commandment;5 and His last and highest gift, that in bestowing which He felt that He bestowed Himself, was the gift of the Spirit: “He breathed on them, and said unto them, Receive ye Holy Spirit.”1"

- William Milligan (The Ascension and Heavenly Priesthood of Our Lord, pgs. 173-176)

*See link for footnotes

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