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, May 20, 2016

The chief blessing bestowed by our Lord Jesus Christ as High-priest of His people is the gift of the Spirit, part 5

   "Statements such as these, so numerous and varied, are sufficient to show in how deep and true a sense our Lord, even during His earthly life, was animated and pervaded by the Spirit of God. Not that the Holy Spirit thus dwelling in Him took the place of His Divinity. The union of the Divine Son with the Divine Father could never be interrupted, whatever the selflimitations which the former, in becoming man, might, not apart from His Divinity but in the power of His Divinity, impose upon Himself. As from everlasting ages of the past, so through all the ages as they run their course, and to the everlasting ages of the future, the Three Persons of the Trinity must, while no doubt to be thought of separately, form such a unity that they shall be more than beside, that they shall be in each other, and that no one of them can ever have a place assigned to Him out of the Hypostatic union, in which some other existence might occupy the sphere He is supposed to have resigned. When, therefore, the Second Person of the Trinity took flesh and dwelt among us, He was not less in the Father than before, and at that great epoch the Holy Spirit was not less than formerly in both the Father and the Son. The Son did not by His Incarnation forfeit that Divine Hypostasis which He had always been, nor could He then receive what He had eternally possessed. He rather filled the manhood which He assumed with the power of the Divinity which He retained; and thus filled it at the same time with the Spirit which dwelt in that Divinity. In a similar manner the Divine and human natures of our Lord were also distinct; but again we are not to think of them as standing side by side in His one Personality, in the relation of two parallel lines. The Divine nature was more than parallel to the human; it penetrated and pervaded it. The human nature again penetrated and pervaded the Divine in all those moral and religious departments in which the two natures are akin, and the sphere of the Spirit was that in which this union was effected. Theologians have often endeavoured to solve difficulties of Scripture by separating the two natures, and ascribing words or acts of the Redeemer now to one of the two and now to another. The experiment has always failed. New difficulties have been created more serious than those which an effort had been made to escape. Christ, Divine and human, was one; and in the actings of each nature the other had a part, except in so far as we are compelled to suppose that His “emptying of Himself” was continued by Him throughout all His life below. When, therefore, we endeavour to conceive what Jesus was on earth, we must think of Him as filled with the Spirit in both the natures that are essential to His Personality. The two cannot be separated without destroying the unity of His Person. In Him they meet and mingle and interpenetrate each other."

- William Milligan (The Ascension and Heavenly Priesthood of Our Lord, pgs. 176-177)

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