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 23, 2016

The chief blessing bestowed by our Lord Jesus Christ as High-priest of His people is the gift of the Spirit, part 8

    3. When the Spirit is bestowed upon us, He must be made ours, not outwardly alone, but inwardly and experimentally. It is not enough to regard the Spirit as a precious blessing granted out of the abundant treasures of Divine love, or as a gift like that of the sunshine or the rain, in which we can rejoice, although they have no real contact with what we are. Such a conception falls far short of that of the closeness of union which, as we have seen, existed between our Lord's human nature and the Spirit by which that nature was occupied and informed. Whatever Jesus was or is, whatever He did or does, the Spirit was an active agent in His being or doing it; and what the Spirit was to our Lord's human nature He must be to our human nature also. The simple fact that the Eternal Son of God became man in order to carry out the work of our redemption is a proof of this necessity; while the principle underlying every practical precept of the New Testament—that the believer must pass through the same experience as his Master—leads to the same conclusion.
    Again, it lies in the essential conditions belonging both to the Spirit who acts and to the human being who is acted upon, that the union between the two must be of an inward and penetrating kind. In dealing with the work of the Spirit in man we deal not with dead matter laid upon dead matter, but with life kindling life. When spirit is brought home to spirit, the Spirit of Christ to the spirit of man, the two cannot in the nature of things remain separate from each other. The one cannot be set within the other as a precious jewel may be set in gold, the jewel remaining the jewel, the gold the gold. They must rather mingle like two different atmospheres, each diffusing itself throughout the other, so that both shall be found in every particle of their united volumes. The Spirit is more than a guide or instructor of those in whom He dwells, and He does more than reveal to them the great example they are to imitate. He penetrates their being; He acts at the centre of their life. “He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit.”1
    The truth now dwelt upon is confirmed by every analogy employed in Scripture to illustrate the relation between our Lord and us. Is He the Head and are we the members of the body? The Head not merely exercises authority over the members, and issues commandments as from a throne; it transmits its subtle influences through every nerve and tissue of the frame. Is He the vine and are we the branches 2 The branches are not merely attached to the stem; they have their smallest twig and most distant leaf nourished by the sap by which the stem also grows. Is He the foundation and are we the stones of the spiritual temple? The foundation not only supports the stones, it is thought of as sending upwards through them a principle of life; so that they become “living stones,” sharers in the very life in which the foundation lives. Is He the Shepherd and are we the sheep? The sheep do not merely follow the Shepherd and listen to His voice; they are united to Him in the experience of an inward fellowship: “I am the Good Shepherd, and I know Mine own” (notice throughout the deep meaning of the word “know”); “and Mine own know Me, even as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father.”1 Or, finally, is Christ the Bridegroom and are His people the Bride? Then are they no longer twain, but one. The same thing may be said of the various symbols in which our Lord sets forth what He is to those who accept Him in faith. He is the “Light,” yet in such a sense that He shines not only around them, but in their hearts, giving them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”2 He is the “true bread out of heaven,” but only he that eateth Him shall live by Him.3 He is the “living water,” but only he that drinks of the water shall never thirst.4 Lastly, we must eat His flesh and drink His blood if we would have eternal life.5"

- William Milligan (The Ascension and Heavenly Priesthood of Our Lord, pgs. 183-185)

*See link for footnotes.

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