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, June 9, 2016

He is our glorious dwelling-place--a palace of delights

'Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.'--John xv. 3, 4.

  " "Abide in me." The branch does not come to the vine and take life and then go away with this life; it has life only by abiding in the vine; there must be a never-ceasing communication--in fact, branch and vine must be one, with one common life. Faith in Jesus Christ, when it is occasional rather than habitual, may be more correctly described as unbelief. Or if we speak of it as faith, it is because in a dispensation like this, where corrupt souls are struggling into life, we must deal tenderly with this dawning of life. When we shall have reached a higher walk of faith, our former trust in Christ will look to us like unbelief. He that saith unto us, "Come unto me," says also, "Abide in me." And this abiding in him is no mere passive state. We abide in him exactly as we come to him; we feel our need; we feel that in him alone is the supply of this need, and we look to him for that supply. Our need is not so much of something that he can give, as of himself. We find our strength, our wisdom, our righteousness in him. We abide in him when we come before God, so that the story of the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world--that story which is so enchanting to the ear of the Father--is repeated in all our prayers, and is yet new in every one of them. We abide in him for our happiness. He is our glorious dwelling-place--a palace of delights. He that saith he abideth in him, and yet is not satisfied with that which Christ imparts to him, deceives himself. He is willing, perhaps, to abide in Christ for a future salvation, and is willing to adorn his present life with the hope of that salvation, but he is not content to abide in Christ for all his present happiness. He expects that Christ will make him happy through all eternity, but mistrusts that Christ can give him all that his soul requireth during the brief term of this mortal life. The command of Jesus is that we should abide in him exclusively; not partly in him and partly in a very different vine, the vine of this world--a most monstrous proposition, whoever may make it. "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon the earth that I desire beside thee." Nothing in heaven or in earth should possess loveliness or excellence in the eyes of the believer until he is able to see it in Christ. That which, not found in Christ, is excellent in his eyes, approaches him only to harm him. The more beautiful, the more harmful, for it weakens the measure of his abiding in Christ.
 ..."And I in him." The promise here follows swift upon the command. If we satisfy ourselves with Jesus, he will be the satisfaction of our souls. No language can express all that is comprehended in these three words, "I in him." Saints that have been for thousands of years before the throne do not fully fathom it. There is but One who knoweth Christ, and but One who can estimate the wealth of that inheritance here made over to the believer. In Christ are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; the Spirit without measure; all the fulness of the Godhead; life inexhaustible; love unfathomable; glory, honour, dominion, blessing; and thus marvellously freighted, Christ offers to dwell in the believer; and as the believer does not occasionally visit Christ, but habitually abides in him, so we are warranted to conclude that Christ proposes not to give the believer an occasional revelation of his grace, not to sadden him with intermingled periods of desertion, but as the vine abideth with the branch, so will he abide with, in and for the believer."

- George Bowen (Love Revealed, pgs. 149, 150-151, 152-153)

*Re-post from 03/18/15

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