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, June 27, 2016

The coming of the Spirit was the spiritual coming of Christ, part 8 of 8

    "This higher revelation of Christ, which the
Spirit is now giving, and which marks progress
from the physical to the spiritual, from the visible
to the invisible, and from the local to the universal,
comes last. "That is not first which is spiritual, 
but that which is natural." First a Christ who 
walks on the earth, then a Christ who lives in 
the heart; first a human brother, then a divine 
Savior; first a localized person, then a universal 
presence. When the normal order of develop- 
ment is followed this revelation of the divine in 
the human comes gradually. There are special 
cases, like that of Paul, where the Lord of Glory 
is revealed in the Son of Man suddenly and start- 
lingly, as with a lightning flash, and the human 
side of Christ's nature is for a time shut almost 
entirely out of sight;* but that is not the usual 
way. The usual way is that followed in the child. 
The child begins with a Christ who is known 
after the flesh, and it requires long and patient 
instruction, backed up by the help of the co-oper- 
ating Spirit, to bring him to appreciate the higher 
vision of Christ. At first Christ is the gentle 
Jesus, a human friend, a perfect man, by whose 
love and tenderness the heart is taken captive; 
and it is only by gradual stages that the mind 
penetrates through the human to the divine until 
it finds at length in the Jesus of Gospel story the 
soul's Redeemer and Lord. The spiritual lesson 
is always the last one to be learned, but learned 
in some way it must be before Christ can take 
His rightful place in the thoughts and lives of 
men. It is not enough to believe in a Christ 
who lived and died; we must believe also in a 
Christ who lives and reigns. "It is Christ who 
died, yea rather who is risen again, who also 
liveth to make intercession for us," is the ex- 
pression of a faith in which the spiritual has be- 
come full-grown. And when the Christ who 
could die is seen to be also the Christ who has 
conquered death, and is alive for evermore, the 
ransomed of the Lord march to Zion, to the 
music of His name, with everlasting joy upon 
their heads.

*This idea is well brought out in Chap. IV. of Dr. George Mathe- 
son's "Spiritual Development of St. Paul." "

- James Mann Campbell (After Pentecost, What?, pgs. 28-30)

*Re-post from 07/18/15

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