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)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The regenerating and renovating gift of the new covenant: "Holy Spirit" or "Spirit of Christ", part 4 of 4

   "Such being the nature of evil, the association of an accursed
element with our nature, it surely would seem that it must, in
accordance with all the intimations of Holy Writ, be met and
counteracted by the introduction of an element of holiness really
abiding as it is abiding, really distinct as it is distinct, the seed
of eternal life, as it is of death eternal. And it is not difficult
to show, that these three characteristics are precisely those of
the regenerating and renovating gift of the new covenant, of
that blessed effluence which was first formally sent as the
regal largess of Christ Jesus; which externally, or in itself
regarded, is termed the "Holy Spirit," or "Spirit of Christ;"
which internally, as in a manner consubstantiated with the
human soul, is termed Spirit, in opposition to flesh, and in
contrast to mind. The analogy seems complete. The original
corruption consists, not in the evil of every faculty (as some
thoughtlessly speak), for our faculties are neither good nor
evil (except as all that comes from God is good); they have
no moral character whatever; conscience itself is not moral,
but actions referred to conscience;—the corruption consists in
the superadded presence of a principle, once inherent in Adam,
thence by the spirit of evil perpetuated to us, which governs
the will and perverts the faculties into the machinery of sin.
The regenerating gift must, in like manner, consist, and is in
Scripture amply evidenced to consist, not in the annihilation
of any of our natural faculties, but in the indwelling of a prin-
ciple once inherent in Christ, and from Him transmitted to all
who in Him are "born of the Spirit;" a principle which, as
it advances, displaces its rival, as it retreats, admits it, when
it shall make us wholly its own, shall wholly dispossess it,
when it deserts us, yields the heart once more and altogether
to ruin.
    I shall close with a further circumstance of comparison,
which I submit to your patient reflection. Our indwelling
sin is declared to be traceable to Adam, in a manner accurately
corresponding (as the Apostle intimates) to the headship of
Christ. Our holiness is referable to Christ, as you know, not
merely in the way of imputation, of which I am not at present
speaking, but also through that spiritual gift which is the
fruit of His Incarnation and victory. These, we know, were
no waste of Divine mercy, but the requisite remedies for cor-
responding evils. May we not, then, allowably conceive that
in Adam (as also, doubtless in her who, together with him,
forms the natural origin of our race) was realized, in a true
and intelligible sense, the human incarnation of the mysteri-
ous principle of evil, which, from that incarnation, as its neces-
sary pre-requisite (in virtue of that fatal victory when alone
in the story of this world a soul born upright fell), and, having
completed the formal condition of combining itself with human
nature, being no longer a spirit external to us, but, so to speak,
humanized in Adam, and from him deriving a character quali-
fying it to act upon us his wretched descendants,—from these
and such like sources, I say, acquired a power accurately
answering to that of Christ, of transmitting an evil influence
of darkness, a manifestation of itself, into human souls, inso-
much that at the instant when life is dawning there is, by this
accursed agency, bound up with every soul of man a substan-
tial presence of evil, there to remain, the relentless tyrant of
the will, until exorcised by the corresponding presence of
holiness, the mystic "Spirit of Christ," the second Adam.
"Original sin" is thus in its source and generation, as well
as in its active efficacy, the terrible counterpart of super-
natural grace; to be born in sin (so often the scoff of the
infidel) ceases to be more incredible than to be regenerated
to purity; a tremendous harmony seems discoverable in the
great mystery of God, parting into its two regions which
Scripture has (as if with purposed contrast) designated the
mystery of iniquity and the mystery of godliness; the author
of the former being, by a fearful resemblance to his celes-
tial adversary, first "manifested" in sinless "flesh," that
his work might be "witnessed" by his own ministering
"angels," and "believed on" in a benighted "world."
Twice was our nature in its original purity entered by
powers above itself; each has left its representative, as the
fruits of its triumph, in the respective spirits of evil and
of good, of light and of darkness, of truth and of deception,
of Christ and of Satan."

- William Archer Butler (Sermons, Doctrinal and Practical, Sermon XX, pgs. 380-383)

*Re-post from 06/29/15

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