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)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Spirit's operation mysteriously combined with that of Christ

"Now if the Church be (as it is perpetually described), a
"new creation," correspondent on a higher level to the old, is
it not absolutely accordant with the analogy of the divine
dispensations, that when,—no longer as the omnipotent Son
of God alone, but as the Omnipotent Christ,—no longer by
natural influence, but by supernatural inherency,—the exalted
Saviour mystically enters, in order to accomplish His high
intent, that soul of man which is to be the scene and material
of His work, the same Spirit of God, in the loftier character
of the "Holy Spirit," should reappear as a necessary agent
in this wonderful incorporation? But when, rising from the
analogy of the natural world, you "compare spiritual things
with spiritual" the harmony becomes more remarkable still.
It is expressly revealed that the Spirit of God was the imme-
diate effector of the transcendent mystery of the Incarnation.
Now the Church of Christ is designed as the continued repre-
sentative of Himself on earth, and in all its faithful members
realizes the design. It is declared to be with Him "cruci-
fied," "buried," "risen," "ascended;" and as it is His
image in all these particulars, so is its image in these based
upon the same primary fact,—upon a counterpart, humble,
indeed, but real, of that Incarnation which first enshrined
the divine essence in human clay. If the Spirit of God was
required as the appropriate agent in the one, can we not dis-
cern a similar propriety in His efficacy in the other? And in
this view of His operation mysteriously combined with that
of Christ, introductory of it and perfective of it, can we not
follow the train of our Lord's discourse, when, after solemnly
proclaiming that "whoso eateth His flesh and drinketh His
blood hath eternal life," He declares, in illustration of His
meaning, that "it is the Spirit that quickeneth"? The two
are blended here as they were in the first scene of our redemp-
tion. The Son of God invested not Himself with manhood
independently of the Holy Ghost; He descends not to be the
inhabitant of our hearts now without the same intermediation.
    On the whole, Christ, in the fulness of His complex per-
sonality, is enabled, by a true though most mysterious
omnipresence, to pervade at will the body, collectively and
individually, of His earthly followers. Being God as well
as man, He is the very fountain and principle of divine
holiness; being man as well as God, He is the appropriate
source of all human blessedness. Therefore is He Him-
self the holiness He gives, He Himself at once the spring
and the river of these living waters. This seems the uni-
versal, certainly the customary, law of Providence, that
earthly changes should be gradual; and if, in human progress
to celestial perfection, all must be thus preparatory, it may be
anticipated that some term must intervene between us and
that Christ whom we are fully to enjoy hereafter, which
may connect us here; nor could we imagine anything more
answerable to these expectations, than this invisible presence
of our gracious Lord, which makes those associates in a
spiritual mystery now, who are to be associates by the blessed
vision hereafter."

- William Archer Butler (Sermons, Doctrinal and Practical, Sermon XX, pgs. 369-371)

*Re-post from 06/25/15

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