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, July 7, 2016

He is not on the Cross, but on the throne, part 1 of a 2 part series

   "There is a sense in which the gift of the
Holy Ghost, especially as the Spirit of truth, and as
the Spirit of power, may be said to be the exercise
of Christ's prophetic function in His state of exalta-
tion. Similarly His intercession is the continuance
in glory of His work as a priest. But quite apart
from this or that work in which He is engaged, the
New Testament fixes our attention on the mode of
His existence as itself determining the character and
quality of the Christian life. I alluded to this at
the opening of this lecture, and recur to it at the
close. The Christ in whom the apostles believed,
the Christ who created Christianity and sustained
it, the Christ who was the object of that faith which
makes the New Testament to this day the most
living book in the world, was the Risen Christ, the
Lord of Glory. It was not Jesus the carpenter of
Nazareth, it was not even Jesus the prophet of
Galilee; nay, it was not even Christ crucified, as a
person belonging to history and to the past; it was
the crucified Christ in the heavenly places, the
Lamb as it had been slain standing in the midst of
the throne, the Universal Redeemer as Universal
Lord. It was One whose parting word to His own
was, All power is given unto me in heaven and on
earth . . . Lo! I am with you alway, even to the
end of the world.
    A true conception of the Christian life depends
very much on the appreciation of this truth. It
has been largely lost, e.g., in the Romish Church,
with its excessive employment of the crucifix. The
Cross is the sign of Christian devotion, the inspira-
tion of Christian service; but the crucifix is no
adequate symbol of Christian faith. Christ was
crucified through weakness; but He lives by the
power of God, and we must not forget His life.
Sometimes people do. They look at Christ on the
Cross as if that exhausted the truth about Him, or
even the truth about His relation to sin. They
forget that He is not on the Cross, but on the
throne; that He has ascended far above all heavens,
separate from sinners, inaccessible to sin. They
forget that the keynote of the Christian life as it
is related to the Ascended Christ is one of victory
and triumph."

- James Denney (Studies in Theology, Lecure VII "Christ in His Exaltation", pgs. 169-170)

*Re-post from 07/04/15

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