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)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

How shall we best regard the ethical teachings of Jesus as an evidence of Christianity?, part 3 of 4

"166. Another chief means employed by Jesus was his church. The gates of hades could not prevail against it he predicted. The church was the society of repentant and redeemed men, held together by spiritual interests only. Christ himself was its center and bond. "Where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them" (Matt, xviii. 20). Thus his people were to be preserved from the world's contamination. The church became the organ for the advancement of the kingdom. Its functions are spiritual only. They greatly err who seek to make it the means of conveying directly all kinds of secular benefits to the world. This is to weaken it in its distinctive work and mission, which is to call men to repentance and faith and to sanctify them in character and conduct. Yet it leavens all society in every sphere. The modern doctrine of separation of church and state is the belated return of the world to Christ's ideal, after fifteen centuries of forgetfulness.
167. Christ reached the wills of men through two agencies, preaching and the Holy Spirit. Paul said, Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord we persuade men." Persuasion through the message of the witness and preacher indicates Christ's method with the free wills of men. The doctrine of grace means divine power exerted through the Holy Spirit not to compel action but to induce it by free choice.
    Through the above agencies Christ planned to subdue the world unto himself. An ethical kingdom was to arise and sweeten all life. His ideals were to pervade all society. Such was his ethical enterprise. No conception at once so simple, so bold, so original and so sublime ever entered into the mind of man before or since. He has been executing his purpose until to-day. He was not an idealist merely. He was a practical worker. He has gone slowly because men are slow of heart. But he has gone surely. As Professor Bruce remarks: "In vain does a railway engine start off at lightning speed, and reach its destination in an incredibly short time, if it leave the train behind. . . . The law of love dictates a slackened pace. Take the train along with you."6 With what infinite patience has Jesus, the leader of men, drawn after him the slowgoing race for two thousand years."

- E.Y. Mullins (Why is Christianity true?: Christian evidences, pgs. 165-167)

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