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, July 5, 2016

Pentecost was won for us at Calvary

"...the Spirit is the gift of the exalted
Christ. He has Himself received it from the
Father, and He bestows it upon men. 'Spirit was
not yet,' as John says, 'because Jesus was not yet
glorified.' This puts the giving of the Spirit in
direct relation to Christ's work; He was anointed
with the Holy Spirit Himself, but He did not
possess it in such wise as to be able to bestow it on
men till His work on earth was done and His glory
entered. It was the promise of the Father—part
of Christ's reward for His obedience unto death,
even the death of the Cross. The giving of the
Spirit was thus the conclusive sign of God's accept-
ance of Christ's work, and we should not lose this
signification of it. Pentecost was won for us at
Calvary; it needed the atonement to make re-
generation possible. Christ's death was paid as a
price for the new life, and when the new life came,
it demonstrated the value of that death. The
forgiveness of sins was preached in His name, who
sent the Spirit. Pentecost is a historical proof—a
proof in the domain of fact and experience—that
sin has been overcome by Christ's death, and that a
divine life is again within the reach of men. It is a
seal of the great reconciliation; in the possession of
the Holy Spirit men are actually united to God in
Christ. For the Spirit is, so to speak, Christ's alter
ego; it is He who is with us in the Spirit; it is God
who through the Spirit makes our hearts a habitation
for Himself. I do not know whether the New
Testament ever speaks of believing in the Holy
Ghost as the Creed does, and as we all do of
believing in the Father and the Son; but it is more
significant still that it constantly speaks of receiving
Him. The very word Spirit seems to us a hard
one to deal with; there is something evasive and
subtle in it; its range of meanings is almost in-
credible, and we hesitate to define it; but plainly,
in the apostolic age, it had a thoroughly real
meaning. Christian experience was a thing so
unique, so entirely apart, so creative, that it could
not be overlooked nor confounded with anything
else. There had been no time for conciliations, for
approximations, for compromises; that which was
Christian possessed all its originality and distinc-
tiveness; and it was conceived as the gift and work
of the Spirit. If we are ever to find the language of
the New Testament natural, it must be by a return
to that originality and distinctiveness of the Christian
life which created the New Testament speech."

- James Denney (Studies in Theology, Lecture VII "Christ in His Exaltation", pgs. 156-158)

*Re-post from 07/02/15

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