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)

Friday, July 8, 2016

The exalted Christ is through His Spirit the author and giver of our life as Christians, part 2 in a 2 part series

   "There is an imitatio Christi which loses sight of
this, and offers to the world, under the name of
Christianity, a life which has not the remotest
resemblance, especially in temperament, to that of
the New Testament. The highest note it strikes is
that of resignation; it could never have invented,
and never dare appropriate, such an outburst as that
of St. Paul: 'in all these things we are more than
conquerors.' (Rom. viii. 37.) The beauty of Christ's earthly life it
is not for us to praise; we worship as we look upon
it; we try with all humility to take His yoke upon
us, and learn of Him. The passion of His death
constrains us; it takes hold of our hearts, and puts
a pressure on us under which self-will dies, and we
are crucified with Christ to the world and the flesh,
and conformed unto His death. But neither His
death nor His life exhaust the knowledge of Christ
which we possess, nor the likeness to which we are
to be assimilated. It is of the exalted Saviour that
the apostle says, 'We all, beholding as in a mirror
the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same
image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord the
Spirit.' (2 Cor. iii. 18.) It may seem at first sight meaningless to
say that Christ in His exaltation is to be included
in the imitatio Christi; but is it so absurd when we
think of it? The exalted Christ is through His Spirit
the author and giver of our life as Christians, and
the life which He communicates is His own. It is
essentially a victorious, triumphant, joyous life. It
is such as we see it in the apostolic writings, and
as such we ought to see it everywhere. Christianity
has been named, sometimes patronisingly, some-
times sentimentally, sometimes honestly enough,
the Religion of Sorrow; but there never was a more
complete misnomer. It is not the religion of sorrow,
but the religion which, because it is inspired by
One who lives and was dead, gives the victory over
every sorrow, even the crowning sorrows of death
and sin. There is not in the New Testament from
beginning to end, in the record of the original and
genuine Christian life, a single word of despondency
or gloom. It is the most buoyant, exhilarating, and
joyful book in the world. The men who write it
have indeed all that is hard and painful in the
world to encounter; but they are of good courage,
because Christ has overcome the world, and when
the hour of conflict comes, they descend crowned
into the arena. All this is due to their faith in
Christ's exaltation, and in His constant presence
with them in the omnipotence of His grace. Their
world had prospects and horizons which the world
of many so-called Christians wants, and no one could
do a better service to the Church than to work for
their recovery by working for faith in the reign of
Christ in grace."

- James Denney (Studies in Theology, Lecture VII "Christ in His Exaltation", pgs. 170-172)

*Re-post from 07/05/15

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