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, August 4, 2016

Paul's method of goodness, part 5 of 5

"That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death ; if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection from the dead."—Philippians iii. 10, 11.

   "And from Christ at His cross, Paul passes to Christ in His resurrection, that as the self-sacrificing Christ has taken hold upon him and enabled him to sacrifice himself, so the risen and newly-living Christ may take hold upon him and enable him to experience the power and the thrill of a new life.
    What is it to know the power of Christ's resurrection? When He arose from the dead, He was henceforth free from all the conflict, separated from all the struggle: the sacrifice was over, the victory won ; and as the world had done its worst with Him, He had done with the world. When He arose, His home was in Heaven. And as we submit our spirits to the spirit of the risen and living Christ, He bears us away with Himself to the heaven of holiness and purities which is His home, consecrates us with Himself to all that is good, and holds us fast to it by His might. When we realise our Lord's living power and lose our natures in it, He Himself lives out the ideals of holiness within us. If only we could so realise His living power, and so lose ourselves in it, that His life might enfold ours utterly, and every movement of our life might be but the manifestation of His life through us, the purest and the best would be revealed in us. He Himself would reveal it in us, were we abandoned to Him. Union with the risen and living Christ brings us into goodness, because it brings the Christ, who lives in goodness, into us.
    I know how remote these deeper experiences of which the apostle speaks must seem to most of us. Yet I wish that now, at least, they might touch our hearts. "The fellowship of his sufferings "—" the power of his resurrection"—"becoming conformed unto his death"—we read the phrases and repeat them, with some vague idea that they are phrases to which there is scarcely any reality to correspond, phrases which the apostle employed in some more or less poetic fashion, under the stress of his Christian enthusiasm and his noble zeal. Yet, would we enter into holiness, no way of entering into it can we ever find except Paul's chosen way. Into holiness we shall never enter, unless we resolve to have no more a holiness of our own, but the holiness which is through faith in Christ. And the holiness which is through faith in Christ comes to us only as we let Christ, from His cross, in His risen life, take hold upon us, grip us, live in us, overflow our nature with His. Would we be delivered from the long struggle with ourselves and against ourselves—know something of the serenity of a life which is growing to be at home with goodness, and which is being slowly, perhaps, but surely, cut off from all that is not good? Then this is the secret our hearts must learn. To go to the Christ who died, that the spirit of sacrifice which brought Him to His death may pass from Him to us, take the place of our self-seeking spirit, and enable us to sacrifice ourselves too. To go to the Christ who lives, that the high and pure ideals which are realised in Him may become realised in us, through His utter possession of our souls.
    The secret of goodness is the magnetism of the Christ—the Christ drawing us into Himself, till we draw goodness from Him. All that we have to set our striving upon, is that we may be found in Him. We cannot win or hold goodness; but Christ, who is Goodness, is to win and hold us."

- Henry William Clark (Meanings and Methods of the Spiritual Life, pgs. 37-39)

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