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)

Monday, August 22, 2016

The emergence of something marvellous from Him

   "This much, it may be said in reply, we can gather at once from John's brief concluding explanation of what his aims have been, and this much we may take back with us to the reading of his book (leaving the complete understanding of his final summary to dawn upon us when it will) as a lamp which will go far to light us through page after page.  If we give due weight to the final clause of the evangelist's summarising statement--"and that believing ye may have life in His name"--the inference emerges that in the divineness of Jesus John held a new force (not merely a new revelation, but a new force, in the strict and scientifically limited meaning of the term) to have thrown itself among the forces acting upon the experience of men.  On those who believe--whatever the precise attitude of mind and heart indicated by that word may be--the divine life in Jesus works in such wise at to communicate itself to them.  Christ possessed a life which was able to repeat itself--a life which could generate life--in those who gave it opportunity and room; and this creativeness, being the prerogative of God, shows Christ to have been God's Son.  That is John's case.  His aim is to demonstrate that in this Jesus of whom he writes there dwells an active, energising power such as has never visited the world before: it is not merely the appearance of a self-contained supernatural phenomenon that he speaks of: he would bring his readers, not only to acknowledge the presence of something marvellous in this Jesus, but the emergence of something marvellous from Him, operating upon human experience to touch it to issues not hitherto included in it's range; and in his Gospel John advances no speculative theory accompanied by reasonings which, it is hoped, will tend to demonstrate it's truth, but seeks, from the manifestations of indwelling power which the history of Jesus affords, to lead students of the history to yield themselves to that power in their turn.  "Here is a new force revealed--will you not open your hearts that it may do there the work my pages show it as being able to do?""

- Henry William Clark (The Christ from Without and Within: A Study of the Gospel of St. John, pgs. 3-5)

*Re-post from 11/30/14

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