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, August 9, 2016

The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, part 1 of 6

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death."—Romans viii. 2.

   "It would be impossible, within the limits of an ordinary sermon, to bring out and express the fulness of meaning stored up in these words. It seems as though in them the apostle had gathered up and put into condensed form his whole idea concerning the nature and working and effect of the gospel of Christ. Whether or no he deliberately intended to do that, that at any rate is practically what he has done—given us in these words the key which unlocks the complicated intricacies of his thought upon the great subject of the Christian life, brought us in these words to the point of view from which he surveyed the wide extent of Christian doctrine and from which he took his bearings as to the method and direction of Christian influence upon his heart. Indeed, it is not too much to say that he who rightly and in any just measure comprehends what is involved in this statement of the text will have comprehended the essence of all Paul's teaching. The secret of the verse before us, once drawn out, becomes a guide to make our mental journeyings direct and easy throughout the whole range of his utterances; and you will never come, in your reading of Paul, to a chain of reasoning so abstruse, or to a tangle of thought so complicated, or to a mystery of speech so deep, that the significance of this saying, if you fall back upon it for assistance, will not in some degree help you through.
    Now, to sum up in brief form the contents of this verse, you have these three things: First, Paul's conception of the gospel of Christ as giving a law to life—"the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." Next, Paul's view of what obedience to that law means—a living in the spirit of Christ—"the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." And last, Paul's idea of the result which obedience produces—"the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death." "

- Henry William Clark (Meanings and Methods of the Spiritual Life, pgs. 54-55)

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