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, September 8, 2016

The voice of Christ's consciousness: "Life in Himself", part 2 of 6

  "The source and Giver of life, Christ here
declares Himself to be. The whole discourse
arises out of the miracle which Christ had
wrought upon the man waiting by the Bethesda
pool, the miracle whose propriety was questioned
by the Jews because it was wrought upon the
sabbath day. Over the miracle itself we need
not linger, since the main interest of the chapter
lies, not in the miracle, but in the great sermon
which, in answer to the cavilling of His adver-
saries, Christ preached. It was at Jerusalem, of
course, that the sermon was delivered ; and it is
worthy of notice, in passing, that the greatest and
profoundest utterances which this Gospel, or in-
deed any of the four Gospels, record, were drawn
from Christ by the pressures of hostile criticism
and amid the angers of His foes. The greater
their hostility, so much the greater became the
range of His thought and speech. He rose, one
might say, to His fullest height, just when the
hands of men were most fiercely set to drag
Him down.
  In the twenty-sixth verse the key to the entire
chapter is found. " For as the Father hath life
in himself, even so gave he to the Son also to
have life in himself." That is how and why
Christ had wrought His miracle on the impotent
man : just as God has the power of creating other
life from His own, so the Christ has power to
create other life from His own ; and it was by
the exercise of that power that He created life,
new physical life, in the man whose life had
been so long spoilt and maimed. It is only by
implication that Christ notices the charge of
sabbath-breaking which the Jews had launched
at His head, and yet the implied answer is
complete. " I create as God created ; but so
long as God's work of creation went on, there
was no sabbath : the sabbath did not begin until
the creative work was done. And so long as I
set the creative power that is in me to its work,
there is no sabbath for me to break : that comes
not till all my work is done." But leaving that,
Christ in this discourse raises the whole thing
above all questions of sabbath-breaking and even
above all questions of physical healing, and speaks
from the lofty level of One who would have man
derive life, in all its range, from the life in
Himself. " For as the Father hath life in him-
self, even so gave he to the Son also to have
life in himself." Just as surely as all came
from God, is all that is in us to come from the
Christ. In regard to all the moral content of
our natures, Christ would be repeating every
moment the creative work which God performed
when He made the world. The spiritual nature
of man is without form and void — certainly
without its fairest form and void of its best
contents — until Christ comes to take it in charge ;
and He takes it in charge, not by altering and
improving what is there, tuning up the notes
which have dropped out of tune, tightening the
fibres which have become relaxed, but by re-
producing there what is in Himself. " Life in
himself" — enough life carried in the Christ to
spread itself through all men and women till
time shall end. He not only corrects human
action, but gives to us, out of Himself, that
whence action springs : our action is but the
revelation and outcome of what we are, of the
life behind the action ; and Christ wants to
create that life in us out of His own. He not
only purifies human thought : our thought, too,
springs out of the life in us ; and Christ wants
to create that life in us out of His own. Life
is not what we say or think or do : these are but
the signs of life : the life itself is the root from
which all saying and thinking and doing grow
up, the hidden reality which constitutes the
beneath it all. And Christ wants to be to us in
such a relationship that what constitutes me shall
simply have been transferred out of what con-
stitutes Him, He has life in Himself — is ready
and willing to create other moral and spiritual
personalities out of His own. And we, would
we rightly take Him, must accept Him thus in
His creative power."

- Henry William Clark (The Christ from without and within; a study of the Gospel by St. John, pgs. 120-123)

No comments:

Post a Comment