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, October 7, 2016

The Kingdom of God, part 4 of 6

   "You want to know what this faith is, and how it is to act. Listen to what our Lord tells us. Our third question was
    WHAT IS IT TO RECEIVE THE KINGDOM?

   What is the difference between the two expressions our Lord uses: entering the Kingdom and receiving the Kingdom? You see He makes the latter, receiving, the condition of the former, entering in. The one is active: I enter in and take possession. The other is passive: I receive. The words give expression to the great truth that before I can enter the Kingdom, it must first enter into me. Before I can possess its privileges and powers, it must first possess me, with all my powers and being. I must, in subjection and surrender, in poverty and emptiness, receive the Kingdom into my heart before I am fit to be intrusted with all the power and glory it offers me. What is dark and evil within must first be cast out; what is of God must fill my being; that which is born of God alone, can inherit the Kingdom and its heavenly life. There must be a heavenly nature before there can be a heavenly state.
   Receive the Kingdom: the word is very simple. It implies two things: there is one who gives, and another who accepts. How many there are who have heard of the blessed life in the Kingdom, and the wonderful joy it gives, and who have never thought that it must be received from the living God Himself. What we need is to be brought to such consciousness of our utter ignorance and impotence, that we feel we cannot grasp or apprehend this wonderful salvation that is offered, but that we are to come into contact with the Father in heaven, and as a heavenly bestowal, receive from Him the Kingdom in power. And that not as something that we have to persuade Him to give us, but as the child's portion that actually belongs to us, and that He yearns to see us enjoy. It is as we believe this, and look up to the everlasting God, infinitely ready and able to give the Kingdom in its power into our very heart, that our hearts will take courage to expect that the Kingdom with its blessings can, indeed, enter into us.
   Then our accepting will become so simple. When we see the God who has promised, in His infinite love, just as the sun seeks to enter with its light and life into every little flower and every blade of grass, longing to enter into us, and be all that as God He can be, we shall understand how our place is simply to rest in what He will do, to claim His great gift of the Spirit who brings the ^Kingdom into us, and to wait in patient dependence for Him to do His mighty work. Our position day by day will be as of those who, having accepted, now count upon God to reveal and work in us all that he has for us.
   You may be inclined to ask, If the receiving be so simple, how is it that it still is so difficult, and that so few really find what they seek? The answer is, the whole thing is so simple, but we are not simple. The simplicity of the thing is its difficulty, because we have lost our simplicity. It is this Jesus teaches us in the words He adds, and which we must still speak of."

- Andrew Murray (Within: or, The kingdom of God is within you, pgs. 27-32)

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