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 28, 2016

The moral insphering of Christ's life and ours

  "Fully to define or explain the mystical union is impossible.  It can be known only in part. "The fact, the experience transcends our analysis," says Bishop Moule, "but it is not beyond our faith, nor beyond our reception and inward verification."  It is as mysterious as life, and is as much in evidence - "the fruits of righteousness" which it produces being patent to all.  One thing is clear, it is marked by a moral quality.  It is the moral insphering of one life in another; the blending of one life with another, so that, while remaining separate and distinct, they have but one heart-beat, one will, one purpose.  When Christians are said to be "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Pet. ii. 4), this must not therefore be understood to mean that they partake of the essential nature of the Godhead, but of the divine moral nature.  They are not clothed with divine attributes, but are filled with divine impulses, governed by divine principles, and inspired by divine aims.
   Recently the question has been discussed with unnecessary sharpness, as to whether the union of the believer with Christ is " a moral union merely," or whether it has in it a "biological" element.  "Moral to the core" it undoubtedly is; but to say that does not exhaust it's meaning.  Entering into the experience of it is a sense of the impact of a life upon a life, - the passing of a life into a life, - a thing which defies analysis, but which is related to moral action as being to doing, or as nature to character.  Underlying all ethical observances, and accounting for them, is a spirit, or principle, or vital force, which is as much greater than they as a cause is greater than it's effects.  This new spirit, or principle, or force, is spoken of as a birth or creation.  In all the states of consciousness to which Paul refers as making up Christian experience, it is ascribed to Christ.  From union with Him comes a new moral potentiality.  His love is the upflowing sap by which the moral life of the Christian is nourished.  He imparts, not new powers, but new power.  The gospel which makes Him known is the dynamic energy of God, working unto salvation in everyone who becomes united to Him by faith."

- James Mann Campbell (Paul, the Mystic: a study in apostolic experience pp. 69-71)

*Re-post from 06/23/14

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