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, December 29, 2016

The perfect Pattern and Principle of Life of renewed humanity

""For if through the offence of one many be dead; much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many." It was to set forth a perfect pattern of renewed humanity that Our Lord became incarnate, "for with power He created the world, but restored it by obedience." By this means was perfected that example of human nature, which from the time of its conception was without weakness or defilement. But this perfection it had, not like Adam from the mere absence of guilt, but from the presence of that Deity with which it was personally one. That exhaustless grace, which was to be the principle of life to the whole renewed family, had its fountain and well-head in the manhood of the Son of God, before it was portioned out to the innumerable generations of His spiritual progeny. And thus "being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him." To this end was His man's nature so sorely exercised, that it might be the seed of life to all His members. So much He Himself tells us respecting His human nature, declaring that He purified it, that it might be a fit source of grace for all men: "For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth." And this sanctifying truth is no other than that Divine Being, who applies the virtue of His own manhood to His servants: "Sanctify them through Thy truth, Thy Word is truth." So that by union with His humanity does He bestow upon all the members in their degree, that which pertains perfectly to the Head of the body by nature. As St. Athanasius expresses it, the Eternal "Word was not weakened by taking a body, as though for Himself He needed to receive grace, but rather He deified that which He put on -- nay, He graciously bestowed it upon the family of men."(Con. Arian. i. 42.) Thus did His humanity become "the leaven of the whole lump," that through itself it might "sanctify the whole race of man."(S. Gregor. Naz. Hom. xxxvi. 89.) It was the city set on a hill, (St. Hilary, on Matt. iv. 12.) in which all the kindred of the renewed are inhabitants. For this reason is "the fellowship of the Holy Ghost" the very consummation of the Church's blessing, as implying that through His power all renewed men have communion with the body of Christ and with one another."

- Robert Isaac Wilberforce (The Doctrine of the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ, pgs. 300-302)

*Re-post from 2/19/15

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