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)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A living, sanctifying Reality in our hearts

   "But our Lord's words are, For, if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but, if I depart, I will send Him to you. In these words there is a depth of meaning far beyond what we have yet attained to: but they are words which we must not approach, except with humble and reverent awe, taking off the shoes in which we are wont to walk along the highways and byways of human thought. For they relate to the mysteries hidden in the bosom of the Godhead, to the part which the several Persons in the ever-blessed Trinity bear in the gracious work of our Redemption. From other passages of Scripture, as well as from the text, we learn that the gift of the Holy Ghost was connected in some mysterious manner with the completion of Christ's work upon earth. Thus St. John, in a former chapter (vii. 39), says, with reference to the promise that the Spirit should be given to such as believe in Christ, the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified: which agrees exactly with what we read in our text, that, if Jesus had not gone away, the Comforter would not have come. If we endeavour to understand the whole process of our Redemption, so far as it is set forth in Scripture, it would seem to have been ordained in the eternal counsels of God, manifested as they are, and must needs be, to us under an order of succession, that the sacrifice of Christ should be offered up,--that the full victory over sin, under every form of assailing temptation, should be gained by Christ in behalf, and as the Head and Representative, of all mankind,--before those special gifts of the Holy Ghost, which were to be the glory and the blessing of the New Dispensation, were poured out of the treasury of heaven. Such appears to have been the order appointed in the counsels of God: for such was the order in which the events took place. Such too was the order of the prophetic announcement. The Messiah was to go up on high, and to lead captivity captive, and then to receive gifts for men, that the Lord God should dwell among them. Accordingly, when the fulfilment was come, St. Peter, in his sermon, declared that Jesus, being exalted by the right hand of God, and having received the promise of the Holy Ghost from the Father, had shed forth what the people on the day of Pentecost saw and heard. Moreover we find, in the verses immediately after the text, that a main part of the lessons which the Comforter was to teach, related to facts which did not receive their full accomplishment, until our Lord ascended into heaven. Indeed the great purpose of the mission of the Comforter, it would appear from those verses, was to declare the whole scheme of salvation to mankind, to reveal it in all its fulness to their understandings, and to graft this knowledge as a living, sanctifying reality in their hearts; so that, were it only on this account, the completion of Christ's work would be an indispensable preliminary to the mission of the Paraclete, who throughout this passage is spoken of as proceeding, not from the Father only, but from the Father and the Son (G)."

- Julius Charles Hare (The Mission of the Comforter: With Notes, Sermon 1, pgs. 22-24)

*Re-post from 3/8/15

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