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, January 12, 2017

'Where the Spirit of the Lord is, is liberty.'

   "Paul now proceeds to contrast the two dispensations, and the different characters of those who live in them. ( 'Historically, I may be living in the dispensation of the Spirit, and yet practically in that of the letter.')  He points out how, as long as the mind is blinded, there is a veil on the heart which can only be taken away as we turn to the Lord. And then he adds (2 Cor. iii. 17, 18): 'Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit.' It is because God 'is a Spirit' that He can give the Spirit. It was when our Lord Jesus was exalted into the life of the Spirit that He became 'the Lord the Spirit,' could give the New Testament Spirit, and in the Spirit come Himself to His people. The disciples knew Jesus long, without knowing Him as the Lord the Spirit. Paul speaks of this, too, with regard to himself (2 Cor. v. 16). There may in the ministry be much earnest gospel preaching of the Lord Jesus as the Crucified One, without the preaching of Him as the Lord the Spirit. It is only as the latter truth is apprehended, and experienced, and then preached, that the double blessing will come that Paul speaks of here: 'Where the Spirit of the Lord is, is liberty.' Believers will be led into the glorious liberty of the children of God (Rom. viii. 2; Gal. v. 1, 18). 'We are transformed into the same image, even as from the Lord the Spirit:' then will He do the work for which He was sent--to reveal the glory of the Lord in us; and as we behold it, we shall be changed from glory to glory. Of the time before Pentecost it was written: 'The Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified.' But when He had been 'justified in the Spirit, and received up in glory,' the Spirit came forth from 'the excellent glory' into our hearts, that we, with unveiled face beholding the glory of the Lord, might be changed into His likeness. What a calling! the Ministry of the Spirit! to hold up the glory of the Lord to His redeemed, and to be used by His Spirit in working their transformation into His likeness, from glory to glory. 'Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, we faint not.' It is as the knowledge and acknowledgment of Christ as the Lord the Spirit, and of the Spirit of Christ as changing believers into His likeness, lives in the Church, that the ministry among believers will be in Life and Power,--in very deed, a Ministry of the Spirit."

- Andrew Murray (The Spirit of Christ, pgs. 246-247)

*Re-post from 2/27/15

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