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, March 23, 2017

The Heart and the Understanding, part 1 of 2

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding."--Prov. iii. 5.

   "The chief object of the Book of Proverbs is to teach knowledge and discretion, and to guide in the path of wisdom and understanding. To understand righteousness, to understand the fear of the Lord, to find good understanding, it is to this the Proverbs offer to guide us. But it gives the warning in the pursuit of this, to distinguish between trusting to our own understanding and intellect, and seeking spiritual understanding, that which God gives, even an understanding heart. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding." In all our seeking after knowledge and wisdom, in all our planning our life, or studying the Word, we have these two powers--the understanding or intellect, which knows things from without, by nature and the conceptions we form, and the heart, which knows them by experience as it takes them up into the will and affection.
    I am deeply persuaded that one of the chief reasons why so much Bible teaching and Bible knowledge is comparatively fruitless, one of the chief causes of the lack of holiness, and devotion, and power in the Church, is to be found here--the trusting to our own understanding in religion. I beseech my readers to give me a patient hearing here.
    Many argue: But surely God gave us our intellect, and without it there is no possibility of knowing God's Word. Most true; but listen. By the fall our whole human nature was disordered. The will became enslaved, the affections were perverted, the understanding was darkened. All admit the ruin of the fall in the two former, but practically deny it in the latter. They admit that even the believer has not in himself the power of a holy will, and needs the daily renewing of the grace of Jesus Christ. They admit that he has not the power of holy affection, loving God and his neighbour, except as it is wrought in him unceasingly by the Holy Spirit. But they do not notice that the intellect is just as much spiritually ruined and impotent, and incapable of apprehending spiritual truth. It was especially the desire for knowledge, in a way and at a time God had forbidden it, that led Eve astray, as the outcome of the temptation. To think that we can take the knowledge of God's truth for ourselves out of His word as we will, is still our greatest danger. We need a deep conviction of the impotence of our understanding really to know the truth, and of the terrible danger of self-confidence and self-deception in doing so, to see the need of the word, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding." It is with the heart man believeth. It is with all the heart we are to seek, and serve, and love God. It is only with the heart we can know God, or worship God, in spirit and truth. It is in the heart, therefore, that the Divine Word does the work. It is into our heart God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son. It is the heart, the inward life of desire and love and will and surrender, that the Holy Spirit guides into all the truth. In Bible study, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding." "

- Andrew Murray (The Inner Chamber and the Inner Life, ch. 13, pgs. 66-68)

*Re-post from 5/17/15

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