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)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Kingdom of the Spirit, part 4 of 4

"For the divine life that was manifest in Christ, and which is reproduced in every Christian spirit, is not a life the ideal of which is one ideal for this man or nation or period of the world's history, and another for another. A wide gulf separates the man of learning and culture, richly dowered with gifts of intelligence, from the ignorant and unrefined. The characteristic spirit and genius of one nation may be stamped with its own idiosyncrasy, and barriers more impermeable than dividing seas and mountains may separate the age or country in which we live from other countries and times; but learned or unlearned, Greek or Jew, Barbarian, Scythian, bond or free--there is one principle of affinity which has power to overleap all earthly divisions; nay, which, outstripping even the division of worlds, is capable of being experienced by every spirit made in God's image in every region of the universe. The Divine Spirit that was embodied in the life of Christ, and which realizes itself in every soul that yields itself to its transforming power, wherever or whenever it takes possession of human spirits, is in essence one and the same in all. The imperative of duty, the presence within our consciousness that speaks to us in the command, "Be true, be just, be good," is not simply a similar presence in your mind and mine, but it is one and the same divine presence in all; and those in every age and country who have responded to it are united together in one undivided confraternity. And as it is one and the same force which binds the atoms of matter together and holds the planets in their orbits, so every pure thought, every holy aspiration, every effort after goodness in the lowliest or the loftiest of human spirits, is a manifestation of the same divine principle that dwelt in Christ and was revealed to the world in His life and death. It is true, indeed, that in the best of men the action of this divine principle is modified and limited by many a foreign admixture. Amidst the perturbing intrusion of selfish desires and impulses, there is much to arrest the free play of vital energy between the members of Christ's body and their Divine Head. But as the words of Christ, which I have quoted, speak of our union with Himself and with each other as finding its type in nothing less than His own union with the Father; so they point to a time when every dividing element shall pass away, when every mind shall become the pure medium of the Infinite Intelligence, every heart the organ of the Infinite Love, and when all souls that have yielded themselves to Christ, suffused, pervaded in their inmost being by the same Divine Spirit, shall be "made perfect in one." "

- John Caird (The Fundamental Ideas of Christianity, Volume 2, pgs. 252-254)

*Re-post from 6/2/15

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