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)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The manner in which Christ's predictions of His coming were fulfilled

"(3) The manner in which Christ's predictions of his
coming were fulfilled.
    These predictions were not fulfilled according to the
Jewish expectation. The event that the apostles and
their fellow-Christians expected did not occur, and has
not yet occurred. If an early visible appearing of Christ
was really promised, the promise has not been fulfilled.
The unquestionable expectation of the early Church, re-
corded in the New Testament, was unquestionably disap-
pointed. But before we decide that the promise of our
Lord has failed, we should inquire what did occur, and
whether in any proper sense Christ after his departure
returned as Messiah in his kingdom.
    The invisible and spiritual return of which the Fourth
Gospel speaks took place almost immediately. The
spiritual presence of Christ in the Holy Spirit became
manifest on the Day of Pentecost, and was thenceforth
an abiding presence, fulfilling the great promises of the
parting interview. This presence was joyfully recognized
by the apostles and their brethren as the secret of life and
power for the Church: of this the entire New Testament
gives evidence. The "Lo, I am with you alway" then
began to be fulfilled, and has been in course of fulfilment
ever since. Through all these ages Christ has been the
actual king of the messianic kingdom in the world, exalted
to the right hand of God, and reigning in the interest of
the salvation for which he died. It is true that neither
in the apostolic age nor afterward was this reign of Christ
recognized as fulfilling the prediction of his return, nor
has it withdrawn the attention of the Church from the
apocalyptic visions. Nevertheless, if we ask what would
constitute a return of our Lord in the work and glory of
the kingdom that he left unfinished when he left the
earth, we cannot think of a more genuine fulfilment than
is found in the coming and abiding of Christ by the Holy
Spirit. It was by this that the Saviour of men carried on
the messianic work for which he died, and established the
kingdom for the sake of which he came. His kingdom is
not of this world, and his method of founding it was not
such as the Jewish training had led his friends to expect;
it was more spiritual and inward than they thought; "the
kingdom of God cometh not with observation" (Luke xvii.
20). In this spiritual coming, so characteristic of him-
self, the real Messiah returned after departure, to do the
real work of his kingdom."

- William Newton Clarke (An Outline of Christian Theology, pgs. 441-442)

*Re-post from 7/19/15

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