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, June 17, 2017

A true understanding of the Gift of the Spirit

"2. Paul identified the Spirit of God, bestowed on believers under the Gospel, with the Spirit of Christ. Effects that are referred by him in some passages to the Divine Spirit, are in others attributed to Christ's Spirit, the two being evidently in his view one and the same power.* There was an historical justification for this; for the Spirit of the historic Jesus, that was stamped on all He said and did, was recognised as the Spirit of God Himself. It was the holiness and graciousness and truth of the living God that were expressed in the acts and words of Jesus on earth. Accordingly, when, as Risen and Glorified, He entered on His perfected fellowship with God, the Spirit proceeding from Him, by which He continues to live and energise in the hearts of men, is in the most real sense the very Spirit of God; and the experiences of the life of faith are referred both to the Spirit of Christ and to the Spirit of God. Here, too, we mark an advance on the primitive doctrine, for while it was the original belief that the Divine Spirit is given to men through Christ, it does not seem to have been held, till Paul taught it, that this Divine Gift is itself the Spirit of Christ, the active principle of His Personality. And we can understand the significance and value of the contribution the apostle thereby made to a true understanding of the Gift of the Spirit. As long as the connection in men's minds between the Person of Christ and the Gift of God's Spirit was loose and uncertain, manifestations of mere enthusiasm, originating in unsanctified human nature, might be declared to be the outcome of that Spirit which was the peculiar endowment of the Church. But by drawing close the bond between the Gift and the Person, and identifying the Spirit of God with the energy of the Personal life of Jesus, Paul furnished a test by which phenomena really due to the Divine Spirit might be discriminated from others that did not proceed from that source. For what comes from the Spirit of God must authenticate itself as such by its being in harmony with the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit exhibited in the character and deeds of Jesus of Nazareth.

* Rom. viii. 9, 14; Gal. iv. 6."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ: or, The Doctrine of the Second Adam, pgs. 116-117)

*Re-post from 9/5/15

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