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)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Christ the Archetype of Humanity, part 1 of 8

    "In my opening lecture I aimed at showing that if we would be guided aright in our inquiry regarding Paul's thought of Christ, we must interrogate his inner life and experience as formed in union with the Risen Lord. It was the consciousness of the Power of Christ on his personal life that led him into that understanding of his Master, "for whose excellency he counted all things loss."1 His Christology was in this way the product of his experience, the expression of what he had found Christ to be in his deepest life. There is in friendship such a thing as a union between two of so intimate a character that the inner forces that mould the life of the one pass into and become factors in the personal life of the other, and by their effects on his experience disclose to him the inmost nature of the man who has thus entered his personality to possess and dominate it. Now, from the moment that Paul was arrested by the Risen Lord on the way to Damascus and surrendered himself to Him, his whole soul was thrown wide open to His influence, to receive impressions that resulted in the communication to him of what was most distinctive in the personal life of his Master, and in the forming within him of an experience, with features of its own, that in its turn shed light on the nature of the Heavenly Being with whom he had been brought into so intimate a fellowship. The new elements that enriched his personal life, and that were due to the influence of the Exalted Christ, supplied him with the means of construing to his thought the nature of that wonderful Personality that had made all things new within him.
    His Epistles contain the record of that experience; and from them we learn that in its essential features it was, on the one hand, a consciousness of new moral power identified by him with the power of the Holy Spirit of God, and, on the other hand, a consciousness of religious satisfaction rooting itself in reconciliation or sonship to God. He was conscious, in short, from the outset of his connection with Christ, of power proceeding from Him that was the power of the Holy Spirit, for by it that which was spiritual in him regained its supremacy over the flesh. And He who shed that influence on his inner life was thus revealed to him as a Being whose nature was Spirit, a Man distinguished from and contrasted with all others in this, that the Spirit of God was the indwelling Power of His personal life. Again, in communion with Christ, the old Judaic feeling of legalism and estrangement in his relation to God had given place to the consciousness of forgiveness and sonship; and this too, derived from Christ, pointed back to Him as the Son of God, differing from all others in the reality and power of His Divine Sonship and in His perfect oneness with God, constituting Him the Source to all who believed in Him of the Standing, Spirit, and Character of the children of God.
    We have here the root conception of Christ in the mind of the apostle. He is at once the PNEUMATIC or SPIRITUAL MAN, in whom the Holy Spirit of God is operative as the very principle of His Personality; and the MAN who is the SON OF GOD, the embodiment through His full participation of the life of the Father of the filial relation of Man to God.

1-Phil. iii. 8."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ; or, The Doctrine of the Second Adam, pgs. 33-35)

*Re-post from 9/13/15

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