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, June 20, 2017

Christ the Archetype of Humanity, part 2 of 8

    "I. The one element in the conception of Christ that ruled the thoughts of the apostle was that of Spirituality. Christ is the SPIRITUAL MAN in whom the old antagonism in human nature between flesh and spirit has been overcome. It is the Exalted Christ to whom the apostle always refers; and it is of Him that this description holds in its absolute truth; but it holds also of the historic Jesus and of His state of humiliation, and we must look at it as the account of what He was when on earth in order to understand the full significance of it as the account of His glorified Person.
    The supremacy of Christ as the Spiritual Man is best understood when we bear in mind what Paul's doctrine of human nature is. He regards man in his ideal constitution as made up of two parts, spirit and flesh. This is, of course, not a metaphysical definition, it is a religious account of the matter. It has respect to man as a religious being, having a nature that connects him with God and the spiritual world, as well as one that connects him with the world of sense and the material order of things. In virtue of his power of choice, man may determine himself either in the one direction or the other; he may obey the higher law of his being, or he may surrender himself to the desire and impulse of his sensuous nature; and, according to the choice he makes, he becomes either a spiritual or a carnal man. In point of fact he has made his choice in favour of the flesh, and this choice is repeated in every member of the human race, so that owing to the preponderating influence of the appetites and desires that have their seat in the material part of us, we are now carnal in character and mind, conformed to the principle of the flesh. Paul denies to human nature in its actual condition the possession of the Spirit of God. He recognises, of course, the presence and working in human nature of spiritual elements, the activity of the nous, or mind, with its perception of a law that coerces the animal nature, the existence, in short, of an Inner Man that responds to the voice of God and duty. But when he speaks of Spirit, there is present to his mind the idea of power, energy, a principle of life and activity, and there is no such principle in man's nature. We are "without strength,"* though we strive after the Ideal we cannot reach it. The flesh is supreme, and if elements that are spiritual are still found in us, we are without the Spirit of God whose energy is needed to make them vital and dominant. Without this indwelling of God man is now a moral failure, and the highest capacities of his nature remain undeveloped.

* Rom. v. 6."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ: or, The Doctrine of the Second Adam, pgs. 35-37)

*Re-post from 9/14/15

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