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)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Christ the Archetype of Humanity, part 5 of 8

    "2. But to Paul Christ was more than the Spiritual Man. He was also the SON OF GOD, the Original of that sonship that is a primary fact of Christian consciousness, the Man in whom the filial relationship was embodied in its absolute truth. The intimate connection between the Divine Sonship of Christ and the indwelling in Him of the Divine Spirit is set forth in the opening of the great Epistle to the Romans, where Paul speaks of the subject of the Gospel as being "God's Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, and marked out as, or appointed to be, Son of God, with power according to the Spirit of Holiness by (or in consequence of) His resurrection from the dead."1 Two things are to be noticed here.
    On the one hand, we have the statement of the two factors of Christ's Person, the Flesh and the Spirit, and of the relations arising out of these to men and to God. As regards the flesh, He was a Jew and the Son of David. He is declared here and elsewhere 2 to be a Man of a particular nationality, having in His veins the blood of the Royal House of Judah. The Davidic descent of Christ was after all a carnal distinction, and of no value in the kingdom of God, and it surprises us to find the apostle who is so strenuous an opponent of all inequalities among men that arise out of the flesh, taking account of this accident of Christ's birth. Possibly it was his object to commend the gospel thereby to the Jewish section of his readers, who from this description of Christ would recognise Him as the Messiah promised to their fathers. Or he may have wished, in condescending to particularise His nationality, to make broad and plain the fact that He was a true Man. But the real importance of the words quoted attaches to the account they contain of what Christ is in reference to the Spirit that constituted His higher Nature—"appointed to be the Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of Holiness." The ground of His Glorified Sonship is said to be the Indwelling in Him of the Holy Spirit of God; and we gather that the Sonship itself is a union with God that is ethical in its character and manifestation, consisting in a community of mind and spirit with God, an identity with Him in moral feature and purpose. It is a relationship in which, as a man, Christ stands to God. By the perfection of His filial Spirit and life He fulfils the idea of our humanity, and is thus qualified to be the First-born of many brethren and the Author of Sonship in His people. Inasmuch as it is a relationship which He graciously shares with us, it is plain that it is as a man, the Man in whom the Divine Life was found in its fulness, and who in His human excellences altogether resembled God, that He is called His Son. What deeper significance the term has in Paul's writings when applied to Christ will appear in another lecture; but there is no doubt it is as a human Son of God we are to think of Him when He is so called, His pre-eminence being not that He is God's Son, while all others are, and can only be, sons of men, but that He is what He is, in distinction from all others, God's Son, in order to share His glory with us, to invest us in His own Sonship, and so to raise us to the dignity and power of true manhood.

1---Rom. i. 4.; 2---Rom. ix. 5."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ: or, The Doctrine of the Second Adam, pgs. 41-43)

*Re-post from 9/17/15

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