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)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Christ the Archetype of Humanity, part 7 of 8

    "At the same time, Paul teaches that as long as He was in the flesh, Jesus was the Son of God in weakness, and that it was not till He was raised from the dead that He was determined to be Son of God "in power." While He was in the flesh he was under the law, in appearance a servant rather than a son, submitting to all the legal ordinances of the Jews. Not that there was anything of the servile spirit in the obedience that was thus conditioned. As He partook of the flesh without its sin, so He was under the law without partaking of that spirit of slavish subjection which the legal system engendered in those in whom the spirit of sonship was absent. His goodness was none the  less spontaneous that it manifested itself in obedience to legal enactments. But the freedom which belongs to a spiritual Being from outward arrangements and ordinances that are carnal in their character was thereby concealed. And, moreover, He was, from His connection with the flesh, subject to weakness and death, under the power of that to which in His proper nature He was superior. Hence it was the Resurrection that manifested the real Glory and Power of Sonship. He then left behind Him all that impaired the freedom of His activity as a Son of God and the completeness of His spiritual resemblance to His Father, entering on a condition in which He was raised above weakness and death, and invested in all the prerogatives that belong to Divine Sonship in its perfected form.
    According to the teaching of our apostle, then, the constitution of the Person of Christ presents a radical contrast to that of all other men, in virtue of which He occupies a position that no other can share with Him. But let us mark wherein the difference and contrast consist. It is no exact or intelligible account of it to say that "He is God and Man in two distinct natures and one Person," while we are human beings only. The antithesis between the Divine and Human that is implied in this definition of His Person is not applicable to the matter, and does not give a true account of the difference between Christ and us. For, on the one hand, He is not represented as Divine in a sense that isolates or places Him out of relation to others as One possessed of qualities that cannot be communicated or transferred to them. And in the second place, it is ascribing to those with whom He is contrasted more than is true to say that, in our natural state, we are perfect and complete men, for we are defective in what constitutes proper manhood, in the higher life of the Spirit and Divine Sonship. The real contrast is to be found here, that while Christ is the Spiritual Man and Son of God, we are carnal, and at best servants of God, that while He perfectly fulfils the idea of a human personality, we entirely fail, being only potentially what He was in very truth. God made man capax Dei, capable of His own life, and of manifesting His own perfection. But Christ alone expresses the Divine thought, and stands out in contrast to all others in the very constitution of His inner life which was determined by the Divine Spirit to be the Life of God's true Son on earth. There is then a constitutional difference between Christ and all other men; but the ground of that difference is not so much metaphysical as religious, although there is a metaphysical element in the case too, as will appear in another lecture. We are not to find His Divinity in anything outside of His human life, but in the Divine Perfection of that human life itself, in the perfection of His love and holiness. He is more than Man, He is Divine; but His Divinity, in so far as it is apprehensible by us, is that of which human nature is capable, without which it is an imperfect and fragmentary thing, and infinitely less than what God made it to be—a Divinity which He communicates to as many as receive Him and in Him become children of God."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ: or, The Doctrine of the Second Adam, pgs. 46-48)

*Re-post from 9/19/15

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