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 26, 2017

Christ the Archetype of Humanity, part 8 of 8

    "From this peculiarity in the Person of Christ there flows a twofold distinction from others, in the light of which His supreme significance for the moral and religious life of mankind is apparent. On the one hand, He is the Image of God in humanity, the pure and perfect revelation of Divinity in a human life. We can know God only through the medium of the best and worthiest qualities of our own nature: and he who carries our humanity to its true height becomes thereby the organ by whom God can communicate Himself and reveal to us all that we are able to know of His nature. And in virtue of His human perfection Christ is to us the embodiment of the highest truth we can know about God as a spiritual Being. We learn from the goodness of Christ how we are to think of Him whose invisible qualities He translated into the language of human dispositions and actions. What of God became human in Him, was His Spiritual Being, His Love and Truth and Grace, not such natural or metaphysical attributes as His Omnipotence or Omniscience which cannot be expressed in a man. Only that can be in man and was in Christ, which man was made capable of sharing with God. This is limited to the Spiritual or Personal qualities. Christ is the Revelation of the Love and Holiness of God.
    It must be observed, however, that Paul does not dwell much on this aspect of Christ, on His being personally the human representation of God. In one passage,* indeed, he speaks of the "light of the knowledge of the glory of God" made visible in the face of Jesus Christ His Son, where it is evident that the Perfected humanity of Christ is viewed as the mirror in which we are to see reflected the glory of the Divine character. And the idea of Christ's Lordship, which, as will appear more fully by and by, is so prominent in Paul's conception, is based on the truth that He is the Son of God, and as such the Revealer of His mind and will. But while it is fundamental with the apostle that Christ is the revelation of the Grace of God, the exhibition of the Divine character, it is not so much to the personal life of Jesus that he makes his appeal in proof of this, as to the gracious ends accomplished by God through the death on the Cross. To this I shall return in my next lecture. For the present it is enough to remark, what is indeed obvious to everyone familiar with the Epistles, that the idea of Christ as personally the Image of God does not receive in the thought of the apostle anything like the place that is given to the other aspect of His Person, under which He is viewed, not in relation to God as His Image, but in relation to mankind as its Pattern or Archetype.

*2 Cor. iv. 6."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ: or, The Doctrine of the Second Adam, pgs. 48-50)

*Re-post from 9/20/15


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