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 13, 2017

Divine power that had taken up its abode in human nature

"The bestowal on men of God's Spirit was, according to prophecy, to be the accompaniment of the Messianic era,— or rather, it was viewed as an essential part of the salvation that the Messianic era was to usher in. And the sign to the apostolic Church that the new age had indeed come, that Jesus was the Messiah, and that the promised salvation was the actual possession of men, was the fact to which observation and experience bore witness, wherever the Gospel was preached, that the Spirit was given. It is an indisputable fact that certain extraordinary effects followed wherever men believed the glad tidings. A new energy, producing remarkable phenomena, took possession of them, an energy that was spoken of by them as that of the Spirit of God, thereby intimating their belief that these phenomena proceeded from a cause that was Supernatural and Divine. The phenomena themselves were of the most varied character, being physical, intellectual, moral and religious. They were all different manifestations of one and the same Divine power that had taken up its abode in human nature, and that testified by these extraordinary effects to the truth of the Gospel and to the advent of a new age in the history of religion. Paul shared to the full the belief of the primitive Church on this subject. He himself enjoyed a measure of the common gift of the Spirit that was greater, it would seem, than that which fell to any other, uniting in himself in a singular degree the various endowments that were conferred on believers by this new power.1 He was in the most entire agreement with his fellow Christians as to the superhuman origin of the gift and as to its paramount value for the religious life. His own experience of the Divine life, so full and so vivid, gave him the most exalted impression of the might of this supernatural energy and its manifold working within the sphere of the Church. So far, Paul stood on ground common to the whole primitive Church. But now it is to be noticed that there were several directions in which he, through the depth of his experience, struck out lines of teaching for himself, that not only bore witness to the originality of his view, but contained truth of the highest importance for a proper understanding of the religious life.

1 See i Cor. iii. 5 ; Gal. i. 1 ; 2 Cor. xiii. 3 ; Rom. xv. 18-29."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ: or, The Doctrine of the Second Adam, pgs. 113-115)

*Re-post from 9/3/15

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