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, July 17, 2017

Christ is the "Life-producing" Spirit

    "There may seem to be, indeed, a lack of propriety in the application of the term "Second Adam" to Christ, when we think of the dissimilarity between Him and Adam. They are alike, indeed, in this, that both were parents of orders of beings that take after those from whom they are severally descended. But in all other respects the parallel assumes the form of contrast, the most striking that can be imagined. The "first" man was natural; Christ is spiritual. The first was "from the earth"; Christ was "from heaven." The first was a "living soul," a being animated by a merely natural life, sensuous in his constitution; Christ is a "Life-producing" Spirit. If in spite of these differences Christ is still spoken of as a Man, the Second Man, it is to remind us that it is the spiritual that is the truly human, and that human nature is properly beheld in Him who was the Spiritual Man and Son of God, and not in the other in whom it existed only in an incomplete and imperfect form. In I Cor. xv. 45, 46, Paul seems to teach that there were two stages in the creation of the being that was to answer to the Divine idea. The initial stage was reached when the man stood forth, perfect in his physical organisation, with the possibilities of higher functions latent in him; the second, and final one, when he received a fresh accession of spiritual endowment for the realisation of these possibilities, and true manhood was seen to consist in union with God and in the exercise of a spiritual nature through an organ adapted to it.
    Whether the ascent from the lower to the higher might have been made by man himself, and the spiritual in this way evolved by a natural process in the course of obedience to the Divine Will; or whether, even had man not fallen, the Incarnation would still have been necessary to reveal the Archetypal Man, is a question on which much has been written on both sides. Many have held strongly the latter view,—that the idea of the incarnation corresponds with the very perfection of man as he was constituted at the first, and not merely with the restoration of man who had missed his end; that even, therefore, though sin had never entered, the Son of God would have come in order to raise man to the perfection that answered to the idea of his creation in the Divine mind. There is much to be said in favour of this view, especially when account is taken of the teaching of the Epistle to the Colossians, which will be considered at a later stage. Paul's Gospel, however, deals not with the ideal relations between God and man, but with the actual relations consequent on sin and death. It begins not with the Incarnation, but with the suffering and death of Jesus as necessitated by the actual condition of the race. The interest of the question is mainly speculative. The entrance of sin through our sensuous nature has rendered a normal development from the natural to the spiritual impossible; and by the supernatural act of God, a Personality has appeared who fully answers to God's idea of human nature, and who, like him who was the partial fulfilment of that idea, is a Public and Central Person, and is exalted to be the author, in all who attach themselves to Him, of a life that in its essential features and destiny answers to His own."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ, pgs. 52-54)

*Re-post from 11/4/15

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