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)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Invested with universal significance as the Second Adam

    "The universalism of Paul's Gospel is closely connected with the significance he attaches to the Person of Christ as the Second Adam, and as forming a Type of spiritual Manhood that is universal and final. There are some, indeed, who would have it that in thus presenting the Risen Christ as the ideal for man, Paul has substituted for the Jesus of history, who is rich in human qualities of character, a bald conception of Manhood stripped of all definiteness and points of contact with reality. They criticise his conception of the Second Adam as being little more than the abstract idea of a Man who, having no longer any connection with the earth or the circumstances of an earthly life, is consequently destitute of those features of interest by which human beings are distinguished, and which are necessary to give warmth and colour to our ideas of human character. But it would be a great mistake to imagine that in placing the Risen Christ before our faith Paul has exalted a mere ideal, or has sacrificed historic truth to the demands of a speculative system. Christ was in no sense whatever an abstraction to him. Some of the expressions used of Him, such as the "Son of God" and "the Power and Wisdom of God," might be familiar to Jewish ears and readers of Rabbinical theology. But to Paul Christ was no incarnation of a Divine attribute. Although He was indeed divested of those characteristics and accidents of time and place by which human personalities are marked, He remained, in the ground-work of His human character, the same that He was on earth, unaffected by the change that followed death, possessed of a Personality so intense, so vivid, as to excite the most ardent affection, for "never man," as one has said, "loved Christ with so absorbing a passion as did Paul." His love for Christ is indeed without a parallel in the history of religious emotions. He never lost the vision of Him whom he saw but once on the way to Damascus. Dedicating his whole being to the Christ "who had loved him and had given Himself for him," he had no thought but to please Christ, no aim but to advance His glory. All this is evidence that he did not regard his Master as having undergone the deprivation of those qualities that evoke the boundless love and adoration of the human soul, or as having suffered the loss of aught essential to His true humanity, when He died and rose again, to be no longer a mere individual member of the race, but invested with universal significance as the Second Adam."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ, pgs. 56-57)

*Re-post from 11/6/15

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