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)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Jesus Christ is the Religious and the Moral Ideal for men

    "And if the further question be asked, in what respect does the apostle teach us so to regard Christ, the answer is suggested by the view of the constitution of the Person of our Lord that was sketched in the beginning of this lecture. That indwelling of the Spirit of God that was the moulding principle of His Person secured that He was all that a man ought to be, both in His relation to God and to His fellowmen, both as a Son of God and a Brother to man. And accordingly we find in the letters of the apostle references to His commanding importance both as the Religious and the Moral Ideal for men.
    He is the Religious Ideal. He is the Son of God; in Him we behold, in a perfect form, the true relation of man to God. Paul does not dwell on the Sonship of Christ or on its ideal character, on the trust, the childlike obedience, the humility and sincerity in which it was manifested. His Epistles seem to take for granted the readers' familiarity with the Gospel Picture, and simply refer to the Sonship of Christ as an essential part of the good that comes to believers, a religious ideal realised in Christ that it might be realised in those who connect themselves with Him—"as many as put on Christ," by faith and love, "have become sons of God."1
    He is also the Moral Ideal. The Spirit of God, the principle of the Personality of Christ, is in fact the Spirit of Love. In asserting the supremacy in Him of the Spirit over the flesh, Paul meant that in Him the Spirit of Love was supreme. The life and character of Christ were the incarnation of grace to sinners, of sympathy, of humble, loving service. And therein is He the Ideal for us in our social relations. But neither on this does Paul enlarge. The history of Jesus was known to his readers. It was universally recognised as an imperishable memorial of pure unselfish love. We are surely not wrong in supposing that the apostle was drawing from his own impressions of that wonderful history when he sang the praises of Love in I Cor. xiii., and outlined the character that love inspires. We learn how deeply he was impressed with the all-sufficiency of Christ as the Moral Ideal in one passage in the Epistle to Romans (xiii. 14), where, after enumerating the graces of the Christian life and the dispositions it becomes believers to manifest in their relations to one another, he sums up all and ends the discussion in these words, "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh," intimating that in fellowship with Him they will be united with Love at its source and will be mastered by a principle of action that must issue in all goodness.

1: Gal. iii 22."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ, pgs. 60-61)

*Re-post from 11/9/15

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