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)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Heavenly Ideal of human character Who had the power to create a new humanity

    "Paul makes little reference, as we saw in last lecture, to the historic Christ. But the new type of character that the historic Christ originated and exemplified is never absent from his thoughts, and the Epistles are largely occupied with its delineation, and with precept illustrative of it. These writings are considered to be doctrinal by some; they are really ethical. The mind of the author is absorbed in the Heavenly Ideal of human character that had appeared on earth, and that had in it the power to create a new humanity. And where doctrine is taught it is to show how that new type of character is produced, and what motives the Christian religion can bring to bear on its production. "Paul's writings," to use the words of another, "retain their hold, not because he is thought to be inspired, nor because he was the first and greatest of the apostles, but because he held up the Ideal of renewed character with a vividness, a reality, a sense of never-ending wonder, which are always needed to express the feelings appropriate to the faith struggling up in every age towards that same Ideal to embrace and possess it." It is, indeed, only in the course of the ages, and bit by bit, that the rich fulness of that Ideal is apprehended. Many degrees of religious culture are found amongst men, many varieties of mental gift and moral discernment. These differences reveal themselves in the presence of Christ, each individual, each race of mankind, each age of the world discovering in Him that virtue it is prepared specially to value, the embodiment of that idea of human worth that is peculiar to it. It has been finely said by Dean Church in his well-known sermon on "Christ's Example," 1 "That one and the same Form has borne the eager scrutiny of each anxious and imperfect age: and each age has recognised with boundless sympathy and devotion what it missed in the world, and has found in Him what is wanted. Each age has caught in those august lineaments what most touched and swayed its heart, and as generations go on and unfold themselves, they still find that Character answering to their best thoughts and hopes: they still find in it what their predecessors had not seen or cared for: they bow down to it as their inimitable pattern, and draw comfort from a model who was plain enough and universal enough to be the Master as of rich and poor, so of the first century and the last. It has been the root of all that was great and good in our fathers. We look forward with hope to its making our children greater and better still...."

1: In his The Gifts of Civilisation, pp. 111, 112."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ, pgs. 61-62)

*Re-post from 11/10/15

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