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)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The satisfaction of humanity in Jesus Christ, part 4 of 9

   "But there is another form of satisfaction which he has rendered which is even deeper and more intense than this. Jesus Christ has satisfied humanity in the relief which he has brought to it under the consciousness of sin. There is really no experience which can compare in intensity with the experience of sin. The reality of sin is not to be confused with the experience of it. The reality is universal, the experience is unequal. Some know what sin is by its bitter fruits in their own souls and bodies, or in the souls and bodies of those yet dearer to them than their own; others know what sin is only in principle, through the selfishness which has some lodgment in every heart. Now, as the experience of sin is unequal, so the satisfaction which Christ brings to sinning men is unequal. And no one may argue from any knowledge which he may have of sin, short of the experience of it, how great that satisfaction is which Christ can render. For he who would satisfy humanity under the consciousness of sin must be able to meet it in its lowest conditions and in its extreme possibilities. But the fact which bears its constant witness to the power of Christ is, that when the lowest conditions are reached, and the most extreme possibilities are realized, then the satisfaction is most complete. The saying of Paul is verified a thousand times with every day, "Where sin abounded grace did abound more exceedingly."
    It is not to our present purpose to say how this result is brought about. If it were, it might not be possible. No theory is as wide as the fact. No philosophy of the atonement can altogether explain the process by which the sacrifice of Christ finds its sure result in purity and inward peace at the heart of a penitent and believing sinner. All that we can do is to watch the phenomena which attend the method of Jesus. We know that his approach to sin is through his own sinlessness. We can see that his purity wins its way where anything short of that would falter and fail. We know something of the power of his passion for sinners,—how irresistible at times it is, working against the love of sin by "the expulsive power of a new affection." And we know that the method of Jesus is always sacrificial, in its deepest sense vicariously sacrificial, life for life, the cross the standard and the measure of the satisfaction which he imparts to a sinner. So much of the process we can see — and then the result.
    There are two ways in which we can measure the impression which Christ has made upon the world as to his power over sin in the human heart. One is that which we have just been considering, in the case of those consciously delivered by him from its bondage, and consciously changed in the disposition and temper of their minds. The other appears as the painful opposite to this experience, in that false sense of security which the marvelous power of Christ has begotten in many minds, against which Christianity is obliged to put forth its constant and most serious warnings. The power of Christ seems so great and is so accessible that many presume upon it. Their presumption is their acknowledgment of it. The false sense of security, which is the counterfeit of the true satisfaction of the soul in the actual relief from sin, is one proof of the genuineness of that satisfaction. If the saving power of Jesus Christ was not so evident, if it was not so constantly evidenced, some men at least would not dare to sin."

- Smyth, Tucker, Churchill, Harris, and Hincks (The Divinity of Jesus Christ, pgs. 215-218)

*Re-post from 8/20/15

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