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)

Friday, July 28, 2017

The satisfaction of humanity in Jesus Christ, part 5 of 9

   "These are the two great matters of spiritual concern about which the heart of man demands satisfaction, — the sure knowledge of God, the conscious relief from sin. Jesus Christ has given at these points a satisfaction which is true and full.
    But here comes in a new fact, which is of the greater significance because it is not precisely like those upon which we have been dwelling. As long as the human heart was unsatisfied, uncertain about God, unrelieved of the sense of sin, what could it do but expend all its energies in trying to gain some kind of satisfaction? What could the man do, who would know God, but "feel after him, if haply he might find him"? What could the man do, oppressed with the sin of sin, but strive by penance and sacrifice to purge the guilt of his soul? As long as these great necessitous desires were unsatisfied, all other spiritual desires were held back and repressed, until at times it seemed as if they had no existence, as if the individual man cared only for a personal and selfish salvation. But when Christ satisfied these imperious desires, then all other spiritual desires were set free and sprang forth into newness of life. Nothing is more inspiring than to note the growth of those new desires which Christ called forth, and of which he took the leadership. Christianity meant at once, in idea, not simply the knowledge of God and the relief from the sense of sin, but a new society, new laws and customs, a new literature and life, another and a better world. The meaning of the new liberty was exemplified in Paul. Here was a man of essential greatness of nature, but dwarfed in his powers, and in danger of perishing in his narrowness. Christ met him and set him free, and instantly the freed and enlarged powers of his nature went out to the saving of the world. It was the manifest intent of Christ that it should always be thus with his followers. He never intended that freedom should be an end in itself. He never intended that any soul should rest in the satisfaction which he had brought to it. The Christian was to be a new man, conscious of new and larger desires, and set to new and larger tasks.
    Jesus Christ thus declares himself in respect to man by the twofold sign of power, — able to satisfy his deepest longings, and able also to lead forth into wide activity those latent desires of his spiritual nature which he has set at liberty. And it is evident that humanity responds to the spiritual leadership of Christ, as it acknowledges the satisfaction which it has found in him. One by one the great leaders of humanity have been taken up in the progress of the race, and absorbed in the volume of its better life. Jesus Christ has not been taken up and absorbed. His leadership is the constant and undiminished factor in human progress. The race gains upon itself, but it makes no gain upon him. It has been sententiously said that "Christianity is always the best thing in the world." That may mean much or little. Christ does not share the varying fortune of Christianity. He is, as we know, "the same yesterday and to-day," and as we believe, "yea and forever."

- Smyth, Tucker, Churchill, Harris and Hincks (The Divinity of Jesus Christ, pgs. 218-221)

*Re-post from 8/21/15

No comments:

Post a Comment