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 29, 2017

The satisfaction of humanity in Jesus Christ, part 6 of 9

   "We have thus far been considering a most singular and unique fact, which is inseparably connected in all its parts with a person. Here is one through whom men know God, and know that they know Him; through whom they are relieved of the burden of sin, and to whom they turn in the gratitude of their deliverance ; and through whom they are able to rise in their freed powers into the new joy of sonship and go about the Father's business on earth. The fact is the most unique as it is the most glorious in human experience, and offers itself as an essential aid in our attempt to interpret the person of Jesus Christ. Happily for our generation, the chief approach to his person is not by the way of controversial or even speculative interest, but rather by the way of interpretation. His personality comes before us, not as a metaphysical problem to be solved, but as an acknowledged reality to be apprehended and interpreted. The question which one serious-minded man puts to another is not, How do you explain Christ? but, How do you understand him? What does he mean to you? How do you place him in your own life and in the life of the world? The interpretation of a person, not the solution of a problem, represents the attitude of the religious mind toward Christ, and determines the method of our approach to his personality.
    The fact before us, which must be considered as one of the sources of interpretation, necessitates some conclusion in regard to the person of Christ. To begin with the revelation which we have of God through him, — that revelation is so peculiar that it implies a peculiar relation on his part to God. Christ's revelation of God was that of a new relationship in the divine nature, namely, fatherhood. What guarantees to us that relationship? How do we know that it is anything more than an idea, an analogy taken up out of earthly relations and carried back into the nature of God? To our mind, the guaranty of the absolute and essential fatherhood of God is the absolute and essential sonship of Jesus Christ. In this way the assurance is given, not in word, but in fact. When we say that men are the sons of God, we proclaim a comforting truth, but we do not thereby gain a better knowledge of what God is. We do not reach through the assumption of this relationship a sure and satisfying knowledge of God. To get a true idea of fatherhood we must have a true idea of sonship. That idea completely and perfectly realized, we know at once that there must be a corresponding idea of a complete and perfect fatherhood. The order of thought in the statement of John seems to us natural and rational, — "The only begotten which is in the bosom of the Father he hath declared him;" a statement which accords exactly with the utterance of Christ: "No man knoweth the Father save the Son and he to whom the Son willeth to reveal him." The revealer of God the Father is naturally God the Son. The revelation must hold the quality and substance of the life revealed. The Nicene Creed was not written in the language of the nineteenth century, but we believe that it still utters a reasonable faith: "Light of Light, Very God of God." When a spiritual relationship has been established and has become familiar, we are apt to think that it is self-evident or easily discoverable. This thought finds constant exemplification in the conception of the divine fatherhood. We cannot think of God apart from it. But until the sonship of Christ made it evident, the world had never caught sight of it in any clear or sufficient sense. Earthly relations did not establish it, however much they may now appear to us to suggest it. And we are not at all sure that the conception would abide as a fixed reality if its original support should be withdrawn. Take away the fact of the absolute and essential sonship of Christ, and, though we may not deny that fatherhood is inherent in the divine nature, yet we do not know how we can justify the belief to our certain consciousness. The sonship of Christ is the pledge of the fatherhood of God. It is difficult to see how we can accept the relationship, and refuse the guaranty which Christ offers in himself. Fatherhood and sonship have their abiding reality in the spiritual world because of the eternal correspondence revealed in the Father and the Son."

- Smyth, Tucker, Churchill, Harris, and Hincks (The Divinity of Jesus Christ, pgs. 221-225

*Re-post from 8/22/15

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