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 30, 2017

The satisfaction of humanity in Jesus Christ, part 7 of 9

   "Passing now to the relation of Jesus Christ to the sin of the world, we find much in this relation which points to the same general estimate of his person. The method of Jesus, as we have seen, was sacrificial, ethical indeed, but not to the exclusion or subordination of the sacrificial. But when we begin to study the method of Jesus, we are startled to find that he reversed the whole course and current of sacrifice. The great volume of sacrifice had been pouring through innumerable channels from the heart of man into the heart of God. Christ met and overwhelmed the sacrifices of men with the sacrifice of God. It was the inflowing tide of the ocean staying and returning the waters which were seeking its bosom. The act of Jesus was an act of sublime daring. We instinctively ask, Who is it that dares to make this reversal? Who is it that bids men cease their propitiatory rites? Who is it that puts out the fires on sacrificial altars, and stanches the blood of sacrificial victims? Who is it that carries out the change in and through his own person, and offers himself "the lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world"?
    If the change wrought out through the method of Jesus had been from the sacrificial to the ethical, it would not have been so astounding. If he had abolished not only the system, but the principle of sacrifice, we might say that his act represented a new stage in the divine administration of the world. But no, the principle was not abolished, it was rather acknowledged, accepted, and obeyed. It was ratified in suffering and death.
    That the method of Jesus was sacrificial seems to us to be beyond dispute, the only question about it being this, Was it simply a part of the pain and suffering under which the whole creation groaneth and travaileth, or was it more distinctly God's part in the work of redemption? And this is really asking in respect to Jesus, Was his sacrifice voluntary or involuntary? What did he mean when he said of his life, "I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father"? Here again it seems to us natural and rational to interpret the sacrifice of Christ through his relation to the nature of God, and to think that in that relation lies the security of the Christian conception of sacrifice. Nothing less than the absolute assurance that the act of Jesus Christ in reversing the course of sacrifice was a divine act can avail to prevent a return of the race to the old course. No ethical provision can satisfy men in their sins. The correlative of sin is sacrifice. It is the sacrificial element which makes the ethics of Jesus permanent and universal. Confucius may have anticipated some of the sayings of Jesus, but the words of Jesus have gone abroad in their saving power into all the earth. "Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them," is another saying when interpreted in the light of the cross. The sacrifice of Jesus has transfigured all human duty. "The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge that one died for all, therefore all died; and he died for all, that they which live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who for their sakes died and rose again." "

- Smyth, Tucker, Churchill, Harris, and Hincks (The Divinity of Jesus Christ, pgs. 225-228)

*Re-post from 8/23/15

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