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)

Monday, July 31, 2017

The satisfaction of humanity in Jesus Christ, part 8 of 9

   "The conclusion which we reach concerning the person of Christ, through the study of his sacrificial method, is sustained by the further inquiry into the ground of the assurance we have in his unfailing development of the race. Without doubt the trend of modern thought and faith is toward the more perfect identification of Christ with humanity. We cannot overestimate the advantage to Christianity of this tendency. The world must know and feel the "humanity" of Jesus. But it makes the greatest difference in result whether the ground of the common humanity is in him or in us. To borrow the expressive language of Paul, was he "created" in us? or are we "created" in him? Grant the right of the affirmation that "there is no difference in kind between the divine and the human;" allow the interchange of terms, so that one may speak of "the humanity of God and the divinity of man;" appropriate the motive which lies in these attempts to bring God and man together, and thus to explain the personality of Jesus Christ, — it is still a matter of infinite concern to us whether his home is in the higher or lower regions of divinity. After all, very little is gained by the transfer of terms. Humanity is in no way satisfied with its degree of divinity. We are still as anxious as ever to rise above ourselves. And in this anxiety we want to know concerning our great helper whether he has in himself anything more than the possible increase of a common humanity. What is his power to lift, and how long may it last? Shall we ever reach his level, attain to his measure, become as divine as he, or does he have part in the absolute and infinite? This question may seem remote in result, but it is everything in principle. The immanence of Christ has its present meaning and value because of his transcendence. "Our fortunes — shall I say it ?" — we borrow the words of Dr. Dale in his "Lectures on the Ephesians," — "were identified with the fortunes of Christ. In the divine thought and purpose we were inseparable from him. Had we been true and loyal to the divine idea, the energy of Christ's righteousness would have drawn us upward to height after height of goodness and joy, until we ascended from this earthly life to the larger powers and loftier services and richer delights of other and diviner worlds; and still, through one golden age of intellectual and ethical and spiritual growth after another, we should have continued to rise towards Christ's transcendent and infinite perfection. But we sinned; and as the union between Christ and us could not be broken without the final and irrevocable defeat of the divine purpose, as separation from Christ meant for us eternal death, Christ was drawn down from the serene heavens to the shame and sorrow of the confused and troubled life of our race, to pain, to temptation, to anguish, to the cross, and to the grave, and so the mystery of his atonement for our sin was consummated." Such an identification of the race with Jesus Christ not only declares the meaning of the Incarnation and the Atonement, but sets forth the ground of that hope for the race, which is cherished by the Christian heart, that humanity will yet find its full perfection in the human — because the divine — Christ."

- Smyth, Tucker, Churchill, Harris, and Hincks (The Divinity of Jesus Christ, pgs. 228-231)

*Re-post from 8/24/15

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