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)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

This Life-giving Power belongs to Him who rose from the dead

    "It is indeed a radical part of the Pauline idea of the Second Adam that it is in Christ as Risen from the dead it is fully realised. It is the Man that has passed victorious through death, and has entered on a new life clothed in a body that is the appropriate organ of a spiritual nature, who is to be regarded as having lived the life and fulfilled the destiny of man. "If in Adam all die, while in Christ all shall be made alive,"1 this Life-giving Power belongs to Him who rose from the dead, and who is now in possession of a humanity that has been redeemed in its integrity from sin and death, and transfigured in all its parts. He is in this way fitted to be the seed in His people of a life similarly complete in its taking up into itself all the elements of our present life, changed and transfigured, into a form that will be the counterpart of the Glorified Manhood of Christ Himself.
    But for another reason also, death and resurrection had to intervene before Christ could be revealed as the Second Adam. As long as He was in the flesh, this significance of His Person was concealed from men. Belonging to a particular nation, appearing at a special period in the world's history, holding definite relations as an individual Man to certain other men, manifesting Himself in special ways and forms of activity called forth by the circumstances in which He was placed, He exhibited a particularism as regards the outward aspects of His Personality that hindered men perceiving what was universal, essential, and of worldwide significance in His human nature and in the ideals that were embodied in His life. There was needed a change in the outward form of His Being; and that change came when, laying aside the flesh at death, He rose again in the power of a Glorified Humanity, and entered on those universal relations to mankind that disclosed the higher, the ideal truth of His Person. It is a connection with the Risen Christ on which Paul insists as alone of worth, because alone securing for us those blessings and benefits that are moral and religious in their character, and have nothing to do with distinctions that arise out of the life of sense. As belonging to the sphere of the Spirit, Christ is now loosed from those relations that are rooted in the flesh. And in union with Him all differences pertaining to the lower sphere, whether of nationality, culture, social position, sex, are seen to be only provisional and temporary, and to be now merged in the higher unity of the Spirit and of those spiritual relations that bind together into one fellowship all who share the one Perfected Humanity of Christ. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female, but ye are all one in Christ Jesus."*

1: I Cor. xv. 22.; *Gal. iii. 28."

- David Somerville (St. Paul's Conception of Christ, pgs. 54-56)

*Re-post from 11/5/15

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