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CHRIST THE LIFE AND THE LORD OF THE
We have been occupied in unfolding the contents of the conception under which Christ presented Himself to the faith of the apostle as the Second Adam. I have dwelt in the preceding lectures on two of the leading truths that enter into that conception : the first being, that, as Risen and Exalted, Christ is personally the Ideal or Archetypal Man, the Type of human perfection ; the second, that, in His historic life on earth, He acted as the Representative of man, having by His obedience unto death redeemed the human race from sin and its consequences, and become the Founder of a new humanity. We pass on now to consider the Activity on which He entered when He rose from the dead, by which He communicates to and perpetuates in His people the virtue of His Person and work, and so completes His function as the Second Adam of mankind.1 This continued Activity is exercised, on the one hand, by His Spirit, and on the other hand by His authority as Lord. As Spirit, or in the power of His Spirit, which is the Spirit of God, He has incorporated Himself, as it were, into the very life of the race, in order to distribute in the members of it His own perfected life; while as Lord, He is related to them as their Supreme Authority, representing God to us and receiving from us the obedience we owe to God. Christ as the INDWELLING SPIRIT and LIFE of His people, and Christ their LORD,—this is the distinctive glory of the Exalted One. The change from death to resurrection, we are taught to believe, brought to Him an accession of personal endowment that qualified Him to exert His influence as a principle of new life in men, and it meant also His investiture with supreme power as the Lord of human life and destiny. Accordingly, in the record of Paul's experience in the Epistles, He is recognised both as an energy of Divine life in believers, working towards their renewal and moral transformation, and also as Lord and Sovereign ruling them by the authority of His truth and goodness. In other words, Christ is at once IMMANENT as the Spirit of God in men, and TRANSCENDENT over them as their Divinely constituted Lord. Both aspects of His Person enter into the apprehension of His unique greatness as the Second Adam. Fully to understand His work in this capacity, we must view Him not only as the embodied type of all that a spiritual man should be, not only as having acted on God's behalf and man's, and by His work in relation to sin restored us to fellowship with God,—we must view Him also as living to reproduce and perpetuate in us by His Spirit His own perfection, and as exercising over us the authority of God Himself. It is, as we shall see in this connection, because He works in us with an energy of love and holiness that is identified with the Spirit of God, and commands our obedience with an absoluteness that is identical with the authority of God, that we are to recognise Christ as truly Divine, and to acknowledge the presence in Him of powers of Godhead that constitute Him the object of our faith and worship.
1 There would be no proper parallelism between the first and Second Adam if Christ were no more than an example, for Adam is a power of evil in us, and Christ must be in us a power of good in order to be the counterpart of the other. As William Law puts it, in a striking passage in The Spirit of Prayer : “If Adam was only an outward person, if his whole nature was not our nature, born in us, and derived from him into us, it would be nonsense to say that his fall is our fall. So in like manner, if Christ, our Second Adam, was only an outward Person, if He entered not as deeply into our nature as the first Adam does, if we have not as really from Him a new inward spiritual man as we have outward flesh and blood from Adam, what ground could there be to say that our righteousness is from Him, as our sin is from Adam ?”
First, then, Christ is IMMANENT in men. According to the teaching of Paul, the Exalted Christ is the medium by whom the Holy Spirit of God is given, He is the source of an energy on human nature that is recognised as the energy of God. The man Christ Jesus, in other words, is the organ of the activity of God's Holy Spirit in the hearts and lives of men, and dwells in them as the Power of a new Humanity that embodies the same principle as that which was realised in Him, and that lives by the same life.
Paul's doctrine of the Spirit is a subject eminently worthy of special investigation. This cannot be undertaken now; but two or three of the more distinctive features of his teaching must be noticed; for if it be true, as a thoughtful writer has remarked, “that the apostle's entire thinking stands under the influence of his estimate of the Spirit," we may expect that his conception of the Person of Christ will be modified by this estimate. While, therefore, it may be convenient for the dogmatic theologian to keep the Pauline Pneumatology and Christology apart, we cannot follow this course except at the risk of mutilating the living thought of the apostle; for in his religious experience, as we shall see, he recognised no hard and fast line between what he owed to Christ and what he owed to the Spirit of God; and to do justice to his intuition of truth we must look at the experience with which it is indissolubly connected.
The bestowal on men of God's Spirit was, according to 1 Gloel, in his Der Heilige Geist in der Heilsverkündigung des Paulus.
prophecy, to be the accompaniment of the Messianic era,— or rather, it was viewed as an essential part of the salvation that the Messianic era was to usher in. And the sign to the apostolic Church that the new age had indeed come, that Jesus was the Messiah, and that the promised salvation was the actual possession of men, was the fact to which observation and experience bore witness, wherever the Gospel was preached, that the Spirit was given. It is an indisputable fact that certain extraordinary effects followed wherever men believed the glad tidings. A new energy, producing remarkable phenomena, took possession of them, an energy that was spoken of by them as that of the
phenomena proceeded from a cause that was Supernatural and Divine. The phenomena themselves were of the most varied character, being physical, intellectual, moral and religious. They were all different manifestations of one and the same Divine power that had taken up its abode in human nature, and that testified by these extraordinary effects to the truth of the Gospel and to the advent of a new age in the history of religion. Paul shared to the full the belief of the primitive Church on this subject. He himself enjoyed a measure of the common gift of the Spirit that was greater, it would seem, than that which fell to any other, uniting in himself in a singular degree the various endowments that were conferred on believers by this new power. He was in the most entire agreement with his fellow Christians as to the superhuman origin of the gift and as to its paramount value for the religious life. His own experience of the Divine life, so full and so vivid, gave him the most exalted impression of the might of this supernatural energy and its manifold working within the sphere of the Church. So far, Paul stood on ground common to the whole primitive Church. But now it is to
1 See 1 Cor. iii. 5; Gal. i. 1 ; 2 Cor. xiii. 3 ; Rom, xv. 18–29.
be noticed that there were several directions in which he, through the depth of his experience, struck out lines of teaching for himself, that not only bore witness to the originality of his view, but contained truth of the highest importance for a proper understanding of the religious
1. He distinguishes between such phenomena as were called gifts (xaplouara) of the Spirit and those that are termed the graces of the Christian life. The tendency of the primitive Church was to exalt the extraordinary gifts (xapio pata) that pointed to a state of ecstasy, and to regard all who possessed such gifts as spiritual in a pre-eminent sense. Paul, on the other hand, emphasised the surpassing worth of the moral and religious effects of the Spirit's working in the renewal of character. He held up the Christian life itself, in the normal exercise of the graces of love, humility, meekness, etc., as being in a special sense the product of the Spirit. “If,” says Gunkel, in his admirable little book on this subject, “his fellow believers regarded the extraordinary elements in the Christian life as spiritual, Paul regarded the usual and ordinary ones as being such. They had respect to what was peculiar to the individual, he to what was common to all; they to what stept forth suddenly, he to what was regular. They singled out separate things in the Christian life; the value they attributed to wonderful gifts he placed on the Christian life itself.” 2 This marked a great advance on the thought of his age; and by his teaching on this point, as has been well said, “ Paul inaugurated that decisive change of view by which Christianity made the transition from the miraculous world of ecstatic feeling and apocalyptic phantasy into the true spiritual world of religious and moral personal life,
li Cor. xii. 31, xiii. 1, etc., xiv. I.
? Gunkel, Die Wirkungen des Heiligen Geistes in der Lehre des Paulus, p. 82.