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Giving Spirit,"1 or Dispenser of Spiritual Energy to men. Moreover, in His Glory as Spiritual Man He is the Forerunner of His brethren, who, with the laying aside of the flesh, are destined to enter on a similar form of life and activity. Perfected in their spiritual nature they will then receive bodies 'like unto His Body of Glory." 2
To sum up then under this head: in the Risen Christ the apostle sees the triumph of the principle of Spirituality in Man. He beholds a manhood dwelt in by the Spirit of God and reaching its true end in the sinless perfection of its powers and in the attainment of eternal Life. Thus is Christ, Risen and Glorified, the realisation of the true idea of our nature,—Man, drawing his life from the Holy Spirit of God, become thereby holy and immortal.
2. But to Paul Christ was more than the Spiritual Man. He was also the Son OF GOD, the Original of that sonship that is a primary fact of Christian consciousness, the Man in whom the filial relationship was embodied in its absolute truth. The intimate connection between the Divine Sonship of Christ and the indwelling in Him of the Divine Spirit is set forth in the opening of the great Epistle to the Romans, where Paul speaks of the subject of the Gospel as being "God's Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, and marked out as, or appointed3 to be, Son of God, with
1 1 Cor. xv. 45.
2 Phil. iii. 21 ; Rom. viii. 12; I Cor. xv. 49 ; Eph. i. 18-20. "Glory" (So'iij) is almost a technical expression in Paul's writings. It is the characteristic of all that belongs to the world of heavenly reality. There belongs to everything that has its origin in heaven a "glory." It is the full manifestation of the "Spiritual." When all hindrances to the perfected activity of " Spirit" are removed, it appears as "glory." What is outwardly oo'£« is inwardly irvtifia. Christ is called the "Lord of glory" (1 Cor. ii. 8). He is also called the "Lord of the spirit" (2 Cor. iii. 18). These are like the reverse and obverse sides of a coin, the outward and inward aspects of the Exalted Christ.
* Weizacker, in his version of the N. T., has it "Gesetzt zum Sohn Gottes mit-Macht." In their Commentary on Romans, Sanday power according to the Spirit of Holiness by (or in consequence of) His resurrection from the dead."1 Two things are to be noticed here.
On the one hand, we have the statement of the two factors of Christ's Person, the Flesh and the Spirit, and of the relations arising out of these to men and to God. As regards the flesh, He was a Jew and the Son of David. He is declared here and elsewhere2 to be a Man of a particular nationality, having in His veins the blood of the Royal House of Judah. The Davidic descent of Christ was after all a carnal distinction, and of no value in the kingdom of God, and it surprises us to find the apostle who is so strenuous an opponent of all inequalities among men that arise out of the flesh, taking account of this accident of Christ's birth. Possibly it was his object to commend the gospel thereby to the Jewish section of his readers, who from this description of Christ would recognise Him as the Messiah promised to their fathers. Or he may have wished, in condescending to particularise His nationality, to make broad and plain the fact that He was a true Man.3 But the real importance of the words quoted attaches to the account they contain of what Christ is in reference to the Spirit that constituted His higher Nature—" appointed to be the Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of
and Headlam render it "designated." But this rather misses the meaning: we want a word to express the truth, that while He had been a Son before, Christ at the resurrection became a Son of God in power, "passed into a form of human life in which He had power over that which formerly had power over Him" (Hofmann, in loco).
1 Rom. i. 4. 2 Rom. ix. 5.
3 This is Dr. Bruce's explanation of the apparent importance Paul attached to the Davidic descent of Jesus (Paul's Conception of Christianity, pp. 332-334). In his Pastor Pastorum, Latham remarks on the fact that Jesus Himself carefully abstained from basing His claim to be the Sent of God on His royal ancestry: "He never proclaims Himself the Jewish Messiah. No Greek or Roman would have listened for a moment to one who declared himself the special Prophet of the Holiness." The ground of His Glorified Sonship is said to be the Indwelling in Him of the Holy Spirit of God j1 and we gather that the Sonship itself is a union with God that is ethical in its character and manifestation, consisting in a community of mind and spirit with God, an identity with Him in moral feature and purpose. It is a relationship in which, as a man, Christ stands to God. By the perfection of His filial Spirit and life He fulfils the idea of our humanity, and is thus qualified to be the First-born of many brethren and the Author of Sonship in His people. Inasmuch as it is a relationship which He graciously shares with us, it is plain that it is as a man, the Man in whom the Divine Life was found in its fulness, and who in His human excellences altogether resembled God, that He is called His Son. What deeper significance the term has in Paul's writings when applied to Christ will appear in another lecture; but there is no doubt it is as a human Son of God we are to think of Him when He is so called, His pre-eminence being not that He is God's Son, while all others are, and can only be, sons of men, but that He is what He is, in distinction from all others, God's Son, in order to share His glory with us, to invest us in His own Sonship, and so to raise us to the dignity and power of true manhood.2
Jews. Though of the House and Family of David (Matt. xxii. 43, 44; Mark xii. 35-37 ; Luke xx. 41), He will accept no advantage on this score. He repudiates for the Saviour of the world the title of the 'Son of David,' which from its nature was based on legitimacy and must rest on the veracity of genealogical rolls. The apostles were to divine the nature of His Personality by long and close intercourse with Him, more than by canvassing claims or interpreting texts" (P- 415)
1 "The ground and cause of His Sonship-in-power was that the Spirit that ruled His life was a Spirit of Holiness, that His life was a holy one" (Hofmann).
* The identity of Christ's Sonship with that of His people was the point in dispute in the Adoptianist controversy in the eighth century. It was maintained, by those who were strenuous in holding by the
The other thing we learn from the opening words of the Epistle to the Romans is, that it was when He rose again from the dead that Jesus entered on His full glory as the Son of God. He was appointed, or determined, to be the "Son of God with power in consequence of His resurrection from the dead." The meaning is not that Jesus then first became Son of God, but that the glory of His Sonship, which was obscured before, was then manifested, and the full power that belonged to it entered upon. His Messiahship became an accomplished fact. His distinction from all others, as a Man who had lived a human life under
reality of Christ's human nature, that unless Christ was the human Son of God, the sonship of believers must be wholly different from His. Accordingly, besides His sonship by nature as God, the Adoptianists predicated of Him a sonship as man by grace. In this latter sense He was the Son of God by adoption, as we are; and under this scheme of thought justice was done to the truth of Christ as the Firstborn of many brethren. This doctrine, however, was condemned on the ground of its involving a double personality in Christ. After this abortive attempt to rescue the humanity of Christ, the reign of Greek orthodoxy continued undisturbed till the Reformation. A remarkable effort has been made in modern times by Dr. Candlish (Cunningham Lecture, First Series, On the Fatherhood of God) to base the identity of the Sonship of Christ with that of believers on their participation of the eternal Sonship of Christ as God. He avoids the dualism of the Adoptianist view by holding that the Sonship of Christ as God and His Sonship as Man are one and the same. He regards the eternal filial relationship of Christ as separable from His Divine nature, and capable of being communicated to men; and he maintains that in Christ's human Person humanity becomes partaker in His filial relationship as God. Immense ingenuity is expended on the exposition of this view; but it cannot be denied that there is involved in it, first, a Doketic understanding of the Humanity of Christ, for He cannot be a man as we are men if the basis of His Humanity is not such a relation of man to God as is proper to the creature, but one that is proper to Him as the second Person of the Trinity; and second, the Deification of humanity, for must not this follow if man is made partaker of a relationship proper to the Son of God as God? The speculation, formed in the interest of religious truth, is another instance of the extreme difficulty of doing justice to the religious view of the Person of Christ, when we approach the subject with the mind fettered by the categories of metaphysical thought. Though advocated with great acuteness it does not seem to have had much influence on the subsequent course of theology.
our limitations, lay in this, that He was the Son of God. Paul does not allow that men in their natural state are sons of God any more than he will allow that they have the Spirit of God. And his teaching in this respect is criticised by many on the ground that it falls far behind that of his Master, who proclaimed the universal Fatherhood of God. But let us do no injustice to the apostle. He does indeed expressly say that the end of Christ's mission was that we might receive the "adoption of sons,"1 which implies that apart from Him this is not our privilege. But in the same passage he compares Humanity, while under the law and before Christ came, to a child that is " under tutors or governors." If then the actual relation of man to God as affected by sin is that of a servant, obeying a law that is foreign to his likings, and conscious of God as Law Giver and Judge rather than as a Father, man is nevertheless a servant who is by birth a son or child of God, and is destined to receive the position and spirit that are proper to sonship. In distinguishing between the legal relation, in which man is God's servant, and the relation of grace which he owes to Christ, in which man is God's son, Paul does not deny a natural capacity for sonship in man as made in the image of God. But the apostle sets no value on metaphysical distinction; he deals with religious facts. It is enough for him that men in their actual state are at best servants, and can make no claim either to the position or character of children. While acknowledging that God is Father of all, he declines to say that all men are God's sons in any real sense; for the only sonship that is of value in his eyes is that which is accompanied with the power of sonship, with the full status before God as well as the love and devotion to Him that enter into the very idea, and that were exemplified in the life and character of Him who
1 Gal. iv. 5.