the finite. But we see the divine intelligence and goodness drawing nearer to us, by successive stages, in vegetable life, in the animal creation and in the moral nature of man. And yet there are two stages beyond all these: first, in Christ?s union with the believer and secondly, in God?s union with Christ. If this union of God with the believer be only one of several approximations of God to his finite creation, the fact that it is, equally with the others, not wholly comprehensible to reason, should not blind us either to its truth or to its importance.
It is easier today than at any other previous period of history to believe in the union of the believer with Christ. That God is immanent in the universe, and that there is a divine element in man, is familiar to our generation. All men are naturally one with Christ, the immanent God, and this natural union prepares the way for that spiritual union in which Christ joins himself to our faith. Campbell, The Indwelling Christ, 131 ? ?In the immanence of Christ in nature we find the ground of his immanence in human nature. A man may be out of Christ but Christ is never out of him. Those who banish him he does not abandon.? John Caird, Fund. Ideas of Christianity, 2:233-256 ? ?God is united with nature, in the atoms, in the trees, in the planets. Science is seeing nature full of the life of God. God is united to man in body and soul; the beating of his heart and the voice of conscience witness to God within. God sleeps in the stone, dreams in the animal, wakes in man.?
A. Negatively. It is not:
(a) A merely natural union, like that of God with all human spirits, as held by rationalists.
In our physical life we are conscious of another life within us which is not subject to our wills. The heart beats involuntarily, whether we sleep or wake but, in our spiritual life we are still more conscious of a life within our life. Even the heathen said: ?Est Deus in nobis; agitante calescimus illo,? and the Egyptians held to the identification of the departed with Osiris (Renouf, Hibbert Lectures, 185). But Paul urges us to work out our salvation, upon the very ground that ?it is God that worketh? in us, ?both to will and to work, far be good pleasure? ( <503512>Philippians 2:12, 13). This life of God in the soul is the life of Christ.
The movement of the electric car cannot be explained simply from the working of its own motor apparatus. The electric current throbbing through the wire and the dynamo, from which that energy proceeds are needed to explain the result. In like manner we need a spiritual Christ to explain the spiritual activity of the Christian. A. H. Strong, Sermon
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