fountainhead and beginning of a new humanity, the new source of life for the race. Cf . <540215>1 Timothy 2:15 ? ?she shall be saved through the child- bearing? ? which brought Christ into the world. See Wilberforce, Incarnation, 227-241; Baird, Elohim Revealed, 638-664; Dorner, Glaubenslehre. 2:451 sq . (Syst.. Doct., 3:349 sq .).
Lightfoot on <510118>Colossians 1:18 ? ?who is the beginning, the first fruits from the dead? ? Here ajrch> =
1. priority in time. Christ was first fruits of the dead <461520>1 Corinthians 15:20, 23);
2. originating power. not only principium prencipiatum, but also principium principians. As he is first with respect to the universe so he becomes first with respect to the church; cf. <580715>Hebrews 7:15, 16 ? ?another priest, who hath been made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life?.? Paul teaches that ?the head of every man is Christ? ( <461103>1 Corinthians 11:3), and that ?in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily? ( <510209>Colossians 2:9). Whiton, Gloria Patri, 88-92, remarks on <490110>Ephesians 1:10, that God?s purpose is ?to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth? ? to bring all things to a head ajnakefalaiw>sasqai . History is a perpetually increasing incarnation of life, whose climax and crown is the divine fullness of life in Christ. In him the before unconscious son-ship of the world awakes to consciousness of the Father. He is worthiest to bear the name of the Son of God, in a preeminent but not exclusive right. We agree with these words of Whiton, if they mean that Christ is the only giver of life to man as he is the only giver of life to the universe.
Hence Christ is the only ultimate authority in religion. He reveals himself in nature, in man, in history, in Scripture, but each of these is only a mirror, which reflects him to us. In each case the mirror is more or less blurred and the image obscured, yet HE appears in the mirror notwithstanding. The mirror is useless unless there is an eye to look into it and an object to be seen in it. The Holy Spirit gives the eyesight, while Christ himself, living and present, furnishes the object ( <590123>James 1:23-25; <470318> 2 Corinthians 3:18; <461312>1 Corinthians 13:12). Over against mankind is Christ-kind and over against the fallen and sinful race is the new race created by Christ?s indwelling. Therefore only when he ascended with his perfected manhood could he send the Holy Spirit, for the Holy Spirit which makes men children of God is the Spirit of Christ. Christ?s humanity now, by virtue of its perfect union with Deity, has become
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