“Endless, bottomless, boundless grace” by John Owen

“Observe the endless, bottomless, boundless grace and compassion that is in Christ, who is thus our husband, as He is the God of Zion. It is not the grace of a creature, nor all the grace that can possibly at once dwell in a created nature, that will serve our turn.

We are too indigent to be suited with such a supply. There was a fullness of grace in the human nature of Christ,—He received not ‘the Spirit by measure,’ John 3:34; a fullness like that of light in the sun, or of water in the sea; a fullness incomparably above the measure of angels.

Yet it was not properly an infinite fullness,—it was a created, and therefore a limited fullness. If it could be conceived as separated from the Deity, surely so many thirsty, guilty souls, as every day drink deep and large draughts of grace and mercy from Him, would (if I may so speak) sink Him to the very bottom.

Nay, it could afford no supply at all, but only in a moral way. But when the conduit of His humanity is inseparably united to the infinite, inexhaustible fountain of the Deity, who can look into the depths thereof?

If, now, there be grace enough for sinners in an all-sufficient God, it is in Christ; and, indeed, in any other there cannot be enough. The Lord gives this reason for the peace and confidence of sinners, Isa. 54:4, 5, ‘Thou shalt not be ashamed, neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame.’

But how shall this be? So much sin, and not ashamed! So much guilt, and not confounded! ‘Thy Maker,’ saith He, ‘is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall He be called.’

This is the bottom of all peace, confidence, and consolation,—the grace and mercy of our Maker, of the God of the whole earth. So are kindness and power tempered in Him—He is our God and our Göel, our Redeemer.

‘Look unto Me,’ saith He, ‘and be ye saved; for I am God, and none else,’ Isa. 45:22, ‘Surely, shall one say, In the LORD have I righteousness,’ verse 24.

And on this ground it is that if all the world should (if I may so say) set themselves to drink free grace, mercy, and pardon, drawing water continually from the wells of salvation, if they should set themselves to draw from one single promise, an angel standing by and crying, ‘Drink, O my friends, yea, drink abundantly, take so much grace and pardon as shall be abundantly sufficient for the world of sin which is in every one of you;’—they would not be able to sink the grace of the promise one hair’s breadth.

There is enough for millions of worlds, if they were; because it flows into it from an infinite, bottomless fountain.

‘Fear not, O worm Jacob, I am God, and not man’ is the bottom of sinners’ consolation. This is that most precious fountain of grace and mercy.

This infiniteness of grace, in respect of its spring and fountain, will answer all objections that might hinder our souls from drawing nigh to communion with Him, and from a free embracing of Him. Will not this suit us in all our distresses?

What is our finite guilt before it? Show me the sinner that can spread his iniquities to the dimensions (if I may so say) of this grace. Here is mercy enough for the greatest, the oldest, the stubbornest transgressor.”

–John Owen, Communion With God in The Works of John Owen, ed. William H. Goold, vol. 2 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, n.d.), 61–62.

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Filed under Christian Theology, Christology, Communion with God, Glory of Christ, grace, Jesus Christ, John Owen, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel, Union with Christ

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