Category Archives: John Owen

“The sighs, groans, and mournings of poor souls” by John Owen

“There is more glory under the eye of God, in the sighs, groans, and mournings of poor souls filled with the love of Christ, after the enjoyment of Him according to His promises— in their fervent prayers for His manifestation of Himself unto them— in the refreshments and unspeakable joys which they have in His gracious visits and embraces of His love— than in the thrones and diadems of all the monarchs on the earth.”

–John Owen, The Works of John Owen, The Glory of Christ, Vol. 1, Ed. William H. Goold (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1850), 159.

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“You have Him” by Sinclair Ferguson

“Owen’s great burden and emphasis in helping us to understand what it means to be a Christian is to say:

Through the work of the Spirit, the heavenly Father gives you to Jesus and gives Jesus to you. You have Him.

Everything you can ever lack is found in Him; all you will ever need is given to you in Him. From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.’

For the Father has ‘blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.’

It is as true for the newest, weakest Christian as for the most mature believer: from the first moment of faith, we are fully, finally, irreversibly justified in Christ.”

–Sinclair Ferguson, The Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen (Sanford, FL: Reformation Trust, 2014), 64-65.

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“To be a Christian” by Sinclair Ferguson

“To be a Christian is, first and foremost, to belong to the triune God and to be named for Him. This is the heart and core of the privileges of the gospel.

Once we were aliens from the family of God, strangers to Christ, without desire or power to please Him. But now, through the Son whom the Father sent into the world to save us, and the Spirit who brings all the resources of Christ to us, we have come to know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

To become a Christian believer is to be brought into a reality far grander than anything we could ever have imagined. It means communion with the triune God.”

–Sinclair Ferguson, The Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen (Sanford, FL: Reformation Trust, 2014), 28.

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“The greatest privilege any of us can have” by Sinclair Ferguson

“There is nothing in all the world more important to you than these truths:

(1) God is Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is a great mystery— because we are not God and we cannot fully understand the sheer, wonderful, glorious mystery of His being. But we can begin to grasp it, and learn to love and adore Him.

(2) If you are a Christian, it is because of the loving thought and action of each person of the Trinity.

The Father, along with the Son and the Spirit, planned it before the foundation of the world; the Son came to pay the price for your redemption and, supported by the Holy Spirit, became obedient to His Father in your place, both in His life and death, to bring you justification before God; and now, by the powerful work of the Holy Spirit sent by both the Father and the Son, you have been brought to faith.

(3) The greatest privilege any of us can have is this: we can know God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We can enjoy fellowship— what Owen calls ‘communion’— with God.

This knowledge is as rich, wide, deep, long, and high as are the three persons of God. Knowing Him and having fellowship with Him is an entire world of endless knowledge, trust, love, joy, fellowship, pleasure, and satisfaction.

This is what John Owen wanted Christians to know.”

–Sinclair Ferguson, The Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen (Sanford, FL: Reformation Trust, 2014), xvii.

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“Who would not love Him” by John Owen

“Who would not love Him? ‘I have been with the Lord Jesus,’ may the poor soul say:

‘I have left my sins, my burden, with Him; and He hath given me His righteousness, wherewith I am going with boldness to God. I was dead, and I am alive; for He died for me.

I was cursed, and I am blessed; for He was made a curse for me.

I was troubled, but I have peace; for the chastisement of my peace was upon Him.

I knew not what to do, nor whither to cause my sorrow to go; by Him have I received joy unspeakable and glorious.

If I do not love Him, delight in Him, obey Him, live to Him, die for Him, I am worse than the devils in hell.'”

–John Owen, Communion With God, The Works of John Owen, Vol. 2 (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1965), 195.

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“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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“These blessed servants of God” by J.C. Ryle

“Some believers are rivers of living water long after they die. They do good by their books and writings in every part of the world, long after the hands which held the pen are mouldering in the dust.

Such men were Bunyan, and Baxter, and Owen, and George Herbert, and Robert M’Cheyne. These blessed servants of God do more good probably by their books at this moment, than they did by their tongues when they were alive. ‘Being dead they yet speak.’ (Heb. 11:4.)”

–J.C. Ryle, Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots (London: William Hunt and Company, 1889), 387.

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