Category Archives: John Owen

“His sufferings and His glory” by John Owen

“These are the two heads whereunto all the prophecies and predictions concerning Jesus Christ under the Old Testament are referred– namely, His sufferings, and the glory that ensued thereon (1 Peter 1:11).

All the prophets testified beforehand ‘of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.’

So when He Himself opened the Scriptures unto His disciples, He gave them this as the sum of the doctrine contained in them, ‘Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?’ (Luke 24:26). The same is frequently expressed elsewhere in Rom. 14:9 and Phil. 2:5–9.

So much as we know of Christ, His sufferings, and His glory, so much do we understand of the Scripture, and no more.”

–John Owen, The Works of John Owen, Volume 1: The Glory of Christ (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1684/2000), 342–343.

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“Where the lamb may wade and the elephant may swim” by John Owen

“We look on the Scripture and receive it not as the word of men, but as it is indeed, the word of the living God… In those very fords and appearing shallows of this river of God where the lamb may wade, the elephant may swim. Everything in the Scripture is so plain as that the meanest believer may understand all that belongs unto his duty or is necessary unto his happiness; yet is nothing so plain but that the wisest of them all have reason to adore the depths and stores of divine wisdom in it.”

–John Owen, “The Causes, Ways and Means of Understanding the Mind of God,” The Works of John Owen, Volume 4: The Work of the Spirit (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1678/2004), 4: 193.

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“The great mystery of the gospel” by John Owen

“This is the great mystery of the gospel in the blood of Christ, that those who sin every day should have peace with God all their days.”

–John Owen, “An Exposition of Psalm 130,” in The Works of John Owen, Volume 6: Temptation and Sin, Ed. William H. Goold (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1668/1967), 339.

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“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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