Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Quotes from John Owen On The Christian Life by Sinclair B. Ferguson

“It is a cardinal principal in Owen’s thought that genuine acceptance of the gospel and all its benefits requires an approval of the gospel method of justification. The method of grace is that a righteous and holy God forgives. This is the heart of the gospel. It is also a paradox at the heart of the gospel, resolved only in Christ.” (101)

“‘Get up, watch, pray, meditate, offer violence to your lusts and corruptions; fear not, startle not at their crying or importunities to be spared; press unto the throne of grace by prayers, supplications, importunities, restless requests. This is the way to take the kingdom of heaven. These things are not peace, they are not assurance; but they are part of the means that God hath appointed for the attainment of them.’” (111)

“The Christian must pray personally for the teaching ministry of the Spirit to be effective in his own life, if he is to learn the power as well as the truth of God’s word. He must pray that he will have a desire to receive such impressions from God, and exercise himself in practical obedience, with a continuing desire to grow in the knowledge of the truth.” (198-9)

“Owen regarded the ‘christianising’ of the western world as a spiritual catastrophe. It permanently confused the difference between the church and the world, and buried the doctrine of the gospel, so that ‘By these and like means, the generality of mankind were brought into an utter unconcernment with gospel holiness’.” (244)

And a final exhortation:

“’Let us, then, not think that we are anything better for our conviction of the truths of the great doctrines of the gospel, for which we content with these men, unless we find the power of the truths abiding in our own hearts, and have a continual experience of their necessity and excellency in our standing before God and our communion with him’.” (281)

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