Saturday, November 26, 2011

Owen again on meditating on the righteousness of Christ

Believers approve of and rejoice in this righteousness [of Christ] because it brings great peace and assurance to their souls. They remember what fears  they had before. But now 'being justified by faith, they have peace with God' (Rom 5.1). All is quiet and still. Not only is the storm over, but they are safely anchored in the harbour. They have abiding peace with God. So we have that wonderful description of Christ given to us in Isaiah (Isa 32.2). The soul, through Christ, is at perfect peace with God (Isa 26.3; Psa. 4.6-8). So the souls of believers glorify the Lord Christ because they can come boldly to God with confidence, peace, joy and assurance. They can call him Father. They can strengthen themselves in his love. They can walk in peace and live without fear. Once they ran from him for fear. Now they can approach him with love, joy and peace.

John Owen, Communion with God (Banner of Truth), p.142

Friday, November 25, 2011

Grace revealed in the righteousness of Christ - John Owen

When the righteousness of Christ is first revealed to a sinner as the only way to be accepted by God, he is amazed and full of wonder and rejoices greatly. So he heartily approves of this righteousness because it reveals the glory of the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:21). He sees what darkness he was in. He looked into himself and found only sin, horror, fear and tremblings. He looked up and saw nothing but wrath, curses and vengeance. He saw that God was holy and righteous and that no unclean thing could abide with him. He saw that he was a poor, vile, unclean and sinful creature and he could not see how a holy God and a sinful creature could be reconciled. But in the righteousness of Christ, a world of wisdom is opened, dispelling all difficulties and darkness and revealing how reconciliation could actually happen (Rom 11.33; Col 2.3).

What grace is revealed in this righteousness of Christ! The sinner does not have to earn it. God everywhere assures us that this righteousness is of grace (Rom 11.6; Eph 2.7-9). It is given to us by grace. It is from the riches of grace and kindness that this righteousness has been provided. So believers rejoice in this righteousness because it is ours by grace only.
John Owen, Communion with God (Banner of Truth), pp.141-142