Friday, September 21, 2012

John Owen on the work of the Holy Spirit

"A believer may be in the saddest and darkest condition imaginable. Even so, the Holy Spirit is able to break through all this and bring to mind the promises of Christ. By this work, the Holy Spirit enables Christians to sit in dungeons, rejoice in flames and glory in troubles. If he brings to mind the promises of Christ for our comfort, neither Satan nor man, neither sin nor the world, nor even death itself shall take away our comfort. Saints who have communion with the Holy Spirit know this only too well. Sometimes the heavens are black over them, and the earth trembles under them. Disasters and distresses appear which are so full of horror and darkness that they are tempted to give up in despair. So how greatly are their spirits revived when the Holy Spirit brings the words of Christ to their minds for their comfort and joy. Thus, believers are not dependent on outward circumstances for their happiness, for they have the inward and powerfully effective work of the Holy Spirit, to whom they give themselves up by faith."

John Owen, Communion with God (banner of truth) p.179

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Quotes from Richard Lovelace

I started reading Dynamics of Spiritual Life by Richard Lovelace recently, and have already found a lot to stimulate:

"Agape is not a mere emotional by-product of action but a supernatural outpouring of the grace of God infusing all our behavior with the life of Christ." p.13

"True Christianity, according to its intrinsick Constitution, is an active, lively, strong, vigorous Principle, seated in the inmost Center of the Soul, and swaying by its Dictates all the Actions that proceed from it."
Boehm quoted p.14

"The great prophets and pioneers of evangelical renewal who looked forward to this ultimate unveiling of the church's grandeur constantly stressed that this goal could only be attained through a strategy of spiritual revitalization combined with doctrinal and structural reformation." p.16

"The attunement of the heart is essential to the outflow of grace." p.16

"The Triple Way of classical mysticism, which moves from the stage of cleansing one's life through illumination toward union with God, seems to reverse the biblical order, which starts from union with Christ claimed by faith, leading to the illumination of the Holy Spirit and consequent cleansing through the process of sanctification." p.19

"It is my assumption that growth in faith is the root of all spiritual growth and is prior to all disciplines of works. True spirituality is not a superhuman religiosity; it is simply true humanity released from bondage to sin and renewed by the Holy Spirit. This is given to us as we grasp by faith the full content of Christ's redemptive work: freedom from the guilt and power of sin, and newness of life through the indwelling and outpouring of his Spirit." p.19-20

"... the experiential application of live Reformation orthodoxy." p.27

"Revival, in his [Jonathan Edwards] understanding, is not a special season of extraordinary religious excitement, as in many forms of later American revivalism. Rather it is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit which restores the people of God after a period of corporate declension." P.40