Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | June 15, 2008

Lord’s Day Quote: John Owen

His sufferings were far from consisting in mere corporal perpessions and afflictions, with such impressions upon his soul and spirit as were the effects and issues only of them.  It was no more nor less than the curse of the law of God which he underwent for us: for he freed us from the curse “by being made a curse,” Gal 3:13; which contained all the punishment that was due to sin, either in the severity of God’s justice, or according to the exigence of that law which required obedience.  That the execration of the law should be only temporal death, as the law was considered to be the instrument of the Jewish polity, and serving that economy or dispensation, is true; but that it should be no more, as it is the universal rule of obedience, and the bond of the covenant between God and man, is a foolish dream.  Nay, but in dying for us Christ did not only aim at our good, but also directly died in our stead.  The punishment due to our sin and the chastisement of our peace was upon him; which that it was the pains of hell, in their nature and being, in their weight and pressure, though not in tendence and continuance (it being impossible that he should be detained by death), who can deny and not be injurious to the justice of God, which will inevitably inflict those pains to eternity upon sinners?  It is true, indeed, there is a relaxation of the law in respect of the persons suffering, God admitting of commutation; as in the old law, when in their sacrifices the life of the beast was accepted (in respect to the carnal part of the ordinances) for the life of the man.

This is fully revealed, and we believe it; but for any change of the punishment, in respect of the nature of it, where is the least intimation of any alteration?  We conclude, then, this second act of God, in laying the punishment on him for us, with that of the prophet, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all,” Isa 53:6: and add thereunto this observation, that it seems strange to me that Christ should undergo the pains of hell in their stead who lay in the pains of hell before he underwent those pains, and shall continue in them to eternity; for “their worm dieth not, neither is their fire quenched.”  To which I may add this dilemma to our Universalits: – God imposed his wrath due unto, and Christ underwent the pains of hell for, either all the sins of all men, or all the sins of some men, or some sins of all men.

If the last, some sins of all men, then have all men some sins to answer for, and so shall no man be saved; for if God enter into judgment with us, though it were with all mankind for one sin, no flesh should be justified in his sight: “If the LORD should mark iniquities, who should stand?” Ps 130:3.  We might all go to cast all that we have “to the moles and to the bats, to do into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty,” Isa 2:20-21.  If the second, that is it which we affirm, that Christ in their stead and room offered for all the sins of all the elect in the world.  If first, why, then, are all freed from punishment of all their sins?

 

John Owen, The Death of Death and the Death of Christ

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Responses

  1. Thanks and God Bless


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