Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | June 29, 2008

Lord’s Day Quote: John Owen

Thirdly, the like expression is that also of Paul, 1 Tim 1:5, evidently declaring the end of our Savior’s coming, according to the will and counsel of his Father, namely, to “save sinners;” – not to open a door for them to come in if they will or can; not to make a way passable, that they may be saved; not to purchase reconciliation and pardon of his Father, which perhaps they shall never enjoy; but actually to save them from all the guilt and power of sin, and from the wrath of God for sin: which, if he doth not accomplish, he fails of the end of his coming; and if that ought not to be affirmed, surely he came for no more than towards whom that effect is procured.  The compact of his Father with him, and his promise made unto him, of “seeing his seed and carrying along the pleasure of the LORD prosperously,” Isa 53:10-12, I before declared; from which it is apparent that the decree and purpose of giving actually unto Christ a believing generation, whom he calleth “The children that God gave him.” Heb 2:3, is inseperably annexed to the decree of Christ’s “making his soul an offering for sin,” and is the end and aim thereof…

…the same purpose and intention we have, Eph 5:25-27, “Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish:” as also, Tit 2:14, “He gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”  I think nothing can be clearer than these two places; nor is it possible for the wit of man to invent expressions so fully and livelily to set out the thing we intend, as it is in both these places by the Holy Ghost.  What did Christ do? “He gave himself,” say both places alike: “For his church,” saith one; “For us,” saith the other; both words of equal extent and force, as all men know.  To what end did he this? “To sanctify and clease it, to present it to himself a glorious church, not have spot or wrinkle,” saith he to the Ephesians; “To redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works,” saith he to Titus.  I ask now, Are all men of this church?  Are all in that rank of men among whom Paul placeth himself and Titus?  Are all purged, purified, sanctified, made glorious, brought nigh unto Christ? or doth Christ fail in his aim towards the greatest part of men?  I dare not close with any of these.

John Owen, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ (Book II, Chapter III)

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