In the Men’s Bible Study I’m a part of, this week we talked about “Knowing God.” In the midst of a series about the basics of growing in Christ we must see our relationship with God at the center of discipleship and sanctification. We are created and redeemed to know God, commune with God, walk with God, and grow in intimacy with God. This is what it means to have a “personal relationship with God.” It is through knowing and enjoying God that we actually then begin to image him in the world we live in.
Continue reading Knowing God
John Owen penned maybe the most well-known working on fighting sin, On the Mortification of Sin, and also maybe the greatest work on spiritual communion or fellowship with God—On Communion with God. As his life came to a close he wrote The Glory of Christ. What’s interesting about that is in this final work he believed the most important thought (and practice) for the believer’s growth and transformation in Christ was provided. More than fighting sin, more than spiritual-mindedness, and more than all other things, beholding the glory of Jesus Christ was not only our greatest reward but our greatest need. Seeing the glory of Jesus infuses all other disciplines and practices and it is the greatest thing to bring backsliders back, to create worship, to promote holiness and mortification, and to lead to our joy in God. Here are a few thoughts from the last three pages of the final discourse he wrote on the glory of Christ.
Continue reading John Owen on Contemplating the Glory of Christ
In two discourses attached to The Glory of Christ John Owen writes to backsliders—or those in spiritual decay—so they might see how grasping hold of Christ through God’s gracious promises in repentance and faith is the means to see our hearts revived. God desires such and has provided the way for our renewal. “The work of recovering backsliders or believers from under their spiritual decays is an act of sovereign grace, wrought in us by virtue of divine promises….Because believers are liable to such declensions, backslidings, and decays, God has provided and given to us great and precious promises of a recovery, if we duly apply ourselves unto the means of it” (Owen, I:454-55).
Continue reading John Owen on Elements of Repentance & Sovereign Grace