The Glory of the Whole Blessed Trinity

This is a wonderful summary of the Trinitarian work of salvation by the great puritan John Owen:

When God designed the great and glorious work of recovering fallen man and the saving of sinners, to the praise of the glory of his grace, he appointed, in his infinite wisdom, two great means thereof. The one was the giving of his Son for them, and the other was the giving of his Spirit unto them. And hereby was way made for the manifestation of the glory of the whole blessed Trinity; which is the utmost end of all the works of God. Hereby were the love, grace, and wisdom of the Father in the design and projection of the whole; the love, grace, and condenscension of the Son in the execution, purchase, and procurement of grace and salvation for sinners; with the love, grace, and power of the Holy Spirit in the effectual application of all unto the souls of men, made gloriously conspicuous.

—John Owen
Quoted in A Golden Treasury of Puritan Devotion, edited by Mariano Di Gangi

I love the phrase “to the praise of the glory of his grace” because it reminds me very much of the words of the Apostle Paul in one of my favorite passages of scripture:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14, ESV)

John Owen on Peace with God

There are, I confess, multitudes in the world who, although they cannot avoid some general convictions of sin, as also of the consequents of it, yet do fortify their minds against a practical admission of such conclusions as, in a just consideration of things, do necessarily and unavoidably ensue thereon. Such persons, wilfully deluding themselves with vain hopes and imaginations, do never once seriously inquire by what way or means they may obtain peace with God and acceptance before him, which, in comparison of the present enjoyment of the pleasures of sin, they value not at all. And it is in vain to recommend the doctrine of justification unto them who neither desire nor endeavour to be justified. But where any persons are really made sensible of their apostasy from God, of the evil of their natures and lives, with the dreadful consequences that attend thereon, in the wrath of God and eternal punishment due unto sin, they cannot well judge themselves more concerned in any thing than in the knowledge of that divine way whereby they may be delivered from this condition.

—John Owen
The Doctrine of Justification by Faith

Sit Down at the Fountain

So much as we see of the love of God, so much shall we delight in him, and no more. Every other discovery of God, without this, will but make the soul fly from him; but if the heart be once much taken up with this the eminency of the Father’s love, it cannot choose but be overpowered, conquered, and endeared unto him. This, if anything, will work upon us to make our abode with him. If the love of a father will not make a child delight in him, what will? Put, then, this to the venture: exercise your thoughts upon this very thing, the eternal, free, and fruitful love of the Father, and see if your hearts be not wrought upon to delight in him. I dare boldly say: believers will find it as thriving a course as ever they pitched on in their lives. Sit down a little at the fountain, and you will quickly have a further discovery of the sweetness of the streams. You who have run from him, will not be able, after a while, to keep at a distance for a moment.

—John Owen
Communion with the Triune God

Via: Tim Challies

According To The Will of God

When we ask pardon for sin, with secret reserves in our hearts to continue in sin, we ask the choicest mercy of the covenant, to spend it on our lusts. The end of the promise the apostle tells us, 2 Corinthians 7:1, “Having these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all pollution of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” When we ask what is in the promise, as it is in the promise, to this end of the promise, our supplications are according to the will of God.

—John Owen
Of Communion With God

Via: The Essential Owen

John Owen on the Mortification of Sin

Be killing sin or it will be killing you… Let not that man think he makes any progress in holiness who walks not over the bellies of his lusts. He who doth not kill sin in his way takes no steps towards his journey’s end. He who finds not opposition from it, and who sets not himself in every particular to its mortification, is at peace with it, not dying to it.

—John Owen
Mortification of Sin in Believers

Via: Denny Burk

A Far More Admirable Work

So, then, this also is hid in Christ — the great and unspeakable riches of the wisdom of God, in pardoning sin, saving sinners, satisfying justice, fulfilling the law, repairing his own honour, and providing for us a more exceeding weight of glory — and all this out of such a condition as wherein it was impossible that it should enter into the hearts of angels or men how ever the glory of God should be repaired, and one sinning creature delivered from everlasting ruin. Hence it is said, that at the last day God “shall be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe” (2 Thessalonians 1:10). It shall be an admirable thing, and God shall be for ever glorious in it, even in the bringing of believers to himself. To save sinners through believing shall be found to be a far more admirable work than to create the world of nothing.

—John Owen
Of Communion With God

Via: The Essential Owen

Allowing For A Fallen Nature

Since our subject is theology, the truths of almighty God and the worship and obedience which is his due, we must ever consider our mental faculties and the degrees to which we are able to understand such matters as these, allowing always for our fallen and finite nature, if we wish to avoid running into confusion and ambiguity.

—John Owen
Biblical Theology: The History of Theology from Adam to Christ

Via: The Essential Owen

Set Faith at Work on Christ

Set faith at work on Christ for the killing of your sin. His blood is the great sovereign remedy for sin-sick souls. Live in this, and you will die a conqueror; yea, you will, through the good providence of God, live to see your lust dead at your feet.

— John Owen
Overcoming Sin and Temptation ed. Kelly M. Kapic and Justin Taylor

Via: Of First Importance

Christ Is The Delight of All Believers

The saints’ delight is in Christ: He is their joy, their crown, their rejoicing, their life, food, health, strength, desire, righteousness, salvation, blessedness: without Him they have nothing; in Him they shall find all things. ‘God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Galatians 6:14). He has, from the foundation of the world, been the hope, expectation, desire, and delight of all believers.

—John Owen
Communion with the Triune God

Via: Tolle Lege