Sunday, March 13, 2011

John Owen: Something Ventured, Something Gained

"Listen to the voice of Christ calling, ' Come to me all you that are weary and heavy laden ... Come with your burdens, you poor soul, with your guilt of sin.' Why? What to do? 'Why, this is mine,' says Christ; 'this agreement I made with my Father, that I should come, and take your sins, and bear them away. Give me your burden, give me all your sins. I know how to dispose of them so that God shall be glorified and your soul delivered.'

"This is faith's great and bold venture upon grace, faithfulness, and truth of God, to stand by the cross and say, 'Ah! he is bruised for my sins, and wounded for my transgressions, ... He is thus made sin for me. Here I give up my sins to him that is able to bear them, to undergo them. He requires it of my hands, that I should be content that he should undertake for them; and that I heartily consent unto.' This is every day's work; I know not how any peace be maintained with God without it. ... This it is to know Christ crucified.

"Having thus by faith given up [my] sins to Christ, [I] draw near and take from him that righteousness which he has wrought out for [me]. [I] consider him tendering himself and his righteousness before God; [I] take it, and accept of it, and complete this blessed bartering and exchange of faith. ...

"There is not anything that Jesus Christ is more delighted with, than that his saints should always hold communion with him as to this business of giving and receiving. ... Christ is honored indeed when we go to him with our sins by faith and say into him, "Lord, this is your work; this is that for which you came into the world; this is what you have undertaken to do. You call for my burden, which is to heavy for me to bear; take it, blessed Redeemer, you tender your righteousness; that is my portion." Then is Christ honored, then is the glory of mediation ascribed to him, when we walk with him in this communion.

"When they find, and have daily use of this ... who would not love Christ? "I have been with the Lord Jesus," may the poor soul say: "I have left my sins, my burden, with him; and he has given me his righteousness, wherewith I am going with boldness to God. ... I knew not what to do, nor whither to cause my sorrow to go; by him I have received JOY unspeakable and glorious. If I do not love him, delight in him, obey him, live to him, die for him, I am worse than the devils in hell. "

- John Owen (Communion with the Triune God)

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