John Owen Preached to Me Last Night

It wasn’t an epiphany. No image of a hundred-foot Owen. I was just reading some of John Owen’s Works last night (they aren’t just in my office for decoration…now they are at home for decoration). The first thing I read was a sermon on how to respond when you are burdened by the fact that you and Christians around you seem to be unduly influenced by the world. Was a great sermon for today. Part of his response was a call to faith–faith that, among other things, 1) In spite of what you see, God will build His church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. 2) God can revive His church at the time of His choosing, so pray for that. 3) God can use this in my life to cause me to all the more to recognize my own worldliness and to pursue holiness and His likeness in my life.  The sermon, though preached centuries ago, was preached to me last night!

The other thing was a quote, which I will modernize somewhat. Owen said something to the effect of, “We never feel as near to God as when we grasp how infinitely far He is from us.” I will pithicize the quote a bit and say, “God never appears so good to us as when we are awed at how great He is.”

P.S. The exact quote, from Vol. IX of Owen’s Works, p. 551-552 is “Nothing brings God and man so near together as a due sense of our infinite distance,” and then he references Isaiah 57:15 which says, “Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit.”


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