What am I the better if I can dispute that Christ is God, but have no sense of sweetness in my heart from hence that he is a God in covenant with my soul? What will it avail me to evince, by testimonies and arguments, that he hath made satisfaction for sin, if through my unbelief, the wrath of God abideth on me, and I have no experience of my own being made the righteousness of God in him--if I find not, in my standing with God, the excellency of having my sins imputed to him and his righteousness imputed to me? Will it be any advantage to me to profess and dispute that God works the conversion of a sinner by the irresistible grace of his Spirit, if I was never acquainted experimentally with the deadness and utter impotency to good, that opposition to the law of God, which is in my own soul by nature, with the efficacy of the exceeding greatness of the power of God in quickening, enlightening, and bringing forth the fruits of obedience in me?--John Owen, Works, 12:52; quoted in Sinclair Ferguson, John Owen on the Christian Life (Banner of Truth, 1987), 281; thanks to Zach Franzen for the pic
It is the power of truth in the heart alone that will make us cleave unto it indeed in an hour of temptation. Let us, then, not think that we are anything the better for our conviction of the truths of the great doctrines of the gospel, for which we contend with these men, unless we find the power of the truths abiding in our own hearts, and have a continual experience of their necessity and excellency in our standing before God and our communion with him.
28 May 2011
Doctrine and the Sense of Sweetness in the Heart
Here's a good word from John Owen, with which I sign off from the blog for the next week. Back Monday, June 6.
Posted by Dane Ortlund at Saturday, May 28, 2011