Humility

As John Owen opens up our communion with the Holy Spirit, having already advanced many wonderful and difficult truths, and now happening upon what it means that the Holy Spirit is the seal set upon us unto the day of redemption, comes to this humble sentence,

I amnot very clear in the certain peculiar intendment [intention] of this metaphor; what I am persuaded of the mind of God init I shall briefly impart.

John Owen, Communion with God, 242, vol 2 of 16.

That is, he will only impart what he is persuaded of himself, that it is the mind of God.  May the Lord grant us the humility of the mighty puritan who would, in his dying days, refer to himself as Christ’s “poor under-rower.”  May we be careful to write, teach, preach, converse upon what we are persuaded is the mind of God in the Scripture.

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All the Treasures of Wisdom, Part II

1 Cor 1.24, the Holy Ghost tells us that “Christ is the power of God, and the wisdom of God:” not the essential Wisdom of God, as he is the eternal Son of the Father (upon which account he is called “Wisdom” in the Proverbs, chap. 8.22-23); but as he is crucified, 1 Cor 1.23.  As he is crucified, so he is the wisdom of God; that is, all that wisdom which God layeth forth for the discovery and manifestation of himself, and for the saving of sinners, which makes foolish all the wisdom of the world, — that is all in Christ crucified; held out in him, by him, and to be obtained only from him.  And thereby in him do we see the glory of God, 2 Cor 3.18.  For he is not only said to be “the wisdom of God,” but also to be “make unto us wisdom,” 1 Cor 1.30.  He is made, not by creation, but ordination and appointment, wisdom unto us; not only by teaching us wisdom (by a metonymy of the effect for the cause), as he is the great prophet of his church, but also because by the knowing of him we become acquainted with the wisdom of God, — which is our wisdom . . . This, however verily promised, is thus only be be had.  The sum of what is contended for is asserted in terms, Col 2.3, “In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

There are two things that might seem to have some colour in claiming a title and interest in this business: — 1. Civil wisdom and prudence, for the management of affairs; 2. Ability of learning and literature; — but God rejecteth both these, as of no use at all to the end and intent of true wisdom indeed.  There is in the world that which is called “understanding;”  but it comes to nothing.  There is that which is called “wisdom;” but it is turned into folly, 1 Cor 1.19, 20, “God brings to nothing the understanding of the prudent, and makes foolish this wisdom of the world.”  And if there be neither wisdom nor knowledge (as doubtless there is not), without the knowledge of God, Jer 8.9, it is all shut up in the Lord Jesus Christ: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath revealed him.”  He is not seen at another time, John 1.18, nor known upon any other account, but only the revelation of the Son.  He hath manifested him from his own bosom; and therefore, verse 9, it is said that he is “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” — the true Light, which hath it in himself: and none hath any but from him; and all have it who come unto him.  He who doth not so, is in darkness.

John Owen, Communion with God, vol 2 of 16, 79-80.

All the Treasures of Wisdom, Part 1

In On Communion with God, John Owen undertook to show Jesus Christ as the treasury of all true and divine wisdom in order to secure the affections of our hearts for Him.  As there is much that Owen wrote worth setting before you, I will consign myself to “parts.”  This is part 1:

It is not, I suppose, any difficult task to persuade men, convinced of immortality and judgment to come, that the main of their wisdom lies in this, even to find out such a righteousness as will accompany them forever, and abide the severe trial of God himself.  Now, all the wisdom of the world is but folly, as to the discovery of this thing.  The utmost that man’s wisdom can do, is but to find out most wretched, burdensome, and vexatious ways of perishing eternally.  All the treasures of this wisdom are hid in Christ; he “of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness,” 1 Cor 1.30.

John Owen, Communion with God, vol 2 of 16, 105.