God communicates all supplies of renewing, strengthening, and sanctifying grace to us, that we may live unto Him in all holy obedience and be able to get the victory over our temptations.
The Means of Grace1) From The Grace and Duty of Being Spiritually Minded, in Works, 7:440–41.
All grace and spiritual strength is originally seated in the nature of God (Isa. 40:28). But what relief can that afford to us who are weak, feeble, fainting? He will act suitably to His nature in the communication of this grace and power (v. 29). But how shall we have an interest in this grace in these operations? Wait on Him in the ordinances of His worship (v. 31).
The word as preached is the food of our souls, whereby God administers growth and strength to them (John 17:17). “Desire,” says He, “the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” But what encouragement have we thereto? “If so be,” He says, “ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1 Peter 2:2–3). If, in and by the dispensation of this word, you have had experience of the grace, the goodness, the kindness of God to your souls, you cannot but desire it and delight in it, and otherwise you will not do so. When men have sat some good while under the dispensation of the word and in the enjoyment of other ordinances without tasting in them and by them that the Lord is gracious, they will grow weary of it and them.
Wherefore, prayer is the way of His appointment for the application of our souls to Him to obtain a participation of all needful grace, which, therefore, He has proposed to us in the promises of the covenant, that we may know what to ask and how to plead for it. In the sacraments the same promises are sealed to us, and the grace represented in them effectually exhibited. Meditation confirms our souls in the exercise of faith about it and is the especial opening of the heart to the reception of it.
By these means, I say, God communicates all supplies of renewing, strengthening, and sanctifying grace to us, that we may live unto Him in all holy obedience and be able to get the victory over our temptations. Under this apprehension, believers approach God in the ordinances of His worship. They come to them as the means of God’s communication to their souls. Hence, they cleave to them with delight, so far as their affections are renewed. So the spouse testifies of herself, “I sat down under his shadow with great delight” (Song 2:3). In these ordinances is the protecting, refreshing presence of Christ. This she rested in with great delight.
Owen, J. (2014). “The Foundation of Communion with God”: The Trinitarian Piety of John Owen. (R. M. McGraw, J. R. Beeke, & M. A. G. Haykin, Eds.) (pp. 98–99). Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books.
|↑1||From The Grace and Duty of Being Spiritually Minded, in Works, 7:440–41.|
- One hour spent under the cross, while the soul is thus elevated—thus abased—thus joyful—and thus sorrowful—is better than a thousand of earthly delights.
- Meditation is the chewing upon the truths we have heard: The beasts in the old law that did not chew the cud, were unclean: the christian that doth not by meditation chew the cud, is to be accounted unclean. Meditation is like the watering of the seed, it makes the fruits of grace to flourish.
- The Bible is thought of as authoritative on everything of which it speaks. Moreover, it speaks of everything.
- Remember you are not a tree, that can stand alone; you are only “a branch,” and it is only while you abide in Him, as a branch, that you will flourish.
- The Sabbath is the great day for gathering in souls—it is Christ’s market-day.