John Owen’s View of the Glory of Christ

John Owen (1616-1683) was a prominent Puritan theologian and author, devoted much of his writings to the profound exploration of the glory of Christ. Owen’s works cited here, include “The Glory of Christ” (Owen, 1664, p. 13), “Communion with God” (Owen, 1657, p. 102), “The Mortification of Sin” (Owen, 1656, p. 45), and “The Death of Death in the Death of Christ” (Owen, 1647, p. 80). All his works offer valuable insights into his understanding of Christ’s glory and its implications for believers.

Owen’s writings emphasize the surpassing glory and supremacy of Christ. In “The Glory of Christ,” he asserts that Christ’s glory exceeds any other manifestation of divine beauty and splendor (Owen, 1664, p. 13). Owen underscores that the glory of Christ encompasses His divine attributes, His redemptive work, and His exalted position as the King of kings and Lord of lords.

He highlights the crucial role of Christ’s glory as the Mediator between God and his chosen people. In “Communion with God,” he explains the believer’s access to the glory of Christ through communion with Him (Owen, 1657, p. 102), emphasizing that through Christ’s redemptive work, believers are brought near to God and granted the privilege of experiencing the glory of His presence.

Moreover, Owen underscores that it is through the mediation of Christ’s glory that believers receive grace, mercy, and spiritual blessings. He argues that all spiritual blessings flow from Christ’s glory and are made accessible to believers through their union with Him.

Owen was always careful to demonstrate the transformative power of beholding the glory of Christ. He argues that as believers behold Christ’s glory, they are progressively transformed into His likeness (Owen, 1664, p. 38). Owen posits that the contemplation of Christ’s glory cultivates a deep reverence, adoration, and love for Him within the hearts of believers. This transformative process leads to a renewed mind, a sanctified will, and a strengthened resolve to live in obedience to Christ. “…he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom. 8:29).

What are the Practical Implications of Christ’s Glory? Owen contends that the glory of Christ has practical implications for believers in every moment of their daily lives. In “The Mortification of Sin,” he highlights the power of Christ’s glory in enabling believers to mortify sin and live in holiness (Owen, 1656, p. 45). Owen argues that as believers behold Christ’s glory, they are motivated to resist sin, pursue righteousness, and strive for greater conformity to Christ’s image. “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” (Rom. 8:13).

Owen asserts that the glory of Christ provides believers with assurance, comfort, and hope in the midst of trials and tribulations. In “The Death of Death in the Death of Christ,” (one of his most famous works) he emphasizes that Christ’s glory guarantees the ultimate victory over sin, death, and the powers of darkness (Owen, 1647, p. 80). Owen encourages believers to fix their gaze on the glory of Christ, finding solace and confidence in His unfailing promises.

Owen’s teachings challenge believers to fix their eyes on Christ’s glory, cultivate a deep intimacy with Him, and live in obedience and holiness.

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