John Owen on Christ’s Glory as God’s Representative

More extracts form John Owen’s Glory of Christ.

Chapter Two: Christ’s Glory as God’s Representative

The foundation of our religion, the rock of which the church is built, the ground of all our hopes of salvation, of life and immortality, is the revelation that is made of God’s nature and will by Jesus Christ. So if Christ fails, if he, the Light of the world becomes darkness, then we are for ever lost. But if the Rock stands firm, the church is safe and shall be triumphant for ever. (12)

The ignorance of God, of his nature and will, was the reason why evil entered the world and why it continues to prevail in the world. On this ignorance of God Satan set up his kingdom … All the rage, blood, confusion, desolations, cruelties, oppressions and disasters which fill the world to this day, by which the souls of men have been swept into eternal destruction, have all arisen from the ignorance of God. (15)

In Christ, God himself, his Being and the mystery of his existence in three distinct persons, was gloriously revealed to believers, and the light of the knowledge of these truths dispelled all those shadows that were in the church, and also pierced the darkness which was in the world, so that none could continue to be ignorant of God but those who would not see (see John 1:5, 14, 17-18; 2 Cor. 4:3-4). (16)

To see Christ so as to see God in him – that is to behold his glory, that glory which we ought to long to see and make every effort to see. (17)

Some talk much of imitating Christ and following his example. but no man will ever become ‘like him’ by trying to imitate his behaviour and life if they knew nothing of the transforming power of beholding his glory. (21)

Is Christ, then, glorious in our eyes? Do we see the Father in him? Do we daily meditate on the wisdom, love, grace, goodness, holiness and righteousness of God revealed to us in Christ? Do we realize that to see this glory of heaven will be our everlasting blessedness? Does the sight of his glory which we have here increase our desire for that perfect sight of it we shall one day have of it above? (21)