Thursday, March 08, 2007

Contending for the Faith is a command

This is a great extract from Owen's preface to Of the Death of Christ, which he wrote in Dublin by way of reply to Richard Baxter.

Please note the origin of what Owen calls the "bitter streams." Note also the role he attributes to Satan in this doctrinal controversy.

Finally note how Owen affirms the necessity of publicly opposing public opposition to the truth. When that happens today the sympathy too often goes with the attacker and the criticism gets levelled at the defender of the truth.

"It was in our hopes and expectations, not many years ago, that the Lord would graciously have turned back all those bitter streams which, issuing from the pride, unthankfulness, and wisdom of the carnal mind, had many ways attempted to overflow the doctrine of the grace of God, that bringeth salvation; but finding now, by experience, that the day of the church's rest from persecution is the day of Satan's main work for seducing and temptation, and that not a few are attempting once more to renew the contest of sinful, guilty, defiled nature, against the sovereign distinguishing love and effectual grace of God, it cannot but be convenient, yea necessary, that the faith once delivered to the saints be contended for and asserted from the word of truth in the like public way wherein it is opposed."

John Owen, Of the Death of Christ, in Works vol. 10, p. 431

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