Basking in the Father's Love

John Owen on the Love of God

The works of John Owen were recommended to me in my early days as a Christian. As a newer believer, I longed to know my God in Christ. Owen led me into the glories of communing with God. Though he had many roles in his life, Owen was a pastor at heart. Every time I opened one of his books, he would take me to the scriptures and unfold the riches of the gospel and apply them like a spiritual doctor to my hungry and hurting soul. In Communion with God (also in an abridged version), Owen explains how a believer has communion with each person of God the Trinity. Owen does not see the doctrine of the Trinity as a cold specimen to be examined. Rather, this doctrine for Owen is the foundation for life, love, and exuberant joy. This, however, does not mean Owen skimps on doctrine. He mines deep into the word, in order to uncover gems to be enjoyed by all. While reading Communion with God, I had so many misconceptions about God dissolved. And in place of those looming clouds of doubt, I saw God as he truly reveals himself, full of love towards his people. This quote made my heart sing the first time I read it. Here, Owen speaks about how we often view Jesus as love, but not the Father. Owen dispels this lie and shows that the Father is the fountain of all love.

“The Father himself loves you. Resolve of that, that you may hold communion with him in it, and be no more troubled about it. Yea, as your great trouble is about the Father’s love, so you can no way more trouble or burden him, than by your unkindness in not believing of it … Christians walk oftentimes with exceedingly troubled hearts, concerning the thoughts of the Father towards them. They are well persuaded of the Lord Christ and his good will; the difficulty lies in what is their acceptance with the Father, what is his heart towards them? ‘Show us the Father, and it is sufficient,’ John 14:8. Now, this ought to be so far away, that his love ought to be looked on as the fountain from whence all other sweetnesses flow.”[1]

[1] John Owen, Communion with God vol. 2 The Works of John Owen (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2009), 21–22.