Thursday, January 4, 2018

2018.01.04 Theology Thursday - The Glory of Christ, continuation of Preface to the Reader

On Theology Thursdays, I've am reading John Owen's The Glory of Christ. Today, I continued with the Preface to the Reader.

Owen is still giving reasons for, or benefits of, the study of the glory of Christ.

The glory of Christ is a remedy for every single trouble.

Owen makes the Scriptural point that by comparison to Christ's glory, every single trouble or distress is slight and inconsiderable. We have a stake in / enjoyment of the glory of Christ, which is infinitely greater.
For what are all the things of this life? What is the good or evil of them in comparison of an interest in this transcendent glory? (Kindle location 157)
Similarly, our emotions get all out of control in the midst of our troubles, but thinking upon Christ's glory will quiet them. Romans 5:2-5 connects our soaking up into all of our heart God's love for us with our rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God. And this is what enables us to rejoice in troubles.

The glory of Christ is especially a comfort in contemplating and confronting our death.

At death, we will enter an invisible world, of which we can only know what God has told us in Scripture.

Psalm 16 deals with this by "setting the Lord always before me." He is our portion. [JNH note: also Asaph in Psalm 73, "...YOU will receive me into glory"]. Jesus endured the cross as one about to dismiss His spirit to the Father's presence. Stephen endured stoning as someone who saw Christ ready to receive him.

Since we recoil at having our souls separated from our bodies, we like Paul can take comfort not only in Christ's continuing care for our body, but also in our souls departing to be with Christ. We can remember that Christ, who is transcendentally glorious has undergone the same thing. We can yield our wills to the One who has seen fit to give us a personal interest in the glory of Christ.

In order to receive any of these comforts in death, we must have
a prospect of that glory that shall give us a new state far more excellent than what we here leave or depart from (Kindle location 304)
So, gentle reader. What do you think of Owen's reasoning in this second half of the Preface to the Reader? 

I found it helpful and hope that I might respond to troubles, and especially to thoughts about death, by setting my thoughts upon the glory of Christ.

It also occurs to me that this is a powerful weapon against temptation to sin: what do I hope to gain by this sin, and how can it compare to the glory of Christ?

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