Monday, July 19, 2010

John Owen exposits John 3:16

For “God,” the glorious, all-sufficient God, that could have manifested His justice to eternity in the condemnation of all sinners, and no way wanted them to be partakers of His blessedness:

so,” that is, in such a degree, to such a remarkable, astonishable height:

"loved,” with such an earnest, intense affection, consisting in an eternal, unchangeable act and purpose of His will, for the bestowing of the chiefest good (the choicest effectual love):

the world,” men in the world, of the world, subject to the iniquities and miseries of the world, lying in their blood, having nothing to render them commendable in His eyes, or before Him:

that He gave,” did not, as He made all the world at first, speak the word and it was done, but proceeded higher, to the performance of a great deal more and longer work, wherein He was to do more than exercise an act of His almighty power, as before; and therefore gave

His Son,” not any favourite or other well-pleasing creature; not sun, moon, or stars; not the rich treasure of His creation (all too mean, and coming short of expressing this love); but His Son:

begotten Son,” and that not so called by reason of some near approaches to Him, and filial, obediential reverence of him, as the angels are called the sons of God; for it was not an angel that He gave, which had yet been an expression of most intense love; not yet a son by adoption, as believers are the sons of God; but His begotten Son, begotten of His own person from eternity; and that His

"only-begotten Son,” not any one of His sons, but whereas He had or hath but one only-begotten Son, always in His bosom, His Isaac, He gave him: - than which how could the infinite wisdom of God make or give any higher testimony of His love? especially if ye will add what is here evidently included, though the time was not as yet come that it should be openly expressed, namely whereunto He gave His Son, His only one; not to be a king, worshipped in the first place, -but He “spared Him not, but delivered Him up” to death “for us all,” Rom. 8:32. Whereunto, for a close of all, cast your eyes upon His design and purpose in this whole business, and ye shall find that it was

"that believers", those whom He thus loved,

"might not perish,” –that is, undergo the utmost misery and wrath to eternity, which they had deserved, -

"but have everlasting life,” eternal glory with Himself, which of themselves they could no way attain; and ye will easily grant that “greater love hath no man than this.””

-from the Death of Death in the Death of Christ


Pilgrim Mommy said...

Wow! What a contrast between Owen's exposition and the casual manner in which this verse is treated today. said...

For another excellent treatment of John 3:16 click on the picture of the world on the left side-bar. It is an e-tract written by Colin Maxwell, an evangelist/missionary in the "Free Presbyterian Church" of Northern Ireland.