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Communion with the Triune God

December 19, 2007

John Owen has long been a holy influence on my life and thought. His Mortification of Sin has profoundly influenced my approach to fighting personal sin. The recent release of Communion with the Triune God has afforded me yet another delightful plunge into this Puritan divine’s comprehension of God and how we have been created to communion with him.

Though the entire book is too lengthy to cover in detail, I will offer some highlights from my reading.

Did the OT Saints Commune with the Triune God?

In chapter one, Owen clearly lays out that communion with God is the sweetest relationship possible, better than “any friendship” and possible only through Jesus. Remarking on the difference between the communion with the Trinity as presented in the Old and New testaments, Owen comments: “The thing itself is found there; but the clear light of it, and the boldness of faith in it, is discovered in the gospel, and by the Spirit administered therein” (91). Thus, communion with the Triune God is sharpened and enabled by the gospel of Christ administered by the Spirit. But what of Moses, David, and Solomon? Did they not commune with the triune God? Owen remarks: “Though they had communion with God, yet they had not parrēsian—a boldness and confidence in that communion.”

What is Communion (with God)?

his communication of himself unto us,
with our return unto him of that which he requires and accepts,
flowing from that union which in Jesus Christ we have with him.

in a affection-stirring summary Owen writes:

It is, then, I say, of that mutual communication30 in giving and receiving,
after a most holy and spiritual manner, which is between God and
the saints while they walk together in a covenant of peace, ratified in
the blood of Jesus, whereof we are to treat. And this we shall do, if God
permit; in the meantime praying the God and Father of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ—who has, of the riches of his grace, recovered us
from a state of enmity into a condition of communion and fellowship
with himself—that both he that writes, and they that read the words
of his mercy, may have such a taste of his sweetness and excellencies
therein, as to be stirred up to a further longing after the fullness of his
salvation and the eternal fruition of him in glory.

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