Tuesday, February 3, 2015

How Transformation Takes Place

“First comes the actual exercise of the mind, fixing thoughts and meditations upon spiritual truths.

". . . Next comes the inclination of all the affections toward these things, whereby they cleave to the spiritual truths and make an engagement unto them. . . .

“Finally comes a relish and a savor in which lies the sweetness and the satisfaction of the spiritual life. We taste then by experience that God is gracious, and that the love of Christ is better than wine . . .
"If we settle for mere speculations and mental notions about Christ as doctrine, we shall find no transforming power of efficacy communicated unto us thereby. But when, under the conduct of spiritual light, our affections do cleave unto him — then virtue [change in character]* will proceed from him to purify us, increase our holiness, and sometimes fill us with joy unspeakable and full of glory . . .

"Where light leaves the affections behind, it ends in formality and or atheism; where affections outrun light they sink into the bog of superstition.”

- John Owen, quoted by Timothy Keller, "Gospel Christianity 2"

Keller has ‘change of character’ in brackets as his explanatory phrase, but I think he misunderstands Owen’s use of the word ‘virtue’ here, which reflects the KJV rendering of Lk. 8:46, and means ‘power’.

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