As I’ve mentioned, I’m plodding my way through Joel Beeke and Mark Jones’ A Puritan Theology. Previously, I pointed you to 10 attributes of God that can be known through natural revelation. Several chapters deeper into the book (5 to be exact) there is a summary chapter on John Owen’s understanding of our communion with the triune God. Though it draws on other works of his, the primary source for this is, not surprisingly, Owen’s Communion With The Triune God. Originally published as volume 2 in Owen’s complete works, there is a very nice updated edition that was published a couple of years back and served as my actual introduction.
In Owen’s writing, he goes to great lengths to explain how we can have communion with each person of the Trinity. With regards to the Spirit, he identifies 9 ways the Spirit communes with believers (111-112 in PT, and 2:236-49 in Owen):
- The Spirit helps the believer remember the words of Christ and teaches what they mean
- The Spirit glorifies Christ
- The Spirit pours out the love of God in the Christian’s heart
- The Spirit witnesses to the believer that he is a child of God
- The Spirit seals faith in the Christian
- The Spirit assures believers of their salvation as He is the earnest of their inheritance
- The Spirit anoints believers
- The Spirit indwells believers and sheds the love of God abroad (which seems similar to #3 above)
- The Spirit becomes to believers the Spirit of supplication
Reading back through these, and this chapter on Owen in particular, made me remember how rich Owen’s thoughts on God are. I’m thinking we need to make his Communion With The Triune God our summer book for club since it makes a nice sequel to Letham’s The Holy Trinity!