Sunday, August 16, 2009


John Owen's book "Communion with God" discusses the nature of the Christian's fellowship with each member of the Trinity. Of course it was written in the mid-1600s. Nobody writes books like that any more.

Owen says that "the foundation of all our communion with the Holy Spirit lies in His being sent by Jesus Christ to be our Comforter or Helper." See John 16.1-7.

Jesus told his disciples, "It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you" [16.7].

Owen writes:
So the Lord Christ would have us know this great truth, that the presence of the Holy Spirit with believers as Comforter and Helper, sent by him as promised, is better and more profitable than his bodily presence can ever be.

Owen then writes about the essence of the Spirit's comforting presence.
The Comforter may always abide with us, though not always comfort us.

The Comforter often brings comfort to us when we do not receive it. The oasis is near, though we do not always see it.

The Comforter actually never leaves the believing soul with no comfort at all.

The Comforter, being sent and given, abides with the souls of believers and does not leave them. He reveals Himself in various ways and by various works.

He works effectively [1 Cor 12.11]. All that the Holy Spirit purposes to work in us, He fully accomplishes by His almighty power.

He works sovereignly [1 Cor 12.11]. The Holy Spirit distributes to everyone as He wills. He gives one gift to one person and another to another person. This He does of His own freedom of will, ruled by His own judgment and choice. So the saints are kept in constant dependence on Him and His sovereignty. If the Holy Spirit gives to us as He wills, then we should be content with that which He gives us.

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