A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance
by Steve West
Editor’s Note: Most of our readers will already be at least somewhat acquainted with John Owen (1616-1683), “the prince of Puritans,” but it is not likely that many have read him extensively. His works are not only voluminous – they are tightly packed and deeply considered. Owen is neither quick nor light reading!
Today we continue our year-long series of summaries of Owen’s famous works. We trust these will be of help in introducing and/or increasing your acquaintance with this giant Puritan theologian.
Summary, Part 2
The Doctrine of the Saints’ Perseverance Explained and Confirmed
The doctrine of the intercession of Christ that brings about the full and complete salvation of believers and is typified in the old covenant priestly system is well-known and does not need to be discussed in detail. It is undeniable that Christ intercedes for his people, and it his ministry on our behalf that provides us with what we need to be preserved all the way to glory. At the very right hand of God Christ effectually intercedes for believers, pleading the promises of the gospel and the merit of his mediatorial work. His intercession is as effective as his atoning death, since the former is based on the merits of the latter. Jesus prayed to the Father that all of those bought with his blood and united with him would be kept safe eternally.
Since Christ prays in accordance with the will of the Father, we know that his intercession for the perseverance of the saints will be heard and fulfilled. To say that they will be preserved if they do not fall away is merely to say that they will persevere if they persevere. Christ died for us, was raised for us, was exalted for us, and on that basis intercedes for us. Goodwin denies that Christ prays for our perseverance, but this is to deny that Christ prays that we will be saved eternally and kept by God. There is no doubt that Christ prays that the faith of his saints will not fail, so the only question is whether he intercedes successfully. Whatever believers have of the Spirit or means of grace is given to them through Christ: we do not need to keep ourselves. No one argues that Christ keeps people no matter how vile and wicked they are—he keeps them in grace by keeping them from sin. . . .[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]
Buy the books
THE WORKS OF JOHN OWEN, VOLUME 11: CONTINUING IN THE FAITH