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.
Table of Contents
Discourse on the Holy Spirit [In Five Books]
Summary, Part 1
Discourse on the Holy Spirit
Chapter I: General Principles Concerning the Holy Spirit and His Work
In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul writes to the church to correct abuses of spiritual gifts, and to help them understand their proper function. He reminds them that they are coming out of a pagan past where they worshiped idols, and that it is only by the Spirit that people can have faith and confess that Jesus is Lord. The confession that Jesus is Lord is the foundation for the church and the use of the gifts, and the same Spirit who brings us to make this confession is the one who gives us the gifts. In the gospel, God designed two great and glorious things, and that was the giving of his Son and the giving of his Spirit so that the glory of the Trinity would be revealed. As a result, the doctrine of the person and work of the Holy Spirit is critical.
Many times our Lord Jesus promised that the Spirit would come to the disciples, and the Spirit’s work was so important that his presence was better for them than Christ’s bodily presence was. This promise was for the disciples and also for all who would believe. Since the coming of the Spirit was so vital in Christ’s perspective, we must understand how important the Spirit is for our Christian lives. Without the work of the Spirit, the gospel is a dead letter. The Spirit regenerates and sanctifies so that every grace and good work in us is from him. Jesus taught that the only unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Spirit. Those who do not have the Spirit do not belong to Christ. . . .[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]
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