John Owen on Christ’s Obedience

By Evan Knies

Owen understands that the Lord Jesus was obedient til death upon the cross. He was obedient for our sake, because of his obedience until death; Jesus has fulfilled the law for the saints.

Owen said, “The law which our Lord Jesus Christ came “not to destroy, but to fulfill,” that he might be the end of it for righteousness unto them that do believe”.

Owen states that, “He had by his death obtained a right and liberty of pardoning sin upon what condition he pleased: so that, after the satisfaction of Christ yielded and considered, “as his words are”, it was wholly in God’s free disposal whether he would save any or no; and upon what condition he would, whether of faith or of works”.

Jesus took the Father’s wrath upon the cross. The Son was our Spotless Lamb (Luke 23:44-47). It is important to know that justification is the forgiveness of sins, however, we cannot limit justification merely to forgiveness. It is not enough to have our debt forgiven and removed. We need a positive righteousness to speak for us before a holy God and our positive righteousness is the Lamb. Jesus is our positive righteousness. Our Passover lamb was without spot or blemish.

Owen states that, “His offering for us is only the presentation of himself in the presence of God in heaven; now he hath no more to do for himself in a way of duty. And the truth is, if the obedience of Christ had respect unto himself only, that is, if he yielded it unto God on the necessity of his condition, and did not do it for us, I see no foundation left to assert his merit upon, no more than I do for the imputation of it unto them that believe”.


Evan Knies is married to Lauren and a student at SBTS. You can follow him on Twitter @Evan_Knies.

 

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