John Owen on Communion With God the Father

The following passage, taken from the forthcoming John Owen book, Communion with the Triune God, highlights a reason for our spiritual weakness and our lack of joy—we do not consciously commune with God the Father, and when we think of him, we think of him as full of wrath toward us:

“First, then, this is a duty wherein it is most evident that Christians are but little exercised—namely, in holding immediate communion with the Father in love. Unacquaintedness with our mercies, our privileges, is our sin as well as our trouble. We hearken not to the voice of the Spirit which is given unto us, “that we may know the things that are freely bestowed on us of God” (1 Corinthians 2:12). This makes us go heavily, when we might rejoice; and to be weak, where we might be strong in the Lord. How few of the saints are experimentally acquainted with this privilege of holding immediate communion with the Father in love! With what anxious, doubtful thoughts do they look upon him! What fears, what questionings are there, of his goodwill and kindness! At the best, many think there is no sweetness at all in him towards us, but what is purchased at the high price of the blood of Jesus. It is true: that alone is the way of communication; but the free fountain and spring of all is in the bosom of the Father. “Eternal life was with the Father, and is manifested unto us” (1 John 1:2).1 Let us then eye the Father as love; look not on him as an always lowering father, but as one most kind and tender.2 Let us look on him by faith, as one that has had thoughts of kindness towards us from everlasting.” (page 123-124)

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