Sunday Meditation – The Rule of Holiness

“There is a divine supernatural principle wrought in us in regeneration that enables the soul to perform duties of holiness. We cannot learn it; it can only be taught by God. The beauty and glory of it is absolutely inexpressible. It includes conformity to God, likeness to Christ, compliance with the Holy Spirit, interest in the family of God, fellowship with angels, and separation from darkness and the world. Holiness consists of our actual obedience unto God, which is revealed to us in his Word. Indeed the Word of God is the only adequate rule for all holy obedience. It is not to be found in our own imaginations or our inclinations. All that is commanded in the Word belongs to our obedience, and nothing else is binding. We are strictly directed neither to add to it nor subtract from it. We are to do not only what is commanded, but all that is commanded, and nothing more. If not commanded, it is not a part of our obedience. The inbred light of nature yet unremaining in us may give us direction as to moral good and evil, but this light must be subordinate to the Word and is not the final rule of gospel holiness. The law grace writes in our hearts must answer to the law written in God’s Word. God promised that his Spirit and Word always accompany one another. The Spirit does not work anything in us but what the Word first requires of us. All the internal workings of our soul are to be regulated by the Word. The Word is the sole rule of our holiness. What we are and what we do; all is answerable to the Word of God; and so far are we holy and no further. Whatever acts of devotion or duties of morality may be performed, they are only a part of our satisfaction if they conform with the Word of God.”

John Owen


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