Monthly Archives: August 2011

Marriage: Bestowing Loveliness

The Bible teaches that a Christian husband is responsible for the loveliness of his wife (Douglas Wilson, Reforming Marriage, 53).

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“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that he might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:25-27)

God therefore requires husbands to love their wives with effect. In loving our wives, we are not to imitate the sentimental loving of that modern idol, “gentle jesus,” but rather we are to imitate the efficacious loving of the Lord Jesus Christ who came to earth in order to purchase His people, and save them from their sins.

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So when a man takes a woman into his home, all who know them should expect to see her flourish and grow in loveliness in the years to come. If their wedding ceremony referred at all to the fifth chapter of Ephesians, was this not what he vowed he would do (53-54)?

Reforming Marriage: Constant Love, Imitative Love

The kind of love Paul requires here [Eph. 5] is constant. So godly husbandry is constant husbandry.

And as the context makes clear, the love in this passage is also imitative. It is learned from a Person; it is learned through watching Jesus Christ (Douglas Wilson, Reforming Marriage, 10).

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The love and affection of Christ has been set upon His people alone. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives alone. This is the duty I hope to explain in this book in some detail (11).

Scriptural Redemption

Under the heading “Scriptural Redemption,” John Owen maintained that:

1. Christ died for the elect only.

2. All those for whom Christ died are certainly saved.

3. Christ by his death purchased all saving grace for them for whom he died.

4. Christ sends the means and reveals the way of life to all them for whom he died.

5. The new covenant of grace was confirmed to all the elect in the blood of Jesus.

6. Christ, by his death, purchased, upon covenant and compact, an assured peculiar people, the pleasure of the Lord prospering to the end in his hand.

7. Christ loved his church, and gave himself for it.

8. Christ died for the infidelity of the elect

Death of Christ: Justice of God Satisfied

The end of every free agent is either that which he effecteth, or that for whose sake he doth effect it.

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The end which God effected by the death of Christ was the satisfaction of his own justice: the end for whose sake he did it was either supreme, or his own glory; or subordinate, ours with him (John Owen, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ,Vol. 10 of the Works of John Owen, 1852 (reprinted, Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2007), 50).

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Now, the end of the death of Christ is either supreme and ultimate, or intermediate and subservient to the last end.

1. The first is the glory of God, or the manifestation of his glorious attributes, especially of his justice, and mercy tempered with justice, unto us (89).

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2. There is an end of the death of Christ which is intermediate and subservient to that other, which is the last and most supreme, even the effects which it hath in respect of us, and that is it of which we now treat; which, as we before affirmed, is the bringing of us unto God (90).

Calvinism: J.I. Packer

From J.I. Packer’s Introductory Essay to John Owen’s The Death of Death in the Death of Christ(The Banner of Truth Trust, 5).

Calvinism is something much broader than the “five points” indicate. Calvinism is a whole world-view, stemming from a clear vision of God as the whole world’s Maker and King. Calvinism is the consistent endeavor to acknowledge the Creator as the Lord, working all things after the counsel of His will. Calvinism is a theocentric way of thinking about all life under the direction and control of God’s own Word. Calvinism, in other words, is the theology of the Bible viewed from the perspective of the Bible–the God-centered outlook which sees the Creator as the source, and means, and end, of everything that is, both in nature and in grace.