John Owen: “They have a fresh, vigorous sense of pardoning mercy. According as this is in the soul, so will its love and delight in God, so will its obedience be; as, I say, is the sense of gospel pardon, so will be the life of gospel love” (Overcoming Sin and Temptation, 375).
That’s amazing. To the degree that we continually have a fresh, vigorous sense of God’s loving, forgiving mercy, we will delight in God and be able to love others. Not just a firm, mental agreement of the truth of God’s love for you expressed in the cross, but a fresh, vigorous sense of it. Similarly, he says, “The love of God and of Christ in their forgiveness highly conquers and constrains them to make it their business to live unto God” (375). Elsewhere, Owen expresses that he has no idea how anyone could fight temptation without a “living sense of the love of God or of the privileges which we have in the blood of Christ” (204). Therefore, “let faith look on Christ in the gospel… do this daily” (139).
We will love God and others when we see his own love for us expressed in dying for our failure to love.
I’ve recently added a page to this blog that includes ‘gospel resources’ for helping us see that, when pressed into our hearts by the Spirit, our greatest resource for living the Christian life is the gospel itself (see the ‘gospel resources‘ tab above). The list is not exhaustive of all that is available, nor is it necessarily a list of ‘the best’ resources. But they’re some of the ones that I’ve found most helpful from what I’m aware of. I’d appreciate hearing what has been helpful to you, so feel free to comment about any additional resources you’d like to share.