It was four years ago when I purchased The Glory of Christ by John Owen. I remember the exact day when I first opened this stirring book. I remember sitting in my university dorm room, being overwhelmed with the glories of our Lord Jesus Christ. Surprisingly, this was the first Puritan work that the Lord used to introduce me to the Puritans. I stumbled across the name of John Owen and decided to purchase this book. I am thankful for the kind providence of our Lord. It was through the Puritan Paperback series, published by The Banner of Truth Trust, that the Lord used to strengthen and enrich my Christian life.
So far, I have found no greater book that speaks on the person and work of Jesus Christ. As John Owen was on his deathbed (24 August 1683), William Payne shared the exciting news that the ‘Meditations on the Glory of Christ’ was now going through the press. Owen replied: “I am glad to hear it; but, O brother Payne! The long-wished-for day is come at last, in which I shall see that glory in another manner than I have ever done, or was capable of doing in this world” (vii). What a statement! In writing this book, Owen had only scratched the surface of the glories of Christ. He knew that he will be spending an eternity upon eternities beholding the majestic God in all his glory and splendor. This work then is only a foretaste of what is yet to come!
Owen writes: “Only a sight of his glory, and nothing else, will truly satisfy God’s people. . . One of the greatest privileges the believer has, both in this world and for eternity, is to behold the glory of Christ” (2). As we behold the glory of Christ, we are gradually being transformed into his image (2 Cor. 3:18). But even if we spend thirty, forty, or even seventy years on this earth, beholding this glory of Christ by faith in the gospel, we have barely scratched the surface. Owen writes: “The beholding of Christ in glory is too high, glorious and marvellous for us in our present condition. The splendour of Christ’s glory is too much for our physical eyes just as is the sun shining in all its strength. So while we are here on earth we can behold his glory only by faith” (6).
Christian, is this your greatest end and one desire? To behold the beauty of God in the face of Jesus Christ each day while you make your pilgrimage to glory? Can you say with John Owen, “on Christ’s glory I would fix all my thoughts and desires, and the more I see of the glory of Christ, the more the painted beauties of this world will wither in my eyes and I will be more and more crucified to this world” (7)
Oh, Christian! May we be able to say that with Owen! May we be made fit for heaven by daily beholding the glories of Christ. I pray that this short blog will encourage you to pick up ‘The Glory of Christ’ by John Owen. I pray that as you read this book, with your Bible in your hand, that you would be transformed by one degree of glory to another (2 Cor. 3:18).
Soli Deo Gloria.