I read my daily Quotemeal from www.heartlight.org this morning. It took me a minute to understand what this quote was saying, but once I grasped it, I really liked it.
“Pardon comes not to the soul alone; or rather, Christ comes not to the soul with pardon only! It is that which He opens the door and enters by, but He comes with a Spirit of life and power.” — John Owen
John Owen was a puritan theologian who lived from 1616 to 1683. This is the second puritan quote that has caught my attention in my Quotemeal in the past month. I’m not sure what’s up with that, but you can read my blog entry based on the first one here.
Anyway, I like what this quote is saying. Jesus comes to pardon us, to redeem us, to pay for our sins. That is true, but it is not enough. If that is all He did, we would not be changed in any way. And changing us into a new creation is what Jesus is all about. In his second letter to the church at Corinth, Paul wrote:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:17-19.
This is where we come to the core of what John Owen is trying to tell us. By pardoning us from our sins, Jesus open a door to our heart and our soul. He then comes through that open door with “a Spirit of life and power.” Jesus, though the power of His Holy Spirit living in the pardoned believer, changes us into someone new. The change is not always immediately apparent, because the Spirit that has entered in through the open door takes time to change the way we think, feel, and act.
Jesus promised to send His Spirit when He spoke to the disciples before His crucifixion. He said to them, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26. The Holy Spirit gives us new life and the power to live that life in accordance with God’s will for us.
This reminds me of the song “Consuming Fire” by Third Day:
Set this place on fire
Send Your spirit, Savior
Rescue from the mire
Show Your servant favor
Yesterday was the day that I was alone
Now I’m in the presence of Almighty God
and yes our God, He is a consuming fire
And the flames burn down deep in my soul
Yes our God He is a consuming fire
He reaches inside and He melts down this
cold heart of stone.
Have you been pardoned by the Savior? If so, remember that is not the end, that is not enough. His pardon opened a door for Him to send His Spirit to come in and change you. Like a consuming fire, the Spirit will burn up that which is not God’s will for you and leaves your soul refined and pleasing to God.