March 26, 2019 by directorfsm
by John Owen – March 26th, 2019
Speak No Peace (Continued)
b. Evidences for when peace is self-spoken
Given these two previous observations, I shall give some rules whereby men may know whether God speaks peace to them, or whether they speak peace to themselves only.
1). If sin is not detested
Men certainly speak peace to themselves when their so doing is not attended with the greatest detestation imaginable of the sin involved, and abhorrence of themselves for it. Often men are wounded, disquieted, and perplexed by sin, knowing that there is no remedy for them but only in the mercies of God through the blood of Christ. When these look to God and to the promises of the new covenant in Christ (Heb 8:8-13), they quiet their hearts that it shall be well with them, and that God will be exalted by His being gracious to them. But if their souls are not wrought to the greatest detestation of the sin or sins on whose account they are disquieted, then they have healed themselves, and have not been healed of God. This is only a great and strong wind in which the Lord is near, but not in (1Ki 19:11).
When men do truly “look upon [Christ] whom they have pierced,” without which there is no healing or peace, they will “mourn” (Zec 12:10). They will mourn for Him, even upon this account, and detest the sin that pierced Him. When we go to Christ for healing, faith eyes Him peculiarly as one pierced. Faith takes several views of Christ, according to the occasions it has for prayer and communion with Him. Sometimes faith views His holiness, sometimes His power, sometimes His love, sometimes His favor with His Father. And when faith seeks healing and peace, it looks especially on the blood of the covenant, on Christ’s sufferings; for “the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isa 53:5). When we look for healing, His stripes are to be eyed—not in the outward story of them, which is the course of popish devotionists, but in the love, kindness, mystery, and purpose of the cross. And when we look for peace, His chastisements must be in our eye.
Now this, I say, if it be done according to the mind of God and in the strength of that Spirit which is poured out on believers, it will beget a detestation of that sin or sins for which healing and peace is sought. So, “Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.” And what then? “Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed” (Eze 16:60-61). When God comes home to speak peace in a sure covenant of peace (Isa 54:10; Eze 34:25; 37:26), it fills the soul with shame for all the ways in which it has been alienated from Him.
One of the things that the apostle mentions as attending that godly sorrow which is accompanied with repentance unto salvation, never to be repented of, is revenge: “Yea, what re-venge!” (2Co 7:11). They reflected on their transgressions with indignation and revenge for their folly in them. When Job comes up to a thorough healing from his sin, he cries, “Wherefore I abhor myself ” (Job 42:6). Until he did so, he had no abiding peace. He might perhaps have made peace to himself with that doctrine of free grace which was so excellently preached by Elihu (33:14-30); but he had then only skinned his wounds—he must come to self-abhorrence if he would come to healing.