Union and Communion with God

From the introduction to John Owen’s Communion with the Triune God (ed. Kapic and Taylor, forthcoming from Crossway):

While a saint’s consistency in prayer, corporate worship, and biblical meditation are not things that make God love him more or less, such activities tend to foster the beautiful experience of communion with God. Giving in to temptations and neglecting devotion to God threaten the communion but not the union.

In other words, we have union with God the Father because of the work of God the Son, which is applied to us by God the Holy Spirit. This union is entirely wrought by God, not by us, so we can’t make ourselves more or less united to him by our good works or lack thereof. But we also have communion with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit– that is, personal interaction, communication with him. Our experience of this communion can be greater or lesser as we obey or disobey, as we seek or neglect him.

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Comments

  1. hmmm… interesting. This is why people say they feel like God is far away when they are neglectful to their relationship with God (or that “God’s not the one that moved, it’s you” [church signs everywhere rejoice]). Thank goodness the relationship itself doesn’t rest on my shoulders- or I’d be in a lot of trouble.

  2. A very helpful distinction to make!

  3. matthewtpurdy says:

    Now that’s what I call some good nuancing! (not that you haven’t nuanced well in other posts…nuance nuance.)

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