Owen - BX9315 O81

Sfi CONFORMITY UNTO CHIST, CHAP. XV. CONFORMITY UNTO CHRIST, AND FOLLOWING HIS EXAMPLE. THE third thingproposed to declare the use of the person of Christ in religion, is that conformity which is required of us unto him. This is the great design and projection of all believers. Every one of them hath the idea or image of Christ in his mind; in the eye of faith, as it is represented unto him in theglass of the gos- pel. Kaz oszg,dpwo, zno his, s, m, 2 Cor. iii. 18. " We behold his glory in a glass," which implants the image of it on our minds. And hereby the mind is transform- ed intb the sameimage, made like unto Christso repre- sented unto us, which is the conformity we speak of. Hence every true believer bath his heart under the con- duct of an habitual inclination and desire to be like unto Christ. And it were easyto demonstrate that where this is not, there is neither faith nor love. Faith will cast the soul into the " form or frameof the thingbeliev- ed," Rom. vi. 17. And all sincere love worketh an assimulation. Wherefore the best evidence of a real principleof the life of God in any soul, of the sincerity of faith, love, and obedience, is an internal cordial en- deavour, operative on all occasions, after conformity unto Jesus Christ. There are two parts of the duty proposed. The first respects the internal grace and holiness of the human nature of Christ; the other his example in duties of obedience. Anti both of them, both materially, as to the things wherein they consist, and formally, as they were his, or in him, belong unto the constitution of a true disciple. I. Internal conformity unto his habitual grace and holi- ness, is the fundamental design of a Christain life. That which is the best without it, is a pretended imitation of his example in outward duties of obedience. I call it pretended, because where the firstdesign is wanting, it is no more but so; nor is it acceptable to Christ, nor ap- proved by him. And therefore an attempt unto that end bath often issued in formality, hypocrisy, and su- perstition. I shall therefore lay down the grounds of this design, the nature of it, and the means of its pur- suit. God, in the human nature of Christ, did perfectly renew that blessed image of his on our nature, which we lost in Adam, with an addition, of many glorious en- dowments which Adamwas not madepartaker of. God did not renew it in his nature, as though that por- tion of it whereof he was partaker, had ever been des- titute or deprived of it, as it is with the same nature in all other persons. For he derived not his nature from Adam in the same way that we do; nor was he ever in Adam as the public representative of our nature as we were. But our nature in him had the image of God implanted in it, which was lost and separated from the same nature, in all other instances of its subsistence. It pleased the Father that in him all fulness should dwell, that he should be full of grace and truth, and in all things have the pre-eminence. But of these gracious endowments of the human nature of Christ, I have dis- coursed elsewhere. 2. One end of God in filling the human nature of Christ withall grace, in implanting his glorious image upon it, was that he might in him propose an example of what he would by the same grace renew us unto, and what we ought in a way of duty to labour after. The fulness of grace wasnecessary unto the human nature of Christ, from its hypostatical union with the Son of God. For whereas therein the " fulness of the Godhead dwelt in him bodily," it became TO 4,o., an holy thing, Luke i. 35. It was also necessary unto him, as unto his own obedience in the flesh, wherein he fulfilled all righteous- ness, did no sin, " neither was guile found in his mouth," 1 Pet. ii. 22. And it was so unto the discharge of the office he undertook: for " such an High Priest became us who was holy, harmless, undefiled, and se- parate from sinners," Heb. vii. 26. Howbeit, the infi- nite wisdom of God had this farther design in it also, namely, that he might be the pattern and example of the renovationof the image. of God in us, and of the glory that doch ensue thereon. He is in the eye of God as the idea of what he intends in us, in the com- munication of grace and glory; and he ought to be so in ours, as unto all that we aim at in a way of duty. . y _