remember the contrast

Something someone said last night reminded me of this quote from John Owen:

But there is forgiveness

So I thought I’d just draw it to your attention again. Nothing like recycling old posts when you’re in a tricky spot in terms of originality.

The only thing I’d add is that Owen was obviously writing for people who were very conscious that they were sinful, or sinners – his aim was to show from the scriptures that there is hope for sinners because there is forgiveness with God. The availability of forgiveness is obviously not something that will much concern someone who tends not to think of themselves as a sinner, as sinful. For those people the previous verse was more applicable: ‘If thou o Lord shouldst mark iniquity, o Lord, who could stand?’ It’s only when a person takes that question to heart in its pointed relevance to their own likelihood of standing, that they appreciate the contrast brought in in verse 4, ‘But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.’

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2 thoughts on “remember the contrast

  1. :)

    I liked what our certain someone had to say about the word “But”… the sense in which it does introduce the very contrast you are talking about.

    And the comment along the lines of “there is many a precious ‘but’ in the Bible”.

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  2. Interesting that you should resurrect this post. Just last Lord’s Day, I spent nearly an hour teaching from Psalm 130 to our adult Sunday School class. I think I learned more than the class did! The sense of the psalmist traveling from “de profundis” (out of the depths) of his known sinfulness up to the ecstasy of knowing that he is forgiven is quite dramatic in this psalm – especially given the very restrained language he uses.

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