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