Biblical Counseling, Christ, Communion With The Father Son and Holy Spirit, Discipleship, Fellowship, Jesus, John Owen, Love, Of Communion With the Father Son and Holy Spirit, Puritan, Song of Solomon
Having shown what is received in the communion, Owen sets out the nature of the communion between Christ and the church. There are two elements to the communion, however, the manner in which party addresses the communion differs. The elements of the communion are:
1) A mutual resignation of themselves one to the other;
2) Mutual, consequential, conjugal affections.
Christ gives himself to the soul by the display and conveyance of his excellencies:
Christ gives himself to the soul, with all his excellencies, righteousness, preciousness, graces, and eminencies, to be its Savior, head, and husband, for ever to dwell with it in this holy relation. He looks upon the souls of his saints, likes them well, counts them fair and beautiful, because he has made them so. Song of Solomon 1:15, “Behold, thou art fair, my companion; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes.” Let others think what they please, Christ redoubles it, that the souls of his saints are very beautiful, even perfect, through his comeliness, which he puts upon them
The redeemed human is made beautiful, acceptable to the Father because the human is covered with the excellency of Christ. The human, the Church receives this grace and beauty by seeming Christ as desirable – in particular, the human sees Christ as willing and desirous of bestowing himself upon his bride:
Upon this invitation, the spouse boldly concludes, Song of Solomon 7:10, that the desire of Christ is towards her; that he does indeed love her, and aim at taking her into this fellowship with himself. So, in carrying on this union, Christ freely bestoweth himself upon the soul. Precious and excellent as he is, he becometh ours. He makes himself to be so; and with him, all his graces.
As a husband desires his wife, so Christ desires his bride. Christ desires to redeem and restore the sinner. The sinner comes to Christ – and the redeemed sinner draws near to him as the human understand that Christ desires to bestow his grace and excellency – Christ desires to save, to transform and redeem. The human being need merely receive the grace to obtain the grace:
This is the first thing on the part of Christ, — the free donation and bestowing of himself upon us to be our Christ, our Beloved, as to all the ends and purposes of love, mercy, grace, and glory; whereunto in his mediation he is designed, in a marriage covenant never to be broken. This is the sum of what is intended: — The Lord Jesus Christ, fitted and prepared, by the accomplishment and furniture of his person as mediator, and the large purchase of grace and glory which he has made, to be a husband to his saints, his church, tenders himself in the promises of the gospel to them in all his desirableness; convinces them of his goodwill towards them, and his all-sufficiency for a supply of their wants; and upon their consent to accept of him, — which is all he requires or expects at their hands, — he engageth himself in a marriage covenant to be theirs for ever.