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John Owen:

Sin being removed, and righteousness bestowed, we have peace with God—are continually accepted before him.

There is not any thing to charge us with: that which was, is taken out of the way by Christ, and nailed to his cross—made fast there; yea, publicly and legally cancelled, that it can never be admitted again as an evidence.

What court among men would admit of evidence that has been publicly cancelled and nailed up for all to see it?

So has Christ dealt with that which was against us; and not only so, but also he puts that upon us for which we are received into favor.

He makes us comely through his beauty; gives us white raiment to stand before the Lord.

This is the first part of purchased grace wherein the saints have communion with Jesus Christ. In remission of sin and imputation of righteousness does it consist; from the death of Christ, as a price, sacrifice, and a punishment—from the life of Christ spent in obedience to the law, does it arise.

The great product it is of the Father’s righteousness, wisdom, love, and grace—the great and astonishable fruit of the love and condescension of the Son—the great discovery of the Holy Ghost in the revelation of the mystery of the gospel.

—John Owen, Communion with the Triune God, 290-91.

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6 thoughts on “In Christ Your Sin Is Publicly and Legally Cancelled, Nailed Up for All to See”

  1. Lynn Rutledge says:

    I had never considered this concept before: “What court among men would admit of evidence that has been publicly cancelled and nailed up for all to see it?”

    I searched on Google and found only two other websites that have featured that quote from Owen. So thanks for posting it.

  2. Wesley says:

    Great post – love this quote. Makes me wonder how it is that we still hold the cancelled sins of our brothers and sisters in Christ against them, even after Christ has publicly paid for them and released them from those sins? Do we not build a court above heaven in such cases? I get that it’s not always that simple, but … do you get what i mean too?

  3. a. says:

    “All of life is repentance – Tim Keller. Tim Keller writes: Martin Luther opened the Reformation by nailing “The Ninety-Five Theses” to the door of Wittenberg Cathedral. The very first of the theses was: “Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ…willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” Repentance is the way we make progress in the Christian life. Pervasive, all-of-life-repentance is the best sign that we are growing deeply and rapidly into the character of Jesus…It is important to consider how the gospel affects and transforms the act of repentance. In ‘religion’ the purpose of repentance is to keep God happy so he will continue to bless you and answer your prayers. But in the gospel the purpose of repentance is to repeatedly tap into the joy of our union with Christ in order to weaken our desire to do anything contrary to God’s heart.”

    therefore be zealous and repent.. and live; the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; Jesus came that they may have life, and have it abundantly..

  4. How beautiful. At Compass Rose Academy, a christ-based boarding school for troubled youth, our students need to hear encouraging words like this! Thank you!

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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