Crucified to the world

“Herein would I live; herein would I die; hereon would I dwell in my thoughts and affections, to the withering and consumption of all the painted beauties of this world, unto the crucifying all things here below, until they become unto me a dead and deformed thing, no way meet for affectionate embraces” (John Owen).

Certainly not an endorsement of John Owen, but I like this quote when reading a Biblical meaning into it. That is, when I read a quote like this from Owen, I think of the following passages of Scripture:

“If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. The Lord comes! The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen” (1 Corinthians 16:22-24).

“As many as desire to look well in the flesh, these compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For they themselves having been circumcised do not even keep the Law, but they desire you to be circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh. But may it never be for me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:12-14).

“Peace to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those that love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruptibility” (Ephesian 6:23-24).

“For I know that this will result in deliverance to me through your petition and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but as always in all boldness even now Christ will be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this to me is fruit of my labor, and what I shall choose I do not know. For I am pressed together by the two: having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better” (Philippians 1:19-23).

“If, then, you were raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is sitting at the right of God; mind the things above, not the things on the earth. For you died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God. Whenever Christ our life is revealed, then also you will be revealed with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4).

“… yet a little while, if need be, grieving in manifold trials, so that the proving of your faith, much more precious than perishing gold, but having been proved through fire, may be found to praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ; whom having not seen, you love; in whom not yet seeing, but believing, you exult with joy unspeakable and being glorified, obtaining the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:6-9).

“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that which is in the world: the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and its lust. But the one doing the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17).

“John to the seven assemblies in Asia: Grace to you, and peace, from the One who is, and who was, and who is coming, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne; even from Jesus Christ the Faithful Witness, the First-born out of the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him loving us and washing us from our sins by His blood, and made us kings and priests to God, even His Father. To Him is the glory and the might forever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1:4-6).

We desire to dwell in our thoughts and affections on the Word of God. We delight in His law and meditate in it day and night (Psalm 1:2). We muse deeply on the love and mercy of Christ. We see the exceeding riches of His grace in light of His holiness, justice, and wrath. It is a truly awesome thing to contemplate His eternally enduring mercy:

“… to Him who struck Egypt in her first-born; for His mercy endures forever; and brought Israel out from among them; for His mercy endures forever; with a strong hand and a stretched out arm; for His mercy endures forever; to Him who divided the Sea of Reeds into parts; for His mercy endures forever; and made Israel pass through the middle of it; for His mercy endures forever; but shook Pharaoh and his army off in the Sea of Reeds; for His mercy endures forever; to Him who led His people in the wilderness; for His mercy endures forever; to Him who struck great kings; for His mercy endures forever; and killed majestic kings; for His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 136:10-18).

It is a wonderful thing to see how God’s striking of Egypt and His killing of great and majestic kings inspires us to think of mercy. It is the blood of the Passover Lamb where we witness mercy triumphing over judgment. It is the propitiating blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone that makes the difference between being struck down and being passed over. Praise be to God through His Son, Jesus Christ!