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The Spirit and the Church (John Owen)

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How do Christians come to the certainty that the Bible is the Word of God, and gain an understanding of His mind and will from it? How do they acquire the ability to pray, and lead others in prayer? how are they comforted and supported in all the difficulties they meet? And how can the church be led, taught and guided aright, when Christ is not here on earth?

According to the great Puritan leader John Owen, the answer to all these questions is the same: by the gracious and powerful work of the Holy Spirit.

He it is who convinces, assures, teaches, comforts and equips the church and all its members for all the work they are called to do. In an age when many think Christianity is nothing more than human effort, based on fallible human conclusions, Owen calls the church back to divine certainty and divine resources.

The style in which the Puritans wrote can present difficulties for modern readers, but this updated abridgement of by Dr. R. J. K. Law of The Spirit and the Church will allow Owen to speak to Christians today on a theme which remains as vitally important for the well- being of the church in the twenty-first century as it was when Owen first wrote.

Table of Contents

Publisher's Preface v

1. PART ONE: How We Believe Scripture to Be the Word of God

Illumination Based on Revelation 1

The Faith by Which We Believe Scripture to Be God's Word 7

External Arguments for Divine Revelation 10

Moral Certainty, the Result of External Arguments, Insufficient 14

Divine Revelation Itself the Only Foundation and Reason for Faith 26

The Self-Evidencing Power of Scripture 33

The Kind of Assurance Scripture Brings 42


2. PART TWO: Understanding the Mind of God

How We Learn the Mind of God from Scripture 49

Knowing the Mind of God: Some Teaching from Scripture Itself 52

How Are Believers Guided into 'All Truth'? 58

How Does the Holy Spirit Enlighten Our Minds? 64

Hindrances to the Understanding of the Mind of God in Scripture 68

The Nature of Scripture, and the Right Approach to It 72

Means to be Used to Understand the Mind of God in Scripture 77

Tools from Various Disciplines to Aid in Our Understanding of Scripture 79

Help from the Church to Understand Scripture

Final Points on the Work of the Spirit in Relation to Scripture 84

3. PART THREE: The Holy Spirit and Prayer

The Help of the Spirit in Prayer 89

The Spirit of Grace and Supplication: Zechariah 12:10 Expounded 91

The Spirit of Adoption: Galatians 4:6 Expounded 97

The Nature of Prayer: Romans 8:26 Vindicated 100

The Spirit Teaches Us What to Pray For 102

The Spirit Teaches Us How to Pray 108

The Duty of Praying in the Spirit: Ephesians 6:18 Expounded 113

The Spirit Enables Us to Pray Aloud 117

Our Response to the Gift of the Spirit of Prayer 123

Contemplative Prayer Considered 130

Set Forms of Prayer Examined 137


4. PART FOUR: The Holy Spirit as a Comforter

How the Spirit Comforts the Church 143

The Characteristics of the Spirit's Work as Comforter 148

The Holy Spirit Comforts Only Believers 153

The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit 155

The Holy Spirit as an Anointing 160

The Holy Spirit Seals Believers 164

The Holy Spirit as an Earnest or Guarantee 168

5. PART FIVE: The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Purpose of Spiritual Gifts 171

Spiritual Gifts and Saving Grace 173

The Extraordinary Offices of the Church 178

Extraordinary Spiritual Gifts in the Church 180

How Spiritual Gifts Promote Christ's Kingdom 184

The Continuance of the Ministry 187

Spiritual Gifts Granted to the Ministry 189

The Gifts of the Spirit for Doctrine, Worship and Discipline 192

Product Details

Title: The Spirit and the Church

Author: John Owen

Publisher: Banner of Truth

Pages: 272

Binding: Paperback

Size: 18.1 x 12.0 x 1.5 cm

ISBN: 9781800401594

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