Beloved, we all enjoy a good testimony, the kind that brings tears to our eyes as we see all the ways Gods grace can change a cold heart of stone. John Owens (1616-1683) conversion has a special kind of sweetness to it.
Owens, having achieved his Masters by the age of 19, is beyond a doubt one of the most intelligent men to lead Gods sheep. However, it was not until he was 26 that he had a moment where he felt assurance of his salvation. This is the main point I’d like to share with you all. Owens, the Puritan giant, was going to see a well known preacher with his cousin in 1642. That preacher was not there that morning, so a country preacher had been brought in. A no name. In fact, Owens never recalls that mans name. He did, however, recall that the message was on Matthew 8:26.
Owens was forever changed that morning as the faith he taught others became a reality in his own life. Assurance of salvation is a beautiful thing, it can carry you through the roughest seasons of your life. I want to encourage you today, beloved, that you can make a greater difference than you imagine. The man who changed Owens life was a country preacher with a tiny flock. He was faithful to Gods Word, and through his obedience God was able to use him. Often our weakness is Gods strength in this darkened world. Continue in obedience, dear brethren!
I have one last thought, beloved. Why do you have assurance? When I sin I often have the doubtful thoughts that my faith is false. Then I remember the chains of sin that have been broken. I was so held down by my wretched flesh before salvation that I rarely had a minutes rest. The night I cried out to God for forgiveness, that changed. I woke up the next day and everything was new. My friend, if you are still bound to the sin you love, please work through your salvation with fear and trembling. A true convert to Christianity can and will sin, but we hate that sin. It is vomit to us. The things we once hated, like fellowship, prayer, and Gods Word, we now love. If that’s not a reality in your life, please humble your heart and cry out to God.
My beloved brethren, I hope you are encouraged by the conversion of John Owens and the simple instrument God used in his life. As always, dearest friends, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.