Monday, June 22, 2015

John Owen on 2 Peter 3:9

”’The will of God,’ say some, ‘for the salvation of all, is here set down both negatively, that he would not have any perish, and positively, that he would have all come to repentance....’ Many words need not be spent in answer to this objection, wrested from the misunderstanding and palpable corrupting of the sense of the words of the apostle. That indefinite and general expressions are to be interpreted in an answerable proportion to the things whereof they are affirmed, is a rule in the opening of the Scripture.... Will not common sense teach us that us is to be repeated in both the following clauses, to make them up complete and full, namely, ‘Not willing that any of us should perish, but that all of us should come to repentance’? ... Now, truly, to argue that because God would have none of those to perish, but all of them to come to repentance, therefore he hath the same will and mind towards all and every one in the world (even those to whom he never makes known his will, nor ever calls to repentance, if they never once hear of his way of salvation), comes not much short of extreme madness and folly ... I shall not need add any thing concerning the contradictions and inextricable difficulties wherewith the opposite interpretation is accompanied.... The text is clear, that it is all and only the elect whom he would not have to perish.”
Works of John Owen, Volume 10, Banner of Truth Trust, 1967, p. 348-349

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