Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of thoughts and quotations by John Owen on gospel, life, sovereignty, mortification, religion and soul.

79 Motivational Quotes By John Owen That Are Sure To Enlighten You

Quick Facts

Famous As: Theologian

Born On: 1616 AD

Died On: August 24, 1683

Born In: Stadhampton, Oxfordshire, England

Died At Age: 67

The 17th century theologian, educator, Nonconformist church leader and Puritan, John Owen was renowned for his teachings on faith and life. John Owen was regarded as the most distinguished English speaking theologian of his era, who left a mark on English history. John Owen often read the works of other leaders, specifically of those with whom he disagreed, in order to sharpen his own knowledge. His principles, writings, thoughts and quotes were not limited to the teachings of the Bible but were inspired from other faiths and principles as well. As an able educator, he served as a chaplain, administering the ‘Trinity College’, Dublin, and also as the dean of the ‘Christ Church Cathedral’, and the ‘Vice-Chancellor’ of ‘Oxford University’. He educated the clergy of his congregation, so that they become better pastors and do justice in their preaching. His works, thoughts and sayings reflected his plans for Christianity and its growth. His views and criticisms have affected significant religious development and principles. We can get to know more about his thoughts and ideas through his quotes!

The greatest sorrow and burden you can lay on the Father, the greatest unkindness you can do to him is not to believe that he loves you.

John Owen

Steadfastness in believing doth not exclude all temptations from without. When we say a tree is firmly rooted, we do not say the wind never blows upon it.

John Owen

There is no broader way to apostasy than to reject God’s sovereignty in all things concerning the revelation of himself and our obedience...

John Owen

To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect.

John Owen

Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you.

John Owen

Holiness is nothing but the implanting, writing and living out the gospel in our souls

John Owen

All other ways of mortification are vain, all helps leave us helpless, it must be done by the Spirit.

John Owen

I wish thy lot, now bad, still worse, my friend, for when at worst, they say, things always mend.

John Owen

All thing I thought I knew; but now confess, the more I know I know, I know the less.

John Owen

The choicest believers, who are assuredly freed from the condemning power of sin, ought yet to make it their business all their days to mortify the indwelling power of sin.

John Owen

Leanness of body and soul may go together.

John Owen

Do you mortify? Do you make it your daily work? Be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you.

John Owen

Before the work of grace the heart is ‘stony.’ It can do no more than a stone can do to please God.

John Owen

There is no way of deliverance from the state and condition of being in the flesh, but by the Spirit of Christ.

John Owen

The house built on the sand may oftentimes be built higher, have more fair parapets and battlements, windows and ornaments, than that which is built upon the rock; yet all gifts and privileges equal not one grace.

John Owen

Christians can be confident about their growth in sanctification and eternal security because they are confident in the God who promises it.

John Owen

The custom of sinning takes away the sense of it, the course of the world takes away the shame of it.

John Owen

He that hath slight thoughts of sin never had great thoughts of God.

John Owen

Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it while you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you.

John Owen

Would a soul continually eye His everlasting tenderness and compassion...[then] it could not bear an hour's absence from Him; whereas now, perhaps, it cannot watch with him one hour.

John Owen

In the divine Scriptures, there are shallows and there are deeps; shallows where the lamb may wade, and deeps where the elephant may swim.

John Owen

The most tremendous judgment of God in this world is the hardening of the hearts of men.

John Owen

A man may easier see without eyes, speak without a tongue, than truly mortify one sin without the Spirit.

John Owen

Clearly the Holy Spirit is not merely a quality to be found in the divine nature … He is a holy intelligent person.

John Owen

The use of means for the obtaining of peace is ours; the bestowing of it is God's prerogative.

John Owen

Be killing sin or it will be killing you.

John Owen

Mortification from a self-strength, carried on by ways of self-invention, unto the end of a self-righteousness, is the soul and substance of all false religion in the world.

John Owen

No man shall ever behold the glory of Christ by sight hereafter who does not in some measure behold it here by faith.

John Owen

A minister may fill his pews, his communion roll, the mouths of the public, but what that minister is on his knees in secret before God Almighty, that he is and no more.

John Owen

Satan's greatest success is in making people think they have plenty of time before they die to consider their eternal welfare.

John Owen

The vigor and power and comfort of our spiritual life depends on our mortification of deeds of the flesh.

John Owen

Do not seek to empty your cup as a way to avoid sin, but rather seek to fill it up with the Spirit of life, so there is no longer room for sin.

John Owen

A sense of the love of Christ in the cross; lie at the bottom of all true spiritual mortification

John Owen

The vigour, and power, and comfort of our spiritual life depends on the mortification of the deeds of the flesh.

John Owen

He that is appointed to kill an enemy, if he leave striking before the other ceases living, doth but half his work, Gal. vi. 9; Heb. xii. 1; 2 Cor. vii. 1.

John Owen

Mortification is the soul’s vigorous opposition to self, wherein sincerity is most evident.

John Owen

The pretended desires of many to behold the glory of Christ in heaven, who have no view of it by faith while they are here in this world, are nothing but self-deceiving imaginations.

John Owen

Let not that man think he makes any progress in holiness who walks not over the bellies of his lusts.

John Owen

We speak much of God, and talk of him, his ways, his works; the truth is, we know very little of him.

John Owen

I do not understand how a man can be a true believer, in whom sin is not the greatest burden, sorrow and trouble.

John Owen

For to pretend that men may live habitually sinful lives without any attempt by the Spirit to mortify sin in them, nor with any desire for repentance, is to deny the Christian religion.

John Owen

The more I see of the glory of Christ, the more the painted beauties of this world will wither in my eyes.

John Owen

Pardon comes not to the soul alone; or rather, Christ comes not to the soul with pardon only! It is that which He opens the door and enters by, but He comes with a Spirit of life and power.

John Owen

Christ is the meat, the bread, the food of our souls. Nothing is in him of a higher spiritual nourishment than his love, which we should always desire.

John Owen

Faith, if it be a living faith, will be a working faith.

John Owen

To say that we are able by our own efforts to think good thoughts or give God spiritual obedience before we are spiritually regenerate is to overthrow the gospel and the faith of the universal church in all ages.

John Owen

The first and principal duty of a pastor is to feed the flock by diligent preaching of the word

John Owen

We are never nearer Christ than when we find ourselves lost in a holy amazement at His unspeakable love.

John Owen

We can have no power from Christ unless we live in a persuasion that we have none of our own.

John Owen

Every time we say we believe in the Holy Spirit, we mean we believe that there is a living God able and willing to enter human personality and change it.

John Owen

If the Word does not dwell with power in us, it will not pass with power from us.

John Owen

Christ did not die for any upon condition, if they do believe; but He died for all God's elect, that they should believe.

John Owen

If we do not abide in prayer, we will abide in temptation.

John Owen

If private revelations agree with Scripture, they are needless, and if they disagree, they are false.

John Owen

After hearing the evidence, I will record a verdict of natural causes.

John Owen

Whatever impeacheth the universality of obedience in one thing overthrows its sincerity in all things.

John Owen

By some men's too much understanding, others are brought to understand nothing at all.

John Owen

And those who pretend to be teachers of others, and yet despise his teaching assistance, will one day find that they undertook a work which was none of theirs.

John Owen

Temptations and occasions put nothing into a man, but only draw out what was in him before.

John Owen

And truly, for sinners to have fellowship with God, the infinitely holy God, is an astonishing dispensation.9

John Owen

They will readily change truth for error, who find no more sweetness in the one than in the other.

John Owen

The mortification of indwelling sin remaining in our mortal bodies, that it may not have life and power to bring forth the works or deeds of the flesh, is the constant duty of believers.

John Owen

Isa. xliii. 22, “Thou hast not called upon me, thou hast been weary of me.

John Owen

Morality divorced from the doctrines of the gospel is not that holiness which the gospel requires.

John Owen

That the mortification of indwelling sin remaining in our mortal bodies, that it may not have life and power to bring forth the works or deeds of the flesh is the constant duty of believers.

John Owen

The goal of the Christian life is not external conformity or mindless action, but a passionate love for God informed by the mind and embraced by the will.

John Owen

Were our affections filled, taken up, and possessed with these things . . . what access could sin, with its painted pleasures, with its sugared poisons, with its envenomed baits, have unto our souls?

John Owen

To break men off particular sins, and not to break their hearts, is to deprive ourselves of advantages of dealing with them

John Owen

And, therefore, seeing he doth not intercede and pray for every one, he did not die for every one.

John Owen

Arminians pretend, very speciously, that Christ died for all men, yet, in effect, they make him die for no one man at all.

John Owen

God and the doctor we like adore, But only when in danger, not before.

John Owen

The death of Christ is their meritorious cause; the Spirit of God and his effectual grace their efficient, working instrumentally with power by the word and ordinances.

John Owen

Christ is the meritorious cause of the bestowing of those good gifts, faith and constancy unto martyrdom, upon you.

John Owen

Temptation is like a knife, that may either cut the meat or the throat of a man; it may be his food or his poison, his exercise or his destruction.

John Owen

The duties God requires of us are not in proportion to the strength we possess in ourselves. Rather, they are proportional to the resources available to us in Christ. We do not have the ability in ourselves to accomplish the least of God's tasks. This is the law of grace. When we recognize it is impossible for us to perform a duty in our own strength, we will discover the secret of its accomplishment.

John Owen

Though we are commanded to 'wash ourselves', to 'cleanse ourselves from sins', to 'purge ourselves from all our iniquities', yet to imagine that we can do these things by our own efforts is to trample on the cross and grace of Jesus Christ. Whatever God works in us by his grace, he commands us to do as our duty. God works all in us and by us.

John Owen

The person who understands the evil in his own heart is the only person who is useful, fruitful, and solid in his beliefs and obedience. Others only delude themselves and thus upset families, churches, and all other relationships. In their self-pride and judgment of others, they show great inconsistency.

John Owen

Consider who and what you are; who the Spirit is that is grieved, what he has done for you, what he comes to your soul about, what he has already done in you; and be ashamed. Among those who walk with God, there is no greater motive and incentive unto universal holiness, and the preserving of their hearts and spirits in all purity and cleanness than this: That the blessed Spirit, who has undertaken to dwell in them, is continually considering what they give entertainment in their hearts unto, and rejoices when his temple is kept undefiled.

John Owen

The purpose of our holy and righteous God was to save his church, but their sin could not go unpunished. It was, therefore, necessary that the punishment for that sin be transferred from those who deserved it but could not bear it, to one who did not deserve it but was able to bear it.

John Owen