“What am I the better if I can dispute that Christ is God, but have no sense of sweetness in my heart from hence that He is a God in covenant with my soul? What will it avail me to evince, by testimonies and arguments, that He hath made satisfaction for sin, if through my unbelief, the wrath of God abideth on me, and I have no experience of my own being made the righteousness of God in Him,– if I find not, in my standing before God, the excellency of having my sins imputed to Him and His righteousness imputed to me?
Will it be any advantage to me, in the issue, to profess and dispute that God works the conversion of a sinner by the irresistable grace of His Spirit, if I was never acquainted experimentally with the deadness and utter impotency to good, that opposition to the law of God, which is in my own soul by nature, with the efficacy of the exceeding greatness of the power of God in quickening, enlightening, and bringing forth fruits of obedience in me?
It is the power of truth in the heart alone that will make us cleave unto it indeed in an hour of temptation. Let us, then, not think that we are anything the better for our conviction of the truths of the great doctrines of the gospel, for which we contend with these men, unless we find the power of the truths abiding in our own hearts, and have a continual experience of their necessity and excellency in our standing before God and our communion with Him.”
–John Owen, The Gospel Defended in The Works of John Owen, ed. William Goold, 24 vols. (Edinburgh: Johnson & Hunter; 1850-1855; reprint by Banner of Truth, 1966), Vol. 12:52.