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  • Writer's pictureVic Bernales

The Spirit's Witness

Do you have doubts regarding your status before God? Were there ocassions in your life when you've asked yourself whether or not you are truly a child of God?

There are times in my life when doubt or uncertainty overwhelms me whether or not I am a real Christian. I wonder at times if truly I am a child of God. And when those times come I turn to the Word of God for reassurance.

One of the verses in the holy Scripture that reassures me of my status before the Lord is this: "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children" (Rom. 8:16).

I may have questions sometimes regarding my relationship with God. I may wonder at times if Christ really died for me and paid for all my sins. But when I turn to the Lord and read His word, the Holy Spirit brings assurance in me with verses like this from the Bible.

My doubts then are replaced with confidence as the word of God and the Spirit of God direct me to Christ and what He has done for me. My assurance does not come from my own feeling or experience. Assurance is the work of God the Holy Spirit pointing us not to ourselves or our petformance but on Christ Jesus who died and rose again for our sake.

The Spirit directs me also to other passages like Romans 5:6, 8, "For while we were still weak, at thr right time Christ died for the ungodly...but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us," or Romans 8:1, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

The Spirit of God who now dwells in us as children of God does His work by testifying to our Spirit that we belong to God. J. I. Packer says, "Without the Spirit's aid man can never recognize the Spirit's handiwork in himself" ("A Quest for Godliness," 184).

One sign that the Spirit is in us and testifies that we are the Lord's and we know God and God really knows us is our active and "conscious obedience to the Word of God."

Another author explains, "'We know,' states 1 John 2:3, 'that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.' As I think about my life and examine my heart, I can honestly say that I want to do all that God wills. I do not always obey Him, but the general orientation of my life is decidedly toward obedience rather than disobedience" (Donald S. Whitney, "How Can I Be Sure I'm a Christian," 41).

"Assurance comes partly through keeping God's commandments," says another commentator. "As Jesus said, 'If you love me, keep my commandments' (John 14:15). What happens when the believer falls into sin? He loses his firm conviction that he belongs to God..."

"Assurance," he continues, "is not something we receive simply by saying we believe in Jesus. A growing obedience will lead to a humble, yet growing assurance....

"Those who have confessed their sins (John 1:9) on the basis of Christ's righteous propitiation (John 2:1-2) need to test that profession by the evidence of a growing obedience to God's law" (Peter Barnes, "Knowing Where We Stand: The Message of John's Epistles," 33-34).

The Spirit of God works in us by witnessing to our spirit that we are redeemed by the Lord and by enabling us to keep on trusting Him and obeying His commands. No true child of God will despise and disobey the law of God. He will rather delight in it and seek to obey it all his life even if at times he will stumble or fall. Like the psalmist, he will say, "Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end" (Psalm 119:33).


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