THE WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT

Scripture Reading: Romans 8:5-17

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may be glorified with Him.” (Romans 8:16,17)

God wants us to have assurance of our salvation — “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life” (I John 5:13). John lays it out clearly and simply — “And this is the testimony that God gave us eternal life, and this life in in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (I John 5:11,12).

It is our responsibility to make our calling and election by God sure — “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for it you practice these qualities you will never fall” (II Peter 1:10). Read I Peter 1:3-9 which gives a list of qualities God desires for us to have — faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love. These qualities are evidence that we have been born again by God. This does not mean that we possess them all the time, because we are still prone to sin. However, we should see signs of a changed life. We begin to love and obey God.

Repentance of our sins is necessary along with faith in Jesus Christ. We must come to a point in our lives when we personally embrace Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Once we have done that, we should see a change in our lives as these and other spiritual qualities become evident to us. Remember once God saves us we cannot fall from salvation. We may doubt at times and we may even drift away for a while; but God will never lose us. Once we have been justified, the effects of our justification cannot be taken away from us, because God is the one who justifies. God’s love is one that will never let us go.

Repentance and faith are necessary for salvation. When we are saved, our lives will change. We will want to live for One greater than ourselves. The ultimate assurance comes from the inward testimony of the Spirit — “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” There is an inner-assurance by the Spirit that we can experience when we are in intimate fellowship with Jesus. It is ultimately the Spirit who enables us to know that our calling and election are sure. The Spirit testifies that we are children of God, that we belong to Him.

The Spirit testifies that we are children of God, AND heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. We have an inheritance awaiting us, one that is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (I Peter 1:4,5). The ultimate promise and assurance of the Spirit is that one day we will be glorified with Jesus Christ and share in His inheritance!

O Spirit of God, thank You for Your presence in my life. Thank You for the gifts of repentance and faith. I know that I have the Son of God as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for the inward assurance that I am a child of God and an heir of God and fellow heir with Christ. Thank You that You are the downpayment that guarantees my inheritance.

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