Let us ask, What is necessary to salvation? )Varieties of Christian characterT. T. Shore, M.A.This witness of the Spirit varies —I. Romans 8:16, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” What does the Bible means by saying that the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God? (1) He is God, and if so, equal to the Father and the Son. Hodge, D.D. Strutt.I. The keen appetite and the clear vision will return with the increasing health of the spiritual man in us, and again and again those glad moments will be ours, when we feel the Spirit bearing "witness with our spirit that we are the sons of God."II. Take care that you "grieve not the Holy Spirit." (2) And see what it is that we are heirs of; not of God's gifts and God's works, but of God Himself. It is His to subdue. Obedience.4. There are times when we need to hear our own convictions pronounced by the voice of another. The mathematician slowly, by the use of single cyphers and symbols, works out his problems in order to find a result concerning which he is altogether in doubt; the chemist slowly and cautiously conducts experiments to find out the nature of substances concerning which he is totally ignorant; but a witness enters a court to depose to a fact of which he has already a full knowledge, and whose testimony the court is now waiting to hear. The manner in which this evidence rises in the soul. It is to give peace and call out graces.(C. )The witness of the Spirit instantaneousS. Nor merely that we are the offspring of God — those whose origin was from Him and who will always bear in them some characteristics of that origin, such as immortality, conscience, etc. The soul is the seat of affections, the spirit is rectified reason or the conscience (Romans 9:1).II. It is as if a poor man were called into court to prove his right to some piece of land which was disputed. We conclude that God, in proclaiming His own Fatherhood, will not be wanting towards the members of His own family. (3) He proceeds from the Father and the Son (ver. If man should witness, or an angel, there might be doubt; but when there is such a witness as is the Spirit we ought not to doubt. Direct or immediate. Now, God has said, "If any man provide not for those of his own household, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel." "Yes, on condition that you restore the name of your eldest son." Inward consciousness.2. Let us not deny or overlook the real operations of the Spirit of God; but let us not blaspheme Him, nor bring them into contempt, by ascribing to His agency effects which are proofs of nothing but of error, weakness, or imposture.V. To polish the mirror ever so assiduously does not secure the image of the sun on its surface. Faith, repentance, etc., are the testimony of God's Spirit; if from these thy spirit witnesseth, then it is current. The ground on which Paul bases the evidence of sonship is that of a Divine Spirit, greater than the emotions of our souls, consciously acting upon us. Perhaps you ask me how is this. The apostolic doctrine is that the promises of God should move the heart towards more and more purity (2 Corinthians 7:1). True, say the Papists, if you believe you shall be saved; but where does the Scripture say that you do believe? Watch it, and guard it, lest it do. To require a more minute and philosophical account is to make a demand which can never be answered, or else the natural man would be able to discern the things of the Spirit of God.2. "If then ye live in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit."(E. Those that were on the ship had no means of communicating it; but the people on shore had seen, and they could send the news of what they had seen right into the minds of people here in London, and produced within those minds all the change and all the impression that was wanted to be produced by that piece of intelligence. Flowing from repentance and faith.(J. IN THE SAME INDIVIDUAL.1. At one time it has been solely the ascetic, and again solely the active life. Find Top Church Sermons, Illustrations, and Preaching Slides on Romans 8:16. Sermons from Romans What About Those Who Never Hear The Gospel? It will shine then, never fear.(A. If that had been the witness of God's strong unchanging Spirit, surely it could not have been so?"2. (2)This voice of God may vary from the slightest, almost inaudible whisper, to the most clear and articulate enunciation.5. How, then, are men to know that they enjoy the witness of the Spirit? There are certain fruits of the Spirit, it is said, by the existence of which in ourselves we are to infer that we are the children of God. The ground on which Paul bases the evidence of sonship is that of a Divine Spirit, greater than the emotions of our souls, consciously acting upon us. Such a peace, it is manifest, could never be ours while doubt and misgiving hung over the great business and design of our existence. What a huge volume should the Bible be if every saint's name were there written! Now in this way the greatest and best of all testimonies are those to the soul of the believer by the Spirit of God.I. In the one text the cry is regarded as the voice of the believing heart; and in the other the same cry is regarded as the voice of God's Spirit. Now, inasmuch as the Spirit works in you, He doth by that very working give His own infallible testimony to the fact that you are a child of God. Flowing from repentance and faith.(J. It is also accompanied with the love which rejoices to obey (1 John 5:3; John 14:21). But the fact we know, viz., that the Spirit of God does give the believer such a testimony of His adoption, that while it is present to the soul, he can no more doubt the reality of his sonship than he can doubt of the shining of the sun while he stands in the full blaze of his beams.II. And, further, to make our salvation depend upon any form of inward testimony, is to make the trust of the believer turn in part upon something within, rather than turning absolutely upon the finished work of Christ. So fares it with the regenerate when we look on our sins, and so down and down to hell. Man is not saved by feeling that he is saved. Who is there who has not experienced the difference of a bright spring morning and a dull November day? (1) He is God, and if so, equal to the Father and the Son. (Elnathan Parr, B.D. Sermon Bible Commentary. Till we can feel His power possessing us — till we can see His smile behind every sorrow, we shall fear Him.2. The act of regeneration is succeeded by the act of confirmation; which is the Divine method in nature. By the same fruits. You know the feeling of sadness which comes when gazing at night into immensity — the thought that this short life will soon be over, and we shall be swept away and forgotten. )Varieties of Christian characterT. In order to acquire this witness, carry into action every spiritual power you possess — translate every emotion into life. ITS ATTAINMENT. To ourselves for comfort. The only religion that can satisfy is the work of the Spirit of God in our spirits. In the darkest hour we have been able to say, "The time is in my Father's hands; I cannot murmur; I feel it is but right that I should suffer, otherwise my Father would never have made me suffer." And it is just the agreement between these two — the Scripture calling and the heart answering; the Spirit insisting on certain feelings, and our own spirits testifying that we have such feelings — that constitutes our double witness. The witness of our spirit. "Oh," say you, "we never shall." (2) Humble joy in God accompanies it, and meekness, patience, gentleness, etc. I have certain experiences and feelings; turning to the Word, I find similar experiences and feelings recorded; and so I prove that I am right, and the Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I am born of God. (1) This distinction holds through all the higher forms of human life. True, say the Papists, if you believe you shall be saved; but where does the Scripture say that you do believe? Jesus is in charge. But we must love God before we can be holy, and we cannot love Him till we know He loves us, which we cannot know till God's love is shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost. By his fruits others know him. And it is properly called a joint witness, because the same Spirit who forms these tendencies in us, also manifests their existence to us. It expresses the relation in which we stand to God as the objects of His love and as loving Him. To guard against anything that would grieve or quench the Holy Spirit. Between faith and justification there is no appreciable interval; but between justification and peace there may be a long and trying interval. No; because he did not know where his boy was, and the boy never got his inheritance, for the father again altered his will, thinking the boy was dead, and dead he was not. IN DIFFERENT INDIVIDUALS.1. Why should not such particulars in the gospel be also so taken? And yet, on the other hand, let us honour the Giver of the estate by seeking to make the most of it; finding out how rich and blest we are. A NOBLE DIGNITY.1. The witness of the Spirit, if it were yonder in heaven, would shine like a perpetual star; here in the heart on earth it burns like a flame, not always bright, wanting to be trimmed, and needing to be guarded from rude blasts. "Know ye not that ye are the temples of the Holy Ghost?" "Though Thou slay me, yet will I trust in Thee. 2. When we are led by a Spirit of life greater than our own, we know that the Divine Spirit is acting upon us. Are you not immediately conscious of it? Some may wait many years before they are favoured with it, and may afterwards lose it. This view of course supposes the witness of our own spirits to be of a derived and reflected kind. Not one in a family, but all heirs — not heirs who may lose their inheritance by premature death, or be defrauded of it, or have it wasted away by the delays and chicaneries of law, but an heirdom where the possession is certain as universal, and full as certain.2. (John Wesley, M.A. The manner in which this evidence rises in the soul. There is in Jesus Christ a sight of our sin that humbles and shames us, yet there is a sight of love that overwhelms us. "Oh," say you, "we never shall." THEIR OFFICE — to testify.1. IN WHAT LANGUAGE DOES THE SPIRIT SPEAK, AND IN WHAT SIGNS DOES THE HEART MAKE ANSWER? None but the man who has the "witness of the Spirit" is able to look through the sorrow to the blessedness hereafter.III. )The witness of the Spirit instantaneousS. The voice of the Spirit within agrees with the voice without — to the law and the testimony. The Spirit beareth witness with our spirit.1. And whereas our experience sometimes leads our spirit to conclude that we are born of God, there are times when the eternal Spirit descends and fills our heart, and then we have the two witnesses bearing witness with each other that we are the children of God. (Elnathan Parr, B.D. THE BASIS OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. Who can reasonably question it? I do not know how it was that one day when in my house they were anxiously inquiring whether a certain ship from America was nearing the shore, a telegram came, and we knew the ship was there a couple of hours before the telegram came from the ship itself. )Varieties of Christian characterT. Verse 16 shows how it is possible that believers can … But the strongest doubts are those gendered in the believer's own mind. "If so be that we suffer with Him that we also may be glorified together."IV. In the sufficiency of Christ's work, or in the sufficiency of our conscious interest in that work? When we are led by a Spirit of life greater than our own, we know that the Divine Spirit is acting upon us. Hence men have waited for it with anxiety. Our spirit bears witness —(1) When it feels a filial love to God; when we can boldly say, "Abba, Father." There, too, working through man, it "is found in fashion as a man." 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