Not by visions and voices; not by heats and fancies; nor by any direct inspiration, or new revelation of truth. "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word he established" (John 8:18).1. What a huge volume should the Bible be if every saint's name were there written! The idea is of a blending of spiritual influence. Love to God's person through Christ.2. "(2) Is it essential that he should know the fact whereof he affirms? (Mark Guy Pearse. This witness within is a permanent, settled, habituate, standing witness. But then the difference was this, that man's spirit did not search all things; it could not tell where his son was. 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. Come, let us be bold to say, "Well, whatever the witness of the Spirit is, if Jesus Christ is mine, this too is mine." THE EXALTATION OF THOSE WHO ARE AFFECTED BY THE TESTIMONY — "that we may also be glorified together."(T. Talk we of His omnipotence? How often He bears witness for God's judgments, and our spirit deposes for mercy by presumption, or He testifies for mercy and ours for judgment in desperation! THE BASIS OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. You can unsubscribe at any time. (Elnathan Parr, B.D. Is it honourable to suggest that such manifestations were confined to the early Church? J. Judkin.The value of any testimony is determined by the character of the person who gives it. He thoroughly pleads our cause and argues it to us.2. (1) He is God, and if so, equal to the Father and the Son. 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. He is to take of the things of Christ and manifest them unto us. Is it honourable to suggest that such manifestations were confined to the early Church? The apostle is speaking of continued evidence. Mysterious, but not more so than the operations of the Spirit, nor indeed than the action of mind on matter or of one created spirit on other created spirits.3. Look up into immensity, it is all thine, fear not, thou art a child of the Infinite.". IT IS A PRIVILEGE WHICH THE SPIRIT OF GOD FREELY BESTOWS; which He confers or withholds as He sees fit. 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. That is, whatever Christ possesses, as Heir of all things, belongs to us. The joint witness is to be looked for in the inward peace arising from the discovery of certain tendencies and dispositions answerable to the state of sonship. "(b) I am thus "led by the Spirit of God"; he will easily conclude "therefore I am a son of God," Agreeable to this are all those plain declarations of St, John in his First Epistle (1 John 2:3, 5, 29; 1 John 3:14, 19; 1 John 4:13; 1 John 3:24). "Know ye not that ye are the temples of the Holy Ghost?" (c)Close walking with God.(d)Holiness.(T. 1. "If children, then heirs," etc.2. IV. And at last they are ready to give up all in despair.2. The act of faith is not set down in the Scriptures, but the object. So it is the mission and office of the Holy Ghost, as the revealer of Christ and of the Father, to uncover the pardoning countenance of God, and to make that countenance shine upon His forgiven child. "The wind bloweth where it listeth!" I). Our spiritual nature has its noontide, when we work in the light and rejoice in the brightness of God's love; and it will have its night, when we can only see the light, as it were, coming from some passionless moon, or from the cold steel stars in some far-off heaven.3. 26). Lyth, D.D. They both bear witness together. It is as if a poor man were called into court to prove his right to some piece of land which was disputed. I. In this assurance is involved the idea of a pledge — "the earnest of the Spirit" (ver. But the question arises, What is the mode of His testimony? It is not that my spirit bears witness that I am a child of God, and that the Spirit of God comes in with a separate evidence to say Amen; but that there is one testimony which has a conjoint origin; from the Spirit of God as true source, and from my own soul as recipient and co-operant in that testimony.1. Pretend not the testimony of the Holy Ghost without thine own spirit: nor contrarily, for they go together. "(2) By trust. That proud spirit cannot humble thee before God, or melt thy heart into filial love, or enable thee to put on meekness, etc. I have, therefore, a former right to be the child of God — i.e., the election of God in Christ Jesus. Donne, D.D.There are here —I. This is a great dignity. 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. If men imagine that certain ecstatic spiritual emotions are proofs of the witness of sonship, the witness is fitful and transient; for the inner life is as full of changes as an April day, and if a man founds his assurance on this, he will to-day believe in his sonship, and to-morrow utterly doubt it. "He that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure." How many have mistaken the voice of their own imagination for this witness, and presumed that they were the children of God while they were doing the works of the devil! (a)Deep humility. There must be a fact before there can be evidence. He is not the highest and powerfullest working of God in man not the breathing of God into the soul of man; these are only His gifts and not Himself. None but the man who has the "witness of the Spirit" is able to look through the sorrow to the blessedness hereafter.III. IT SUPPORTS IN THE PROSPECT OF DEATH. This filial spirit on our part includes —(1)Confidence in His love to us.(2)Reverence. "Ye have received not the spirit of bondage."II. Winslow, D.D.Having affirmed the Divine relationship of the believer, the apostle now proceeds to adduce the Divine evidence of a truth so great.I. But how do we know this? A witness ever testifies of some matter of fact. So is it in this case. J. Judkin.The value of any testimony is determined by the character of the person who gives it. (3) He proceeds from the Father and the Son (ver. "(1) That this testimony must needs be antecedent to the other appears from the fact that we must be holy of heart and life before we are conscious that we are so. Just as the voice of God in the heavens, in conscience, in the law, in the gospel, reveals itself in His Word; so when the Spirit speaks to the soul it is known to be the Spirit.4. No Difference As Children Of God Contributed by Gbemisola Fafowora on Feb 28, 2020 | 734 views. "Heirs of God" with Christ. It is very certain that the eye cannot see when God forgives the soul. Romans 8:18-27 explains in greater detail the ministry of the Holy Spirit to suffering saints. Take care that you "grieve not the Holy Spirit." Winslow, D.D. The idea is of a blending of spiritual influence. (2) The spirit of prayer (ver. Work hard at some outdoor work so that you have not time to think about yourself; and then when you get very hungry, eat; and when you have got very tired, sleep. We conclude that God, in proclaiming His own Fatherhood, will not be wanting towards the members of His own family. THIS DIVINE WITNESS IN OUR SPIRITS IS SUBJECT TO THE ORDINARY INFLUENCES WHICH AFFECT OUR SPIRITS.1. What, then, is this witness of the Spirit?I. Perhaps you ask me how is this. No, we cannot see it, but it is there. Direct or immediate. And when to this are added the varied dispensations of his heavenly Father, often wearing a rough garb, it is no marvel that, staggered by a discipline so severe, the fact of God's love should sometimes be a matter of painful doubt.II. Not only did God create the heavens and the earth, but He followed each act of creation with the assurance that it was "very good." Ignorant of the Divine original, how can it recognise the Divine lineaments in the faint and imperfect copy?3. Our spirit bears witness —(1) When it feels a filial love to God; when we can boldly say, "Abba, Father." (1) This distinction holds through all the higher forms of human life. He not only works in us every manner of good, but also shines upon His own work and clearly shows what He has wrought. THAT CRY IS NOT SIMPLY OURS, BUT IT IS THE VOICE OF GOD'S SPIRIT.1. But the Spirit searcheth all things, not only the deep things of God, but the deep things of your heart and your ways. Moore, M.A.I. Man is not saved by feeling that he is saved. To the Church you can testify your sonship in Christ by the one proof of your love to the brethren. THE SUBSTANCE OF THE TESTIMONY — "that we are the children of God." "Yes, on condition that you restore the name of your eldest son." None but the man who has the "witness of the Spirit" is able to look through the sorrow to the blessedness hereafter.III. And the Holy Spirit testifies when ours does not. In the golden age of Rome, if a man were tempted to dishonesty, he would stand upright, look the tempter in the face, and say to him, "I am a Roman." Since the realm of the religious life is in the spirit, do not let us be always analysing and defining and perplexing ourselves about all sorts of mysteries. Our spiritual nature has its noontide, when we work in the light and rejoice in the brightness of God's love; and it will have its night, when we can only see the light, as it were, coming from some passionless moon, or from the cold steel stars in some far-off heaven.3. This witness within is a permanent, settled, habituate, standing witness. (2) Passing to the moral life, we find the same distinction. )Varieties of Christian characterT. Owen, D.D.Sometimes the soul, because it hath somewhat remaining in it of the principle that it had in its old condition, is put to question whether it be a child of God or not; and thereupon, as in a thing of greatest importance, puts in its claim, with all the evidence it hath to make good its title. The natural conscience has much to say about sin, and God and our relation to Him (Acts 17:28). Never try by physical means, or so-called religious exercises, to galvanise yourself into feeling what you know you do not feel. And if it be objected that this opens a wide door to delusion, here is an outward guarantee. But this is not the character of the presumptuous pretender to the love of God. There is no feeling so congenial to the heart of a father as affection for his children. There are spiritual dyspeptics, too, who are always talking about their symptoms, and who think they have not got any religion at all unless they are finding something to worry themselves and other people about. Hodge, D.D. A trust and dependence upon His supplies.3. Lowliness.4. Nor is it a matter of forms of worship — singing hymns or saying prayers or hearing sermons. The text discloses the way by which the true Christian may attain to a strong and lively hope of his adoption — namely, through the testimony of the Spirit. "I will not leave you orphans."2. 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. This is better felt by experience than expressed by words, known altogether and only to them which have it. ); nor a worse execution of all this than when He calls him "a child of hell" (Matthew 23. Now, why has not a Church eighteen hundred years old a fuller realisation of the witness of the Holy Ghost than had the Church of the first century? Else what does an apostle mean when he says, "Quench not the Spirit," "Grieve not the Spirit"?2. As it is the communion of that Spirit who is the strength of righteousness. But lo, we know not how, but by the Holy Spirit of God there is breathed about us and within us the love of God, softening, transforming, bringing to us a new heaven and a new earth. (1) Is verity essential to a witness? The world will not believe your word, and it ought not to believe your word if that word is not supported by your conduct and your character. Let it fill the mind, and then we know we are welcome. Talk we of His omnipotence? When we feel conscious not so much of possessing a life, as of a life possessing us. That is, whatever Christ possesses, as Heir of all things, belongs to us. (2) Passing to the moral life, we find the same distinction. We can only know that we are children when the Spirit reveals the existence of those moral dispositions which prompt us to act and feel as children, and these we find only in the written Word. It is not that a man has not faith, but he has not the comfort of faith. — of all things temporal, spiritual, and eternal, of all which God can devise and bestow for our good.IV. How often He bears witness that such an action is odious to God, and our spirit bears witness that it is acceptable to men! The faith whereby I believe is in my heart, and is not believed (for that were absurd), but known by feeling. The very stupendousness of the relationship staggers our belief. Sometimes our spirit bears testimony without the Spirit. THE SPECIAL CONDUCT naturally expected from the children of God. (3)By what follows it. Holy tempers.3. IT PERFECTLY AGREES WITH THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD; for the Spirit cannot contradict Himself — e.g., should a person pretend to have it whose life exhibited none of those marks with which Scripture distinguishes the children of God, it would be plain that he was mistaken in his pretensions. A witness deposes to a particular fact; and there must be a particular instant of time when his testimony is given. To these add the passages holding out to the believer the promise of peace (Isaiah 26:3; Isaiah 32:17; Romans 5:1). The true artist is not the man who depicts his own ideas, but he who is tilled by a mighty inspiration which compels him to paint the forms of beauty which he sees glowing around him. It is a language he does not understand. Paul, in the former part of this chapter, has spoken of being freed from condemnation; of being spiritually minded; of being led by the Spirit; all these are continued facts of Christian life, therefore the witness of the Spirit is equally continued.3. )The witness of the SpiritJ. (1) The Holy Spirit has written this Book, which contains an account of what a Christian should be, and of the feelings he must have. They were the offspring of Abraham, but they ceased to be his children, or they would have shown forth his nature. Now it is manifest that if these marks be found in us we have the witness of the Word to our adoption; and what is the witness of the Word but the witness of the Spirit, who both indited the Word and gave us understanding to comprehend the truth? Many a Lazarus and many a Martha are full of sorrow and even despair because they are not like Mary.(T. We are hard to satisfy. L. Hull, B.A.I. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SUDDEN AND VIOLENT IMPULSES, new revelations, sensible impressions, etc. Nor has he the witness of sonship by feeling that he is a son of God; but by the Spirit of God apprehending and quickening his soul.2. J. Judkin.The value of any testimony is determined by the character of the person who gives it. I have been astonished, in looking through old Roman history, at the wonderful prodigies of integrity and valour which were produced by patriotism or love of fame. Am I to say, then, if I cannot see it or hear it, etc., I cannot believe it? By the same fruits. The Spirit puts us in possession of that love as our own; and in loving tenderness the Father bends over us so pitiful, so careful for us that all the heart cries, "Abba, Father." The counsels of God's will, the goings forth of His love and peace, must be naked and open to the witness with whom we have to do. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. )The evidence of Christian sonshipE. In Hebrews 4:12 the soul is that which animates the body, and enables the senses to see and hear; the spirit is that which enables the soul to see God and hear His gospel (cf. It is an allusion to judicial proceedings in point of titles. When a parent has forgiven his child he does not gradually reveal that fact to him, but gives immediate proof in his countenance and actions, if not in words, that he again loves him.(S. If a man of a weak brain were on the top of some high tower, and should look down, it would make him wonderfully afraid; but when he considers the battlements that keep him from falling his fear abates. To realise our spiritual inheritance. 11).Learn:1. L. Hull, B.A. Maclaren, D.D.The sin of the world is a false confidence — that a man is a Christian when he is not. The one is an endless, profitless, self-tormenting task; the other is the light and glorious liberty of the children of God.II. If we have a happy consciousness of our adoption, we shall fear to offend. (1) It does not always follow in human reasoning "if children, then heirs," because in our families but one is the heir. It is not convenient. 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. THE TESTIMONY. The manner of this new creation may differ in a thousand ways. We may be said to receive more and more of the sun as noontide approaches, and to receive a "double portion" of the spirit of every author whose writings we study with admiring affection. )The Spirit testifying to the believer's adoptionO. IN DIFFERENT INDIVIDUALS.1. (3) The spirit of aspiration (ver. To the Church you can testify your sonship in Christ by the one proof of your love to the brethren. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace," etc. Such a peace, it is manifest, could never be ours while doubt and misgiving hung over the great business and design of our existence. Our spirit bears witness —(1) When it feels a filial love to God; when we can boldly say, "Abba, Father." Well, forget that you have any constitution. T. Shore, M.A.This witness of the Spirit varies —I. By it all that is involved in Christianity is made living and real to us.II. If no such witness, no assurance, all induction.II. To realise our spiritual inheritance. How the natural life is glorified and transfigured by this conception of the unseen hand impelling us! Well, forget that you have any constitution. I would reply, How does it appear to you that you are alive, and in ease, not in pain? 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. So it is the mission and office of the Holy Ghost, as the revealer of Christ and of the Father, to uncover the pardoning countenance of God, and to make that countenance shine upon His forgiven child. 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. 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 Church by mistaking the "earnest" for the "fulness," runs the risk of stating incomplete truths as final revelations. 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. Acts 28:25). Direct or immediate. Note —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. THE SPECIAL CONDUCT naturally expected from the children of God. It is a language he does not understand. These are the enthusiasts. (3)Breathing in our souls a desire for holiness, the Spirit conducts us to the rational conclusion that we are born of God.(O. 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. L. Hull, B.A. Ignorant of the Divine original, how can it recognise the Divine lineaments in the faint and imperfect copy?3. Self-evidencing, i.e., it reveals itself as the testimony of God. (3) He will afford them the special tokens of His love. Mysterious, but not more so than the operations of the Spirit, nor indeed than the action of mind on matter or of one created spirit on other created spirits.3. The second witness is the spirit of the man himself — the responsive testimony of our own hearts echoing the silent utterances of the Holy Ghost, and giving us confidence toward God. (3)Breathing in our souls a desire for holiness, the Spirit conducts us to the rational conclusion that we are born of God.(O. Love to God's person through Christ.2. 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