One of the most exciting activities of the Spirit is what He does in the inner man (the heart, soul and mind). Paul uses the phrase “bear witness” in Romans 8:16; “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Let’s unpack that phrase. To “bear witness” means “to provide confirming evidence by means of a testimony.” God is not leaving His vital truth just as words on a page of Scripture, but He is providing through His presence in the Holy Spirit dwelling in us a consistent reminder that we have been adopted by God as His children.
How does the Spirit do this? He provides inner illumination through the Word of God and by our active fellowship with Him. That is why Paul says in his closing comments to the Corinthians that “the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). If our hearts are being enlightened as we read Scripture, we are experiencing the fellowship of the Holy Spirit – His active teaching is taking place (John 14:26).
There is another aspect of the Spirit’s witness in us. As Paul points out in Galatians 5:22-23, it is through His work in the inner man that His fruit is produced in our lives. As His work in us takes place, there is a cleansing, sanctifying effect from His witness. The Spirit is taking the Word of God and using it to removing the power of sin so we become “instruments of righteousness” (Romans 6:13) through His power in us.
The challenge every Christian faces is being willing to submit to the Spirit’s witness in us. The more we learn to submit the more we will enjoy fellowship with Him. Otherwise, we will “grieve” Him (Ephesians 4:30) or “quench” Him (1 Thessalonians 5:19).
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