By its operative power. We are hard to satisfy. He is God, because the essential name of God is His; therefore let us call upon His name, because the attributes of God are His; therefore let us attribute to Him all might, majesty, dominion, etc., because the works of God are His; therefore let us co-operate with Him: then shall we be of the same spirit with Him. "Should I thus love God if He were not more to me than He is to others? Those moments of dulness and of coldness in our religious life are times of peril. THE EXALTATION OF THOSE WHO ARE AFFECTED BY THE TESTIMONY — "that we may also be glorified together."(T. 23). It is a language he does not understand. (1) He has a home for them (John 14:2). Moore, M.A. Resignation to His will.7. IT ENCOURAGES TO PRAYER. Speak of pedigrees, thou, poor Christian, hast more than heraldry could ever give thee, or all the pomp of ancestry could ever bestow.II. THE WITNESS OF OUR OWN SPIRIT.1. The subject applies itself to those whose conscience is burdened by the sense of guilt and sin. Hodge, D.D.I. T. Shore, M.A.This witness of the Spirit varies —I. At one time it has been solely the ascetic, and again solely the active life. 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. The act of faith is not set down in the Scriptures, but the object. But when the Spirit and our spirit agree; when He speaks comfortably to my soul and my soul hath apprehended comfort; when He deposes for the decree of my election, and I depose for the seals and marks of that decree, these two witnesses —3. The Evidence of Christian Sonship. That is its nature. Pentecost Sunday celebrates God’s gift of the Holy Spirit. To be fully assured of our Divine adoption demands other than the testimony either of our own feelings or the opinion of men. God's Spirit indeed witnesseth; but the witness is that they which do such things shall be damned. Attested by Scripture.6. The witness is that "we are the children of God." (1) Repentance precedes this witness (Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19), but the natural mind is a stranger to this. The apostolic doctrine is that the promises of God should move the heart towards more and more purity (2 Corinthians 7:1). 2. THE DEDUCTION FROM THIS TESTIMONY — "if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ."1. 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. It notifies to us all the benefits of the New Testament.3. But how poor are these to the objects before the heir of God! It is very certain that the eye cannot see when God forgives the soul. T. Shore, M.A.This witness of the Spirit varies —I. "If then ye live in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit."(E. He is to take of the things of Christ and manifest them unto us. Breaking the Chains of Sin; I'm All Over It; Solomon's Divine Wisdom; God Is For Us! Strutt. )The believer's testimonyT. It is the very root of that Pharisaism which the Lord denounced. 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! or the light of a glimmering taper from that of the noonday sun? Otherwise there can be no comfort! And yet the Scripture doth speak in particular (Romans 10:9). Then should they remain unknown? THE SPECIAL CONDUCT naturally expected from the children of God. Obedience.8. 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. (1) It does not always follow in human reasoning "if children, then heirs," because in our families but one is the heir. ); nor a worse execution of all this than when He calls him "a child of hell" (Matthew 23. Let us, therefore, consider this witness.This is given in two ways. Surely the Master's life is a protest against it: "Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus" — all utterly different and unlike natures. It brings with it heaven's credentials; it is stamped with heaven's seal; it leaves behind it heaven's peace; it is the witness of the Spirit of God.(D. The risen Lord came under great variety of circumstances, and with every differing kind of evidence of His presence, to each and all of His disciples. Remember you have to "work together with God." It is a great privilege that commences in adoption, that is effectuated by regeneration, sustained by Divine nourishment, confirmed by Divine instruction, manifested by Divine resemblance, and witnessed by the Divine Spirit. Now, if a witness prove that I am a tenant to such land or lord of it, I do not become so by this witness, but his testimony proves I was so before. Stay; for when all that is Christ's belongs to you, do ye forget that Christ once had a cross, and that belongs to you? — His Almightiness is ours. The Spirit beareth witness with our spirit.1. )The witness of the SpiritMark Guy Pearse.I. "To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to My Word, it is because there is no life in them." 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. Hence men have waited for it with anxiety. T. Shore, M.A. Take care that you "grieve not the Holy Spirit." 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. (2) But, again, everything that is good in a Christian is the work of the Holy Ghost. Thus the argument arising out of Divine comfort in the human soul points stead-lastly towards discipline (vers, 5, 13).III. This does not refer to us as creatures, nor as rational creatures, but as regenerated; so that we are partakers of the Divine nature.1. "We are the children of God."1. Note the requirements essential to the competency of our witness. 15).2. The Holy Ghost could not express more danger to a man than when He calls him "the child of this world" (Luke 16:18); nor a worse disposition than when He calls him "the child of diffidence and distrust in God" (Ephesians 5:6); nor a worse pursuer of that ill disposition than when He calls him "the child of the devil" (Acts 13:10); nor a worse possessing of the devil than when He calls him "the child of perdition" (John 17. 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. And then there must be much of self-examination followed up by the repairing of all conscious deficiencies, and the renouncing of all discovered faults.(D. The Spirit. 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. 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. Those moments of dulness and of coldness in our religious life are times of peril. H. Their influence is at once distinct yet indistinguishable. All God's children are heirs, however numerous the family, and he that shall be born of God last shall be as much His heir as he who was born first. — of all things temporal, spiritual, and eternal, of all which God can devise and bestow for our good.IV. The Holy Ghost graciously condescendeth to say "Amen" to the testimony of our conscience. It is never given where it is not true. By the same fruits. He will fulfil His own law "in the mouth of two witnesses." But if this principle be true it does not apply only to this one single attitude of the believing soul, it comprehends the whole of a Christian's life. (2)This voice of God may vary from the slightest, almost inaudible whisper, to the most clear and articulate enunciation.5. The Spirit assures us just as He produces the assurance of the truth.2. Our islands should be a rough rude tract of country where only the hardiest forms of life could survive — a land of forest where wild furry beasts should roam, and where the deep snows should make agriculture almost impossible. We are hard to satisfy. When our spirits are pleading their right and title, He comes in and bears witness on our side, at the same time enabling us to put forth acts of filial obedience, crying, "Abba Father."(J. A witness ever testifies of some matter of fact. (John Wesley, M.A. J. Judkin.The value of any testimony is determined by the character of the person who gives it. What a difference does this make!III. Neither could I take the testimony of an angel. This was thought to be a singular instance of his kindness to his courtiers. "There have been moments," says some weary soul, "when I have had that witness — in some time of great spiritual struggle, when through my very weakness there came a strength which made me conquer even myself, and also in moments of great spiritual exaltation; but there has come a reaction after the victory, a depression after the joy, and the evidence which seemed so strong has worn gradually away. He not only works in us every manner of good, but also shines upon His own work and clearly shows what He has wrought. He knows nothing about it. 11).Learn:1. We have already looked at verse 16 but I will add it to our reading so that we do not begin in the middle of a sentence. To be spoken of for our knowledge by a fool is of idle account; whilst a word from the wise, how good is it! IN THE SAME INDIVIDUAL.1. There is all the difference in the world between searching for evidence of my sonship and seeking to get the conviction of God's fatherhood. IT RESTRAINS IN TEMPTATION. 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. 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. (2)This voice of God may vary from the slightest, almost inaudible whisper, to the most clear and articulate enunciation.5. This is better felt by experience than expressed by words, known altogether and only to them which have it. Surely the Master's life is a protest against it: "Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus" — all utterly different and unlike natures. Speak of pedigrees, thou, poor Christian, hast more than heraldry could ever give thee, or all the pomp of ancestry could ever bestow.II. 5. There is no rigid rule of uniformity in God's treatment of souls.2. 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. 1 Thessalonians 5:25). Lancaster, M.A. Let us ask, What is necessary to salvation? is conscience awakened? 1. IT COMFORTS IN TRIAL. T. Shore, M.A. You see for yourself whether the meaning is really there. The perfect competence of the Spirit is assumed. We know how a depressed or nervous physical condition will tinge our feelings, will make us take a widely different view of things from that which we had taken before. To cherish this assurance, especially by cultivating an obedient sensibility to the Holy Spirit's suggestions.2. And upon such evidence shall I give sentence against myself? Has the Church accomplished all the purpose of God, and passed for ever the zenith of her light and beauty? There crowd upon it thoughts of his own sinfulness, and unworthiness of so distinguished a blessing. So fares it with the regenerate when we look on our sins, and so down and down to hell. The Holy Ghost graciously condescendeth to say "Amen" to the testimony of our conscience. To ourselves for comfort. (2) He is a distinct person in the Godhead. Has the Church accomplished all the purpose of God, and passed for ever the zenith of her light and beauty? Conclusion: The text describes a real blessing, It is no visionary good. Hence men have waited for it with anxiety. He has always been a Christian, and knows no time when he had need of such a change. By all means see that your creed stands square with the Word of God, and seek the forms of worship that help you to get nearest to God. )The two witnessesJ. He gives us His raiment, and His righteousness becomes our beauty. YET WITH ALL THE COMFORT IS THERE NOT AN ASPIRATION HARDLY DISTINGUISHABLE FROM DISCONTENT, AND WITH ALL THE DISCIPLINE IS THERE NOT A HOPE WHICH MAKES IT EASY? 13). But though there be a former evidence for my being a child of God, a decree in heaven, yet it is not enough that there is such a record; it must be produced; and by that, though it do not become my election then, it makes my election appear.2. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace," etc. In what way does this testimony discover itself? How do you distinguish day from night? "There have been moments," says some weary soul, "when I have had that witness — in some time of great spiritual struggle, when through my very weakness there came a strength which made me conquer even myself, and also in moments of great spiritual exaltation; but there has come a reaction after the victory, a depression after the joy, and the evidence which seemed so strong has worn gradually away. 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. The testimony of God's Spirit is an inward impression on the soul whereby the Spirit of God directly witnesses with my spirit that I am a child of God; "that Jesus Christ hath loved me and given Himself for me; and that all my sins are blotted out, and I, even I, am reconciled to God. Study ) Romans 1:16-17 ; 3:22 EXEGESIS: Romans 8:16-17, Ephesians 1:3, 1 Peter 1:3-4, 1 29:11-13. 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