The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
– Romans 8:16
Romans 8:16 tells us that the Holy Spirit’s primary means of communication with Christians is the “witness.” For an illustration of this, consider what you would do if I told you to expect a call on a specific day at three pm. Would you turn off your phone or leave it home while running errands? If you were expecting a call from me, you would keep the phone close by, wouldn’t you?
The Holy Spirit communicates with us through our spirits. Christians struggle to identify His leadings often due to their ignorance regarding spiritual matters. I’ve observed that very few people who identify as Christian have any concept that they are a spirit, have a soul, and live in the body. A person who is unaware that they are first and foremost a spirit being will not be able to follow the Holy Spirit successfully.
Our society fixates on the development of the mind and body. We spend tens of thousands of dollars on education and have elevated top athletes to an almost God-like status. The human spirit is more valuable, yet the world is ignorant of it. Christians should be spending much more time developing their spiritual man than they do on their soul (i.e., mind, will, intellect, and emotions) or bodies.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Our spirit becomes new when we receive Jesus to be our Lord. Every Christian has gone through a spiritual process the Bible describes as being “born again.” The body and soul do not change. Paul tells us in Romans 12:1 – 2 that we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices and then allow ourselves to be transformed by renewing our minds to think in line with God’s Word.
God created you in His image and likeness as a spirit. You have a body and a mind but are not either one. Our fellowship with the Holy Spirit is through our spirit. Immature Christians try to hear from God with their physical ears and end up in trouble as a result.
The Holy Spirit does not lead us through our physical senses or intellect. The Bible calls people who gravitate to their natural senses “carnal.” Therefore, it is carnal to depend on your physical senses and emotions when attempting to identify the Holy Spirit’s leadings.
Many voices in the world will lead you away from God. Satan has led many Christians away from the course God ordained them to walk using their desire to “hear” God’s voice. You can protect yourself from the enemy’s tactics simply by training yourself to always look inward to your spirit where the Holy Spirit will lead you.
I have also seen people get into trouble looking to other Christians for guidance or confirmation. While it is true that God will place spiritual elders over us, this does not negate the need to follow the Holy Spirit’s leadings. We often lean on other Christians perceived to be more mature in the things of God than us, and many people have fallen into error as a result. Your only dependable source of truth in life is the Holy Spirit!
Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit “witnesses” with our spirit. This word means “testifying jointly” or “to corroborate by concurrent evidence.” It is a legal term commonly seen in court proceedings. A witness can affirm something they have seen, heard, or can validate by some other means.
It is impossible to testify about an accident if you did not see it happen and were not present. A witness will have first-hand experience with the subject they are testifying. Christians are called to be witnesses of Jesus and doing so requires a relationship with Him.
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. (Revelations 1:5)
The Holy Spirit is a witness and witnesser of Jesus, the “faithful” witness of God.
We could say that the Holy Spirit witnesses with our spirit. He dwells inside of our spirits and is a co-witness with us of the things of God. To understand this, we can think of a corroborating witness who validates the testimony given by a witness in court. A corroborating witness is the one whose testimony supports or confirms the testimony given by another witness in the courtroom.
This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. (2 Corinthians 13:1)
Here we see the concept of corroborating witnesses used as the measurement to establish the word spoken. We can see this concept referenced in several passages. Consider the following examples.
- And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. (1 John 5:8)
- But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (Matthew 18:16)
- One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. (Deuteronomy 19:15)
- You must train yourself not to make based on your knowledge or input from external sources. Christians are notorious for acting based on what they hear on the news or in some random video online, and many have found themselves in terrible situations as a result.
You must train yourself not to make based on your knowledge or input from external sources. Christians are notorious for acting based on what they hear on the news or in some random video online, and many have found themselves in terrible situations as a result.
The Holy Spirit is dwelling in your spirit. It is vital to train yourself to look for His witness before making any decision. Something may seem right to us, but we still must ask if the Holy Spirit is providing us with a witness that it is correct.
We know things in our spirit that are not known to our heads. It is possible to receive the Spirit’s witness with questions remaining in our thoughts. The Holy Spirit does not lead us through our opinions, and we can learn to look inward, avoiding our minds. He will lead us in even the most minor decisions if we train ourselves to look to Him and follow His witness.
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