#260, FRUITS OF ASSURANCE OF FAITH, #25
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God, ROM 8:16.
We have considered the assurance of faith in many aspects, but now we come to a climax on the assurance of faith by identifying the fruits.
The blessed fruit of the Holy Spirit is the witnessing within our soul, witnessing with our spirit, that we are the children of God. This is the assurance of our faith. It is not something one has uninterruptedly. The blessed assurance of faith delivers us from doubts and fears which rob many a dear child of God of his legitimate joy in the Lord; the contrasts are clearing presented in ROM 8:15. Notice that this verse is the one immediately preceding our text. "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father," ROM 8:15.
Throughout our entire life we will struggle against principalities and powers of spiritual wickedness in high places. This spiritual warfare is carried on in our soul. However, it is the spirit of adoption whereby we can cry, "Father, Father;" it is where we can lay claim to God as our Father. The witness of the Holy Spirit with our spirit tells us we have adoption by the Father; we are able to feel kinship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Let's consider Verse 17, "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."
We are adopted, grafted into the vine; we become one of the Holy Family, but our assurance of this is when the Holy Spirit witnesses together with our spirit. We have fellowship in Christ. We are not going to be joint heirs with Christ if we are not in fellowship with Him. That means we must be of the same mind, thinking, and spirit as Christ. When the Holy Spirit witnesses with our spirit, He is witnessing in our soul that we indeed do have the Spirit of Christ. That is the blessed testimony of the Holy Spirit. When we have testimony that we have fellowship with Christ, we also have fellowship in His suffering.
This fellowship does not necessarily mean we will also hang on a cross like He did; one can hang on a cross and not have fellowship in His suffering. There were two thieves hanging on crosses; one did not have fellowship in Jesus' suffering because he didn't have the mind of Christ in that suffering. He was still rebellious. To have fellowship in the suffering of Christ means we have the mind of Christ in our suffering. The thief who said, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom," LUK 23:42, was in total submission. He knew he and the other thief deserved this punishment when he said in Verse 41, "And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss." That thief was in the mind of Christ; he was fellowshipping in the suffering of Christ.
Jesus answered him by saying, "Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise," Verse 43. However, that was said only to one of the thieves, not to the other. Do you see the distinction we must make? The Apostle Paul says, "If so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." One thief was glorified together with Christ, the other was not; one fellowshipped in His suffering, the other did not.
God's Word teaches that the testimony of a second or third witness removes all doubt. When we have doubts and fears that come within our soul, then if the Holy Spirit sends us the witness of the Spirit in the mouth of two or three witness, all doubt is removed. 2CO 13:1 says, "This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." The Holy Spirit is saying that He establishes the witnesses that give us the confirmation we have the Spirit of Christ. He confirms with a testimony, with a witness in our own soul, that His Spirit witnesses with our spirit. Full assurance of faith, i.e., freedom from "the spirit of bondage," can only be obtained when "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."
The words Spirit and spirit as used in our text, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit..." both come from the same Greek word Pneuma. The capitalized Spirit refers to the Holy Ghost, which is the Spirit of God. The other one, spirit, refers to our spirit, which is not capitalized. Yet see the significance in their identical origin. It is very important that we see it is the same word in the Greek for both the Holy Spirit and our spirit.
Before we can even attempt to unfold the meaning of our text, we must have a right understanding of how the Scriptural reference to the Holy Spirit can be one and the same word as the Scriptural reference to our spirit.
The meaning of this Greek word is very rich; it has a very full and tremendous meaning! With reference to "our spirit" Pneuma, means, "spiritually minded, rational, and immortal soul [having the faculty of reasoning] as distinguished from the mere irrational animal sentiment."
Remember that the Lord created man out of the dust, which was the lowest substance, and the breath of God, the highest substance. That is the Holy Spirit. That is the Spirit we are speaking of here; it was the Holy Spirit that was breathed into man's nostrils. He became a living soul. That word means spiritually minded, rational. In other words, having the faculty of reasoning. It means an immortal soul as distinguished from irrational animals. An animal is not rational; they do not have the faculty of reasoning. We received our rationality when God breathed into us a soul. We have the ability to reason.
Now then to see how the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, and our spirit can all come from the same Greek word Pneuma; let's see its full meaning. It means "a breeze; or figure of a spirit- -a vital principle or mental disposition, Christ's Spirit, the Holy Spirit, spiritually minded rational and immortal soul as distinguished from the mere animal sentiment." The figure of a spirit is explained in JOH 3:8, "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." This is a vital principle and mental disposition in these first meanings of the word Spirit.
The next meaning is Christ's Spirit, and then it speaks of the Holy Spirit. The definition goes on to qualify it, "immortal soul as distinguished from the mere irrational animal sentiment." Now we understand how it pertains to a mental disposition. It is the rational mind that God has given man; he now has the faculty of reasoning. We are able to understand; that is our spirit.
It is the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit which changes the "mental disposition" of God's chosen people to give them the Spirit, or "mental disposition" of Christ. We are by nature, enemies of God, cf., ROM 8:7, without love for Him; we love sin. In the work of regeneration, or in the new creation, the Holy Spirit changes our mental disposition. Throughout the New Testament we find the question, "Have you received the Holy Spirit?" It is asking if we have received the mental disposition of Christ. It does not mean one has received some ability to talk in different languages. Consider ACT 19:6, "And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied." "Spake with tongues" means they spoke a new language; they no longer rattle on about things of this world and the things of death, but their conversation has become the evidence of a new birth.
If we look up the word tongues, we find it means to speak in an understandable way. They have had their rationale changed; their new mental disposition causes them to have their conversation in heaven.
ROM 8:9-10 says, "But ye are not in the flesh, [irrational and without sound reasoning] but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit [the `mental disposition,'] of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit [the `mental disposition,'] of Christ, he is none of his." Do you see how the Holy Spirit witnesses with our spirit? As I have gone through the Word of God, I see the things that accompany salvation; the Holy Spirit testifies in my soul that I'm not a stranger to this. It speaks of hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and I can say, "Amen, Lord, Amen. That's me."
The Scriptures speak of having come from the dust, and out of the dust we see the Spiritual gifts and washing of regeneration, then I can say, "Amen, Lord. That's me." I have the witness of the Holy Spirit in my soul; I am not a stranger to those things. I read of the Father's love being upon those who fear the Lord; then the witness of the Holy Spirit in my soul raises up to say, "Amen," because I have trembled before the Word of God. When I have such a desire to do His will, I have the witness of the Holy Spirit in my soul to tell me I have those things that accompany salvation. Verse 10, "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness."
Our text says, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Nothing gives us a more powerful assurance of our adoption into the family of God than when the Holy Spirit witnesses with our spirit that we have the mind of Christ.
PHI 2:1-2 says, "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind." Think a moment about "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ." Do you have any consolation in His righteousness, in His perfect atonement? Is there any comfort of His love? Is there any "fellowship of the Spirit?" The word fellowship means we have a union or oneness of spirit. Do you see the witness of the spirit that we are like-minded? Do you see the things which accompany salvation in our souls. That is where our assurance lays. If you can truly say, without hesitating, I fear God, then you have the witness of the Spirit of Christ because it is a holy reverence for God and His will. Now we have fellowship in that area with Christ.
"Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind." Does this mean with each other or does it mean with Christ? It means both. We have that same mind and consolation in Christ with the brethren and with the church, with Christ and with the Holy Spirit. That Spirit testifies in our heart.
When we have the witness of the Holy Spirit in our soul that we have the mind of Christ "whereby we cry, Abba, Father." We are in one mind with the family of God because they are also of one mind with Christ if they are truly part of the family of God.
PHI 2:3-5 says, "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." Do you see the preciousness of this? The witness of the Holy Spirit witnesses with our spirit because we have that mind, or mental disposition, of Christ.
This blessed testimony comes when there are these two witnesses, "The Spirit itself, [the mind of Christ,] beareth witness with our spirit, [our `mental disposition'] that we are the children of God." We see the blessed harmony, fellowship, and oneness of purpose spoken of in our text.
The words in our text, The Spirit itself, is a reference to the HOLY GHOST, and the words our spirit, are a reference to our regenerated souls, or our renewed consciences and heart.
The blessed assurance we obtain through this "fellowship of the Spirit" is so blessedly explained in the context of our text as we go to ROM 8:15-17. These three verses are in perfect harmony; "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." We have oneness to suffer with Him, and be glorified together. We have one purpose and one mental disposition. That is the glory of God.
Oh, beloved, what greater privilege could there be than to be counted worthy of adoption into the family of God! What, within our lives, could be a greater privilege, to be counted worthy to suffer shame for His name sake, "that we may be also glorified together." We will suffer shame because we cannot keep company with the world or do those things, which please the flesh. We cannot be a friend to the world; therefore, we will suffer shame. That is a precious privilege.
The Lord brings us into situations where we must make a clear choice; we will have either the frown of the world or the frown of God. We cannot slip into the camp of the world to have our fun unnoticed that we are of the family of God. It just doesn't work that way. In 1PE 4:12-14 we read, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified." Christ's suffering included suffering outside the camp; that means He was put out of the city like lepers were put out. He was hated and despised and rejected. His walk was outside the camp. If we are reproached for the name of Christ, it should make us happy. This does not include bringing reproach upon ourselves by being caught doing something wrong.
One evangelist, who pleaded so earnestly for money that many widows sent money from their poverty to support his ministry, later was caught driving a Jaguar with a prostitute. That would be deserving of reproach, and not for the name of Christ. He used money donated to minister the gospel to serve the filthy lusts of the flesh and bring blasphemy upon the name of Christ.
In the above verses we are talking about being able to walk holy, undefiled in this present world amidst the jeering and mocking of the world. "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you [That is when our spirit witnesses with the Spirit of God.]: on their part he is evil spoken of [They will blaspheme God], but on your part he is glorified."
God was glorified by the fact that the Lord Jesus was put out of the camp. God the Father was greatly glorified that the Lord Jesus Christ was spit upon and mocked and called a devil and blasphemer. MAT 27:30-31 say, "And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him." On Jesus' part God was glorified, but on their part, they were mocking God.
Do we have the witness of the Spirit that we have the "mental disposition" of Christ when we suffer wrongfully? Stop and ponder this situation. We are going through fiery trials where we suffer wrongfully so the Lord can bring into our soul the witness of the Spirit. In these wrongs we have the Spirit of Christ, the mental disposition of Christ.
This means we show gratitude for that which Christ suffered wrongfully; it shows our desire to be identified with Christ and to suffer wrongfully for His name's sake. It shows we have the witness of the Holy Spirit in our heart, and we are the sons of God. 1PE 2:19-21 says, "For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, [cheerfully enduring,] this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps."
The Lord Jesus Christ suffered wrongfully; they nailed Him on the cross. They murdered Him when He was totally innocent. He took it patiently, and we are to follow His example. This is how the Lord crucifies our flesh to eliminate the old man of sin so we might be brought back into the mental disposition of Christ. Now we can fellowship in His suffering. When we are suffering we are able to have and maintain the mental disposition of Christ.
If we have learned to understand something of what it is to fellowship in the sufferings of Christ, then we are able to suffer wrongfully in the "mental disposition" of Christ saying, "O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done," MAT 26:42.
The Apostle Paul prayed three times that the thorn and the messenger of Satan might be removed. The Lord responded, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness," 2CO 12:9a. The Lord sent the thorn and the messenger of Satan lest Paul should become exalted above measure. The Lord knew what was good for Paul, and He did not allow him to destroy himself. We must understand that there are times when the messenger of Satan comes against us, that we may receive small thorns. That thorn may be so small that if one tried to explain its irritation to another person, they'd probably laugh at you because they couldn't see it. However, it can be a festering thing, which requires the grace God to bear it. Satan sneaks in to try to get you, perhaps with an arrow in the back, by a person you trusted the most. That is a messenger of Satan.
Who was the messenger of Satan to the Lord Jesus Christ? Think about this. Who "...began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew," MAT 26:74. It was one of His own disciples; it was Peter cursing and swearing. Did Jesus know it? Oh yes, LUK 22:61 says, "And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice." MAT 26:75b tells us, "And he went out, and wept bitterly." Think of what a messenger of Satan this was. Satan came to Christ to point out His own disciples are blaspheming Him. Why go through all this suffering? Let them hang on their own crosses. Do you see what a messenger of Satan this could be to Christ?
The greatest messenger of Satan to you and I could be our own wife or husband. Look at Job. His own wife said to curse God and die. What a messenger of Satan. Job responded by telling her she talked like one of the foolish women. You see these messengers of Satan sometimes cause us to suffer because the Lord is going to give us the mental disposition of Christ. Then we should be able to say, "O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done," MAT 26:42. That is fellowshipping in the suffering of Christ. It is that we have Christ's mental disposition in that suffering.
If "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God," we should understand in some measure what it is to fellowship in the suffering of Christ as our flesh is crucified, crucified as the old man of sin. Are we fellowshipping in the suffering of Christ? Do we have His mental disposition? Here is what Christ said in LUK 23:34, "...Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots." They took the clothing off His body and hung Him naked before the world upon a bloody cross. They took His garments drenched with the bloody sweat He sweat for their sins in the Garden of Gethsemane.
When Peter was preaching on the day of Pentecost, people came to him for they were pricked in their consciences. They asked what they could do to be saved? Peter is now preaching to the very men who killed Him. You see when people are doing to us that which crucifies our flesh; do we have His mental disposition? Are we able to say, "Father, forgive them." We could suffer the same thing Christ suffered, but be as the other malefactor and not have Christ's mental disposition. Just because we suffer as Christ did does not mean we are fellowshipping in His suffering. We must have the Spirit of Christ and be able to forgive them who cause the suffering.
When "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God," we can claim the blessed privilege with holy reverence which is spoken of in 1JO 2:28-29, "And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him." Do you have that witness of the Spirit witnessing with your spirit? "Ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him." Do you understand the word righteousness? It is our mental disposition to our fellow man. If you truly understand that your frame is of the dust, then there is no time you can exalt yourself above any other person because that person is created in the image of God. This is the lesson we must learn.
Did Jesus have a right mental disposition towards His fellow man? While He was hanging upon the cross, He asked the Father to forgive them. Who did He forgive? It was me and it was you, if you are in Christ. He was praying for us because it was my sins and your sins that hung Him there. It was not those physical hands of the soldiers who hung Him. It was our sins. Jesus was praying for all those He came to redeem. When we understand that it was our horrible sins that hung Him on the cross, not the soldiers, we need to look at what Christ said in LUK 23:34 about our mental disposition, while we were doing this terrible thing. Jesus said, "...Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." It is precious if we know that He is righteous, then we know that everyone who does righteousness is born of God. If we have the Spirit of Christ, that forgiving spirit, we can start to understand the Lord's Prayer: "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors," MAT 6:12. When we start to understand these things, then we can forgive in the measure and with the spirit with which we want to receive forgiveness.
This adoption of the Spirit into the family of God is evidenced by the love of God which is shed abroad in the soul. 1JO 3:1-3 says, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." The world does not understand our love for them, their souls, and our love for our fellow man because they didn't understand His love. They rejected Him even though He came to redeem them. Verse 2 continues, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."
How do we know we will be like Him? We have the record of who He is in our Bible. We see the witness of the Holy Spirit that we have His mental disposition. That is how we know we will be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is in His state of perfection. All who have this hope are effected; they purify themselves by following His example. Do you see where the witness and testimony are? There is a desire and longing for the sanctifying of the precious Spirit of Christ. There is the witness of the Holy Spirit with our spirit; the Holy Spirit comes through the sanctification of the Holy Spirit that we have salvation. That is how we have salvation--through sanctification of the Holy Spirit. It is not something external, it is something that happens within us. It is a new attitude, a new thought, a new process of thinking, and it is a new mental disposition that takes place so our affections and our heart are changed. We become a new man.
Suspense is bad enough in the things of this life, but what a terrible struggle it is to be uncertain about eternity; true assurance of faith robs death of all its terror. You and I know we are heading for the grave, but if we lack the assurance of faith, we are caught up in a dreadful terror. We would see death approaching and not feel secure. A true assurance of faith takes the power and terror out of death.
When "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God," our soul can say, "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels," ISA 61:10.
We do not wait to do all our rejoicing in heaven; we have joy in the Lord in this life because we have the witness of the Holy Spirit in our heart that we see the harmony and fellowship with Christ. We have fellowship in His suffering; we have fellowship with Him and the Father and the Spirit. We have the spirit of sanctification. That doesn't mean we are perfect. We still have the spiritual warfare; there are two elements in us. We were formed from the dust, but we also have the Spirit of life that was breathed into our souls. That is the highest substance, and it gives us the highest assurance to know that we fear God because that is the Spirit of love that was breathed into our soul. That is the Holy Spirit which gives us the desire to do that which is pleasing unto the Lord. It gives us the desire to be cleansed and come to the fountain which is open for all sin and uncleanness, ZEC 13:1.
ISA 61:10 says, "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." If I have been brought into fellowship with Christ, then I know that I shall see Him as He is. How is that? I will be robed in His robe; I will be as He is because I will be robed in the perfect righteousness of Christ. The obedience of Christ will be imputed to me. He has washed and cleansed me in His perfect atonement where He took all my sins and cast them behind God's back into the sea of everlasting forgetfulness.
I learned a real lesson on that once. I had a sin that I felt the Lord had forgiven; then on a later day I laid it back before the Lord. I was stopped cold because that sin had been cast into the sea of everlasting forgetfulness. I was not to slap it back in His face. That is a precious thing. When sins have been cast behind His back, because Christ has washed them away, they are buried in the sea of His blood. They are not to be laid before the Lord again.
"He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." The wedding garment which we are given is precious, and we are given that garment in this life. We may rejoice in the Lord because we have the hope and the witness of the Holy Spirit in our heart that we are the children of God. We have been adopted into His heavenly family, and we may cry, "Abba, Father."
Through the assurance of faith we can be patient in tribulation as we see in HEB 10:32-35, "But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward."
Let's look at those verses again. We are to remember the former days, the days when the transition was being made. Have you ever become a gazingstock when others saw, and mocked, and laughed at you? They may have even questioned your sanity and dignity. Have you ever had someone question your companions? Have you had them ask why or how you could identify with that person? That is what this verse is talking about. In other words, you are no longer part of the crowd; you identify with the despised group: those who fear the Lord. The Apostle Paul's bonds refer to the chains he wore as a prisoner. So because you have gone through such trials, you have assurance of faith. You may look back on these trials for support for your faith; it is one way of seeing where the Lord has brought you to be in your present situation. You have the things which accompany salvation. You have been mocked and scoffed and put out for His name's sake; you endure the loss of your substance which they took wrongfully, i.e., "took joyfully the spoiling of your goods."
Those who have "The Spirit itself bear [ing] witness with [their] spirit, that [they] are the children of God," delight to do the will of God. They have the blessings spoken of in PSA 112:6-9, "Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies. He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour." We need not fear the wicked who mock us or threaten us.
If we go back to Verse 1 we see, "Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments." Now we see his credentials: "He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour." The man who fears God has righteousness as his credentials. He has the "mental disposition," or the Spirit of Christ; he is the one who will bask in the sunshine of His love. Such people delight to do Gods will.
"Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth forever. Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance," PSA 112:1-6. Do you see the blessings that God pronounces upon those who fear Him? We also see that the credentials of the person who fears God are based on the law of love.
The blessed witness of the Spirit with our spirit "...that we are the children of God," gives peace in times of adversity. We have peace, when it seems by all human reasoning, that we will fail. HAB 3:17-19 says, "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments." In times of such calamity and adversity, those who have the witness of the Spirit within them can rejoice in the Lord. They are able to walk cheerfully and with a sure foot in the way of the Lord.
The Lord grants a very rich reward to those who's desire it is to please Him. Our greatest evidence of eternal salvation is our new desire and mental disposition; it is our pleasure to please the Lord. In PRO 16:6-8 we read, "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. When a mans ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right." Men's ways please the Lord when they fear Him and depart from evil. It is a holy, reverent respect for the will of God that causes us to change our attitudes and ways. When this happens, even one's enemies are at peace with him.
Our walk of life is our evidence that "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." A person cannot truthfully tell others they have the witness of the Spirit of God in their heart if they walk in bitterness and hatred against their brother. Their walk of life will betray them. We find further evidence of having the witness of the Spirit in COL 1:10, "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God." We are not earning salvation by these things, but it is the evidence to the world; that is how we become a light to the world and the salt of the earth.
As the Apostle Peter said in 2PE 1:10-11, "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, [walk in the law of love,] ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." These are words of God taken from the Holy Scriptures.
GAL 6:7-10 is a very solemn Scripture, but it is also a great comfort to us; "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Notice that the word Spirit is capitalized both times it is used here. That is a reference to the Holy Spirit. It means that the person who walks in a sanctified life will reap life everlasting. Verse 10 continues, "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." We are constantly brought back to the law of love. It is not only to those of the household of faith, but especially to them. We must show love to all men.
We must not despair if we have not attained unto a full assurance of faith because the work of grace begins with the planting of the good seed, but it grows to maturity. We must analyze and examine our heart. Do we have the root of the matter even though we have many shortcomings? We may come short of the sanctification of the Spirit; we may come so short of what we would be. If the seed, the root of the matter, has been planted in our souls, we will come into the service of God. It begins with a small start, a desire, and a new principle planted in our soul as we see in MAR 4:26-29, "And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come."
As we look back over a period of years, we will not see perfection our lives, but we can see our desires and the workings of sanctification that progresses in our lives. We dont understand how that seed grows in our soul, but we know we are not the same as we used to be. The desires we used to have diminished or disappeared. New desires have taken their place; that is grace progressing in our soul. We will not understand all of these things at first, but we will grow and these graces will become mature in our soul until the great day of harvest is come and He comes to take us home. Amen.
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