Bearing Witness

Thoughts

Have you ever had an epiphany? You know, one of those times when something you’ve heard, but haven’t quite understood finally pops into your brain? Like a punch line to a joke you never got. The light just suddenly comes on. I had one of those involving my relationship with Jesus a while back, and it has made all the difference in the world.

I became a Christian when I was ten years old. For those of you who might not know what that means, I came to the point where I realized I was a sinner and that my sins would eventually cause me to end up in Hell. And there was nothing I could do about it. On my own, that is.

But when Jesus came to earth, He died on the cross and paid the debt of death for all sins, mine included. The only thing I needed to do to get Him to apply His payment to my account was to repent of my sins and ask Him.

You see, the Bible tells us in Romans 10:9-10, that “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

All I or you or anyone has to do to gain salvation is believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that God sent Him to die on the cross for our sins, repent of those sins, and then trust that enough to ask Him.

Once you do that, the Holy Spirit comes into your heart and soul and lives within you. The Bible calls it indwelling. It’s a way for us to have total communion with God all the time. We speak directly to Him and He speaks to us. His presence within us is also a guarantee, a down payment of sorts, until the day when He renews our bodies and makes us complete, perfect and without sin.

Sound simple? It is! It’s the simplest thing in the world, but we make it difficult.

The Bible tells us in Ephesians 2:8, that “by grace you have been saved through faith,” and not by our own works. This means that God paid the price for our salvation by having Jesus die on the cross, and He gives it to us as a gift. All we have to do to get that is believe it’s there and ask for it. We trust God, or have faith, that He has done what He said He would do in paying for our sins.

That shouldn’t be a problem. Of all the people in the world, or the universe for that matter, God is the only one who has never lied or let anyone down. Yet, because you can’t see God, you can’t see your salvation, you don’t get a certificate from God to hang on the wall, and you don’t get a mark or tattoo or something, sometimes the circumstances of life hit us hard enough to cause us to doubt that He actually saved us.

That was my problem. I knew I had asked Jesus to save me, but since I couldn’t see my belief, I spent many years off and on doubting my salvation, that I had truly believed and asked God the “right” way for Him to save me. Yes, I know, that sounds ridiculous. The Bible just says believe it enough to ask, and that’s all it takes. We just try to make things too complicated.

But since the Bible says in 1 John 5:13, that we can know we are saved, is there something I was missing, is there some way to know that I could put my hands on, so to speak? Yes, there is!

In Romans 8:16, we read that “the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” That means God’s Spirit in us tells us we’re saved. But how does that work? I’ve heard preachers quote that verse for years as evidence of our salvation, but none have ever explained it. None have ever told exactly what that “bearing witness” entailed.

A couple of years ago, I was working through a Bible study called Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby. In it, he shares that one of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to show us truth, especially from God’s word, the Bible. The Spirit tells us how to interpret it, understand what it is saying when we read it. And that’s when the epiphany hit.

The only way the Holy Spirit could tell me what the Bible is saying is if He is inside me, indwelling me. And the only way the Spirit would be indwelling me is if I were truly saved. Since I can read the Bible and its words make sense to me, I know that I am saved since that understanding comes from the Spirit. Furthermore, if I read something that doesn’t make sense immediately, I can ask the Spirit for help understanding, and He provides it. He has done so many times. Not all at once, of course, but in parts as He knows I can understand. Like a good father helping his child with homework.

Yes, I know. It’s so obvious I should have seen it sooner. It shouldn’t have been such a big deal. Part of the faith in gaining our salvation is believing that God does what He says He will do. We should be able to just repent of our sins and ask Him for salvation, then completely believe He does it. But we don’t. As I mentioned earlier, circumstances in life cloud our vision, and our adversary, the deceiver, takes advantage of our weak faith and attacks us with fear.

Isn’t it wonderful that we have such a God and Father who understands our weaknesses and provides concrete ways to help our faith in Him?

Do you have a relationship with Jesus? Have you realized you’re a sinner, repented of that sin, and asked Him to save you? Do so today! He loves you and is waiting to accept you if you’ll only ask. And once you do, you’ll receive the gift of His Holy Spirit so you can understand His word and be assured of your relationship with Him forever.


Thanks for stopping by! Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think!

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