VIDEO The Witness of the Spirit

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit… Romans 8:16

We are in danger of getting into a bargaining spirit with God when we come to Him— we want the witness of the Spirit before we have done what God tells us to do.

Why doesn’t God reveal Himself to you? He cannot. It is not that He will not, but He cannot, because you are in the way as long as you won’t abandon yourself to Him in total surrender. Yet once you do, immediately God witnesses to Himself— He cannot witness to you, but He instantly witnesses to His own nature in you. If you received the witness of the Spirit before the reality and truth that comes from obedience, it would simply result in sentimental emotion. But when you act on the basis of redemption, and stop the disrespectfulness of debating with God, He immediately gives His witness. As soon as you abandon your own reasoning and arguing, God witnesses to what He has done, and you are amazed at your total disrespect in having kept Him waiting. If you are debating as to whether or not God can deliver from sin, then either let Him do it or tell Him that He cannot. Do not quote this or that person to Him. Simply obey Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden….” Come, if you are weary, and ask, if you know you are evil (see Luke 11:9-13).

The Spirit of God witnesses to the redemption of our Lord, and to nothing else. He cannot witness to our reason. We are inclined to mistake the simplicity that comes from our natural commonsense decisions for the witness of the Spirit, but the Spirit witnesses only to His own nature, and to the work of redemption, never to our reason. If we are trying to make Him witness to our reason, it is no wonder that we are in darkness and uncertainty. Throw it all overboard, trust in Him, and He will give you the witness of the Spirit.


Sincerity means that the appearance and the reality are exactly the same. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, 1449 L

The Spirit of Adoption (Romans 8:14-16)

Heart of Anger

Anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Matthew 5:22

Guernica, Pablo Picasso’s most important political painting, was a modernist portrayal of the 1937 destruction of a small Spanish town by that name. During the Spanish revolution and the ramp-up to World War II, Nazi Germany’s planes were permitted by Spain’s Nationalist forces to use the town for bombing practice. These controversial bombings took scores of lives, drawing the attention of a global community concerned over the immorality of bombing civilian targets. Picasso’s painting captured the imaginations of the watching world and became a catalyst for debate about humanity’s capacity to destroy one another.

For those of us who feel confident that we would never intentionally shed blood, we should remember Jesus’ words, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment” (Matthew 5:21–22). The heart can be murderous without ever actually committing murder.

When unchecked anger toward others threatens to consume us, we desperately need the Holy Spirit to fill and control our hearts so that our human tendencies can be replaced by the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:19–23). Then, love, joy, and peace can mark our relationships.

By:  Bill Crowder

Reflect & Pray

How healthy are your relationships? How can you allow the Spirit to produce fruit that enables healthier relationships?

Heavenly Father, help me when I want to strike back at those who hurt me. Please help me to respond with love.

Learn more about the place of forgiveness in your life.

Let Us Be Diligent

The fruit of diligence may be produced by cultivating fellowship. We must not try to lead the Christian life on our own. Scripture says that we are all members of one body, and we all need one another (see, for example, Romans 12:4–5.) I often think of David going out to meet Goliath, taking just five smooth stones from the brook as weapons. Why did those stones have to be smooth? They would not have been accurate missiles if they had not been smooth, and inaccuracy might have cost David his life. The stones were smooth because they had been lying in the brook, where water had been passing over them regularly. They had been jostled against one another, and this action rubbed away their sharp edges.

I believe that when the Lord Jesus Christ wants to find Christians He can use, He goes to the brook, where the pure water of God’s Word has been flowing over them, washing them, rounding them off. There, they have been in fellowship with one another, rubbing away the rough edges. Cultivating fellowship will make us into smooth stones.

My last recommendation is to submit to discipline. Fruit does not come in a person’s life without discipline. I have two main forms of discipline in mind. First, self-discipline — the way in which we organize our lives. This discipline includes even the simplest of things, such as when we get up in the morning, what we eat, what we wear, and personal cleanliness. Managing all these details is essential to cultivating fruit. Beyond that, I believe every Christian in normal situations should be subject to church discipline. He should be a member of a church, under the authority of the church leaders and subject to their discipline.

Prayer Response

Thank You, Lord, for the promise of entering Your rest. I proclaim that the fruit of diligence comes by fellowship and discipline, and I welcome both. I shall be diligent. Amen.

Choose Your Friends Wisely

Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” — 1 Corinthians 15:33

Bad companions ruin good character. How true that is for people of all ages, perhaps especially young people. Take heed whom you select as friends. One of the wisest bits of advice that you could possibly have is: choose friends that are more godly than you are.

If you want to know how spiritual or how holy you are, take a look at your friends, because they are a very good reflection of your spiritual growth. Birds of a feather, you know, flock together. How spiritual are your friends? I can tell you this: they are probably about as spiritual as you are. Jesus went among sinners, you say. Yes, but he went to give them the Gospel, not to get fellowship and companionship from them.

In Psalm 1, David contrasts the godly with the ungodly. The godly man not only spends time meditating and reflecting on the Word of God, he shuns the corruption that comes from the company of mockers. We need to choose our friends wisely, so that we can build each other up, not bring each other down.

Question to ponder: Are there any friendships that you may need to terminate, for the sake of your soul? Any friendships you should cultivate?

Time to Repent

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord.Isaiah 55:7

It is time for us to repent, for our transgressions against the blessed Third Person have been many and much aggravated. We have bitterly mistreated Him in the house of His friends. We have crucified Him in His own temple as they crucified the Eternal Son on the hill above Jerusalem. And the nails we used were not of iron, but of finer and more precious stuff of which human life is made.

Out of our hearts we took the refined metals of will and feeling and thought, and from them we fashioned the nails of suspicion and rebellion and neglect.

By unworthy thoughts about Him and unfriendly attitudes toward Him we grieved and quenched Him days without end.

The truest and most acceptable repentance is to reverse the acts and attitudes of which we repent. POM071-072

Worship rises or falls…depending upon the attitude we take toward God, whether we see God big or whether we see Him little….[I]f there is one terrible disease in the Church of Christ, it is that…[w]e’re too familiar with God. WMJ021

Their Days Are Numbered

The lawless one will be revealed. The Lord Jesus will destroy him with the … brightness of His coming.2 Thessalonians 2:8

Despite all evidences to the contrary, God is in charge of the world’s affairs, and the days of rebellious kingdoms on earth are numbered. Our God reigns! The “power and the glory” spoken of in the final words of the Lord’s Prayer are talking about kingdom power and glory. The other type of power and glory, that which is measured by earthly standards alone and rejected by Jesus in His temptation in the wilderness, is doomed to dissolution and decay.

Ezekiel the prophet, speaking centuries ago of the impermanence of anything not founded on kingdom values, said, “Doom has gone out. The rod [of wickedness] has blossomed; arrogance has bloomed” (Ezk 7:10). Note the telltale steps: doom appears, sin blossoms, and pride has budded. And the fruit of all this? Dissolution and decay.

When speaking of a prominent figure who will arise in the last days and challenge the authority of God’s kingdom, Moffat refers to him in his translation as “the Lawless One, the doomed One” (2Th 2:3). Those who break the laws of God’s kingdom, which are written into the very nature of things, are doomed. Perhaps not today, nor tomorrow, but inevitably, anything that is against God’s kingdom is destined to destruction. It carries within itself the seeds of its own dissolution and decay.


Gracious Father, I have looked upon the kingdom of the world until my eyes are tired—tired of looking at death. Now lift up my eyes, and let me look at life. Let me look upon You. And I see You, not as a reclining God, but a reigning God. Hallelujah!

Further Study

Eph 6:10-18; Jn 12:30-31; Heb 2:14; 1Jn 3:8

What is Paul’s exhortation?

How can we take dominion?

Hidden from the Wise

In that same hour He rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and the learned and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, because this was Your good pleasure.”Luke 10:21

One hindrance to hearing a word from God may be our own wisdom. Wisdom, like success, can delude us to think we should take the role of teacher rather than student. Our knowledge lulls us into thinking we have sufficient wisdom to meet any challenge. Believing we are wise tempts us to evaluate the shortcomings of others yet be unaware of how much growth is still required in ourselves.

The Pharisees were the religious experts of their day. They possessed much information about God, but they had no personal relationship with Him. Their knowledge clouded their view of their condition before God. Jesus thanked His Father that it was not to these “experts” that the Father had revealed spiritual truth, but rather to those who were humble and who recognized their need for God’s revelation.

When religious leaders experience spiritual failure, their downfall is often met with surprise. It shouldn’t be. Religious people with the most knowledge are sometimes the ones least responsive to God’s Word. Knowledge can easily lead to pride, and pride impedes us from seeking God.

How do you know if you are a “Pharisee”? When you do not have a teachable spirit. When you become defensive if a fellow Christian shares a concern about your spiritual condition. When you do not seek to hear from God, believing you already know what He thinks. When you feel that you are capable of helping others in their spiritual lives, but no one can teach you anything. Don’t allow the limited knowledge you now have to blind you to the great truths God still wants to reveal to you.