What does Romans 8:16 mean?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by xdisciplex, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex
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    Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: :confused:

    I have no clue what this means.
    Does this mean that a christian has something like an inner voice from the holy spirit?
    Or how does he witness? A voice? A feeling? What is it? :confused:
     
  2. On the side of truth

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    Hello xdisciplex,
    If one is truly saved,born again or made a child of God through salvation(all those three things are the same)then the Holy Spirit will indwell us. We are his and He is ours. However from time to time the devil will come along and cause us to doubt our salvation as he does not want a powerful testimony witnessing to others the blessed salvation that Jesus so freely offers to us. So you may ask yourself if you are really saved. This verse you mentioned is one passage of Scripture that folks can use to find assurance of their salvation. Look no further than the Word of God for direction in this matter. THis particular verse implies that the Holy Spirit will confirm to you that it will give assurance. It will not be an audible voice as the Lord does not use this method in today's age because He has given us the Bible. Is it a feeling , I do not think so because those are so finicky and cannot be relied on. I think it is more like how you described .... an inner voice. It would be the same voice that says to one you know, I am a sinner and I need to be saved. It is that reckoning inside you that certain things are so. Hope this helps.
    Regards
    OTSOT [​IMG]
     
  3. xdisciplex

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    Great. I don't have an inner voice. :(
     
  4. Matt Black

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    Neither do I particularly. I'm not sure that that matters because I don't think that's what Paul means. Christianity is not about having some vague, warm, fuzzy feeling; I can get that from having a pee in the sea! The verse is more IMO talking about a 'relating within the Trinity' between the HS and the Other Two; our spirit, our 'inner man' joins in with that because it is joined to the HS. We may not necessarily be conscious or aware of that fact, however.
     
  5. Tazman

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    We may not agree on some things, but that was funny ;)
     
  6. Matt Black

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    More seriously, xdisciplex, a common (and sound, imho) interpretation of this verse is that having received the gift of the (Holy) Spirit by laying on of hands at our initiation (and in later periods by anointing with chrism), that same Spirit, by his very presence with our spirits, dwelling in us as his temple, bears witness to our status as having been adopted as sons and daughters of God, and co-heirs with Christ of the promise.

    For more context on the idea of a double witness, see also 1 John 5.6-13

    It might be worth you looking at Romans 2.15, too, for the contextual idea of the Jews of the old covenant having the Law written on their hearts and bearing witness (the Greek verb is the same as in your passage) by being their conscience.
     
  7. D28guy

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    xdisciplex,

    "Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God"

    Neither do I, ordinarily. But its not necesarrily an audible voice. Its just a "knowing" that is so sure and so certain that you simply can not be talked out of it, or ever doubt that for which you are so sure.

    Its what the scriptures are referring to when they testify...

    "...nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day"

    "...For I am persuaded, that neither death not life, nor angels, not princpilaties, nor powers not things presnet not things to come, nor height nor depth nor any other created thing shall be able to seperate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

    "...let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith"

    "...by this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us His Spirit"

    "And this is the testimony: That God has given us eternal life. And this life is in His Son. He who has the Son, has the life. He who does not have the Son, does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life"

    Its just a very real knowing that comes from the knowledge that "the beloved is mine and I am His".

    Have you entered into a faith relationship with the resurrected Lord? Its very important that one come to God His way, not the way of much "religion", be it Catholic or protestant.

    Notice the emphasis of these passages....

    The emphasis is on...

    "...whom I have believed"

    God being able

    "...In Christ Jesus"

    "Faith" in Christ

    "...God has given us."

    "God has given us..."

    "He who has the Son."

    "...who believe in the name..."

    The emphasis is overwhelmingly on what God has done, and our faith in that.

    Not our doing for God...but rather believing what God has done for us.

    When one has entered into a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, recognising their lost condition and need for mercy, embracing Christ through faith alone...there is no other way...a "great exchange" takes place.

    The "old man" with its corruption and sin dies, while the resurrection life of Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit, comes alive in the new believer. The new believer has been...

    "translated us from the power of darkness, and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love." Collosians 1:12-13

    Jesus Christ said to Paul, in a vision, that the gospel is to...

    "to open their eyes, in order to turn them from the power Satan to God, that they may recieve the forgiviness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me.' Acts 26:17-18

    The "knowing" comes by fogetting about YOU, and focusing in HIM, and what HE has done for you.

    Have you entered into a relationship with Christ through faith alone? (I say that on the assumption that you have.) Then, if you have then get into the scriptures...its Gods love letter to you...and feed upon, dwell upon, meditate upon, those passages of scriptures that speak of what God has done on your behalf, and the security that is your as a christian, This is called the renewing of our minds...

    "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed, by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God" Romans 12:2

    If you are focusing your yourself, and how you are doing, or behaving, or whatever, you will struggle with assurance. When you get your eyes off of yourself, and on the wonderful provision that God has made for you, God will move in in a beautiful way and suddenly, you will know that you know that you KNOW...that God has indwelled and secured you in His love. And you wont deny it even if told to before a firing squad.

    May God richly bless you,

    Mike
     
  8. On the side of truth

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    xdisciplex,
    I am thinking that you misunderstood me and that would not be your fault as perhaps I did not clearly dictate my thoughts on the matter. The inner voice is not audible nor did I say it was a warm fuzzy feeling like some folks get when they go out to sea!!! I clearly said that it was not a feeling. It is however a knowing or a reckoning inside you that you belong to Christ. You may not be able to explain it to others but as long as YOU know that is all that matters. When you were saved did you come to the point where you knew you were a sinner and had to be saved from it? No doubt about it? Abso sure? Well, that is the same thing as the Spirit bearing witness to you that something needed to be done. It is that same understanding or knowing that this verse is talking about. I hope I did not muddy the waters for you.
    OTSOT
     
  9. On the side of truth

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    Not sure if I follow you here. I never said that it was a fuzzy feeling such as you described. Feelings are too unreliable. Read my post and you might understand what I was trying to say. AS for awareness, it is most critical that we are aware of whether or not the Holy SPirit is bearing witness to our spirit. It is this alone that gives us the assurance that we need.
     
  10. On the side of truth

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    One more thing...I am not suggesting you doubting your salvation but if this is happening then all you have to go on is the Word of God. I went through a very serious time of doubting and I read every article and book I could find on the NET. It was however no rest for the soul. It was not until someone advised me to put the paper all away and get on my knees before God and ask HIm to show me whether or not I belonged to Him. The Lord uses His Word to show us things and upon reading John 15:2 "Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." I claimed God at His WOrd and was assured of my salvation. I claim that verse and when doubts come flying I say that verse to myself and Satan departs.
    If you are not doubting your salvation that is great but perhaps you will tuck this little testimony away in your head and if the day comes and doubts come your way , I hope and pray that it will bring some measure of blessing to your life.
    OTSOT
     
  11. Matt Black

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    Not sure if I follow you here. I never said that it was a fuzzy feeling such as you described. Feelings are too unreliable. Read my post and you might understand what I was trying to say. AS for awareness, it is most critical that we are aware of whether or not the Holy SPirit is bearing witness to our spirit. It is this alone that gives us the assurance that we need. </font>[/QUOTE]I was more referring to the OP than your post although, having said that, being 'aware' sounds a lot like a feeling to me...Some of us simply don't have that 'awareness'; we're not wired that way. For us, it boils down to a question of faith, which can be darn difficult at times; still we persevere by the grace of God
     
  12. OldRegular

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    Hello xdisciplex,
    If one is truly saved,born again or made a child of God through salvation(all those three things are the same)then the Holy Spirit will indwell us. We are his and He is ours. However from time to time the devil will come along and cause us to doubt our salvation as he does not want a powerful testimony witnessing to others the blessed salvation that Jesus so freely offers to us. So you may ask yourself if you are really saved. This verse you mentioned is one passage of Scripture that folks can use to find assurance of their salvation. Look no further than the Word of God for direction in this matter. THis particular verse implies that the Holy Spirit will confirm to you that it will give assurance. It will not be an audible voice as the Lord does not use this method in today's age because He has given us the Bible. Is it a feeling , I do not think so because those are so finicky and cannot be relied on. I think it is more like how you described .... an inner voice. It would be the same voice that says to one you know, I am a sinner and I need to be saved. It is that reckoning inside you that certain things are so. Hope this helps.
    Regards
    OTSOT [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]Reads to me like you did a pretty good job of explaining the passage.
     
  13. xdisciplex

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    Hi everybody!

    But actually I don't feel safe. I mean I have listened to so many sermons where pastors talked about cases where you can fail to receive your salvation and all such strange things and to me it seemed like you can do so many things wrong. Like not believing enough, not repenting correctly, not receiving your salvation and so on. And a few times christians which I emailed with also doubted my salvation and this always scared me and then I'm so insecure and cannot make myself feel secure again and then I also need somebody else to tell me that I'm saved and then I feel better again. But since I don't have a feeling or something like this which &gt;shows&lt; me that I'm saved I am always insecure and become scared when I hear such things because then I always start to think what if I'm not even saved? What if this is the reason why I don't hear God and why nothing happened when I was prayed for to get the baptizm of the spirit.
    I mean it's logical that you ask yourself such questions when things don't seem to work out. Other christians have all these things, they hear God and can speak in tongues and all this stuff I can none of this. This makes me feel like an alien. :(
    And then on some days I get these thoughts that maybe I'm not even saved. Or for example when the bible says the old man is dead and in my case he doesn't seem to be dead at all then I simply don't know how to deal with this. The bible cannot be wrong so if the old mean is still active then what's wrong? Am I simply not understanding the bible or does this show that something is wrong? All these things can unsettle a person. When you read stuff in the bible and you compare yourself to the bible and see that it doesn't match and then you don't know if this is normal or not. :(
     
  14. Matt Black

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    OK, relax, take a deep breath, and let God be God. You seem to be in touch with the charismatic section of Christendom which emphasises the need for 'experience' and 'feelings'. That's great for them, but most of us Christians aren't wired like that; personally I'd trust my feelings about as fare as I could throw a sumo wrestler. So it's far from correct the "other Christians have all these things"; most do not. Yet we are no less saved than the others.

    You're in excellent company then with every other Christian who has ever lived (and anyone who denies they have this problem is lying ;) ), including a certain St Paul - read Rom 7:14-24, which is the prologue to and setting of chapter 8 which so troubles you at the moment. This is the tension between salvation and sanctification, between the 'now' and the 'not yet'; we are saved (forensically justified through faith - which is both a decision and a gift from God; the fact that you are worried about this indicates to me, in so far as a Christian can know whether someone else is saved, that you have made that faith decision andare saved), but it takes time for that justification to work its way through our selves. Legally the old man is dead from the moment of salvation, but in reality there is a lot of unfinished business to be done within us. This, the work of sanctification, is the work of the Holy Spirit, Who indwells us and with Whom we are baptised from the moment of salvation - even though most of us are unaware of this - and it can last a lifetime (sometimes beyond IMO).

    If you want more info on salvation contrasted with sanctification, let me know, but for the moment, take a Chill Pill!
     
  15. xdisciplex

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    Hi Matt!

    In Romans 7 Paul complains about this state but in Romans 8 he speaks about walking in the spirit and this is supposed to solve this problem. But the problem is how do I walk in the spirit? This sounds like a phrase to me which I cannot work with. Where is the instruction? I don't know how one walks in the spirit. This is what I don't like. I need clear instructions. I cannot work with these phrases which so many christians use. I hear it and then I still don't know what to do.

    As far as being concerned being an indicator for being saved....
    What about religious people? What about catholics? They are also concerned and do all kinds of things but this doesn't mean they are all saved. Or muslims for example they also do many religious works and are concerned but they are not saved. Then how do I know wether me being concerned is not simply cause by fear of going to hell?
     
  16. Matt Black

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    Warning: long post!

    To answer your second question first: do you trust in yourself for your salvation or do you trust in Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the Cross for your salvation and forgiveness of your sins?

    Rom 8 does not negate Rom 7; indeed Rom 7 sets the scene. Rom 8 talks about the forensic, legal nature of our justification through the faith I referred to above; Rom 7:14-24 is Paul's complaint about how that forensic justification so often fails to work its way out in reality in our lives.

    It is clear that, despite Rom 8, Paul also talks about the concept of ‘unfinished business’ between us and God quite a bit. Important verses here include Rom 6:18-22, 1 Cor 9:24-27, Phil 3:12-16 and, perhaps most perplexing of all, Phil 2:12. The Romans passage is of particular interest since it contains the ideas of both salvation (Rom 6:18) and sanctification (Rom 6:19-22). Both these terms need looking at.

    The distinction between salvation and sanctification has been the subject of a great deal of writing and preaching, especially by evangelicals, and I don’t really want to add a great deal to what has already been said here. Broadly speaking, most evangelicals would draw a clear-cut line between salvation, which they would see as being a once-and-for-all event occurring when an individual repents and gives his/her life to Christ, and sanctification, which is an ongoing work of the Holy Spirit within that individual beginning at the point of salvation and working out the consequences of salvation within this/her life. Putting it simply, whilst salvation is a crisis, sanctification is a process.

    I think it is fair to say that, in contrast, the interpretation of the more traditional churches, such as the Catholic and Orthodox churches, appealing more perhaps to Phil 2:12, is to blur the difference between the two terms, and also to down-play to a degree the role of the individual in both whilst emphasising the agency of the Church (the Holy Spirit is seen more as acting in the Church collectively, through for example the hierarchy of the Church). Salvation and sanctification are more interwoven, and sanctification is seen more as a means of effecting salvation rather than as a consequence of it (see for example the notion of purgatory and, perhaps also, suffering as an agency of sanctification).

    To a degree, I find both approaches to salvation and sanctification inadequate. Whilst agreeing with the general principle that salvation is a once-and-for-all occurrence (and thus disagreeing with the Catholic view), I take issue with it necessarily being a crisis event; I know many people for whom conversion was far more of a process, and perhaps evangelical soteriology needs to recognise this and be couched more in terms of individuals making a series of steps towards Christ rather than just one great leap. As an example, I understand that apparently Billy Graham can put his finger on the exact moment when he came to faith (crisis) but his wife cannot and her experience is better described as a journey to faith (process). Phil 2:12 is however a verse that cannot simply be ignored. It could be, adopting an exegetical approach, that Paul is admonishing the Philippians for taking their salvation lightly. It can also be interpreted as the results of salvation working themselves out through sanctification, but this does not explain the use of the words “fear and trembling”. Personally, I do not believe that Paul is here warning the church against forfeiting their salvation; he is perhaps reminding them just what they have been saved from and also heightening their awareness of the sheer wrongfulness of sin, something that maybe we Western Christians need to remember as well.

    Sanctification also is a term that can cover a multitude of sins (if you’ll pardon the double entendre). The very word itself has connotations of holiness, which is one of God’s defining attributes, so one way of looking at it is to regard sanctification as being the process by which we are made more like God (cp Rom 12:1-2). Clearly, therefore, on one level this is a life-long process; as obvious evidence of this I know of no Christian who does not sin (even those who have been baptised into Jesus’ death and resurrection) and who is therefore already perfect ‘on the ground’, as it were, and accordingly we all have some ongoing business with God that we need to attend to in this area (some, like me, more than others!). On the other hand, Paul also talks in terms of sanctification having already occurred in 1 Cor 1:2. Applying exegetical principles to this passage, we need to ask ourselves whether Paul was correcting an imbalance within the Corinthian church here, as he sometimes did with his churches elsewhere. For example, he is keen to stress grace to the Colossians and Galatians, who were still bound up by the Law to a large extent, but is by contrast harsh with the Corinthians’ licentiousness. It seems unlikely, given the Corinthians’ general arrogance in their spiritual gifts etc, that Paul is trying to reassure them that all is well between them and God; in fact, if there is any corrective soteriological concept which is addressed to this church’s over-confidence it is the idea of beholding God “as through a glass darkly” (1 Cor 13:12 and 2 Cor 3:15-18). I think therefore we need to take what Paul is saying here at face value; that there is a level on which sanctification is already accomplished – having been declared righteous, God regards us as being holy already and treats us accordingly. (Elsewhere, Paul does seek to correct the possible attitudinal problems arising from this way of thinking (Rom 6:1-2)).

    I would prefer accordingly to see a fine tuning of the definitions of the terms salvation and sanctification. I see salvation (and sanctification too, in the way set out in the above paragraph) as being accomplished by a combination of grace and faith, grace being a past act (the crucifixion and resultant forgiveness) with continuing consequences, and faith being a response-decision to that (whether taken instantly or over a number a graduated steps). The life-long ongoing process resulting from that I see more in terms of developing and deepening our relationship with God which flows from our salvation and in that way, God being Love, we are fitted for heaven; we try not to sin, not so much because it is wrong, but because it wounds God – love, not Law, should be the motivating factor.

    We see the tension between the 'now' and 'not yet' very clearly also in the whole area of suffering (unless you're into the Word of Faith teaching): if we are saved from sin and death, why do we die and, on the way to death, suffer? The most famous – and controversial – passage here is 2 Cor 12: 1-10; Paul’s thorn in the flesh. So many theories have been advanced here as to what or whom Paul was referring: a nagging person (this explanation is naturally preferred by those in WoF), sexual temptation (particularly homosexuality), physical illness (malaria), poor eyesight, migraines, etc. Of course, any interpretation that speaks of physical suffering is a fly in the ointment for the WoFers in the same way as Job. I see little point, however, in trying to explain it away in a non-physical fashion given all the other Pauline references to suffering: Rom 12 :12; 1 Cor 4:9-13; 2 Cor 1:3-11;4:7-12; 11:23-33; Phil 3:10; Col 2:24; 2 Tim 3:11-12, for example.

    It seems from the above that there is a contradiction inherent in being made perfect in God’s eyes by Christ whilst at the same time suffering the consequences of imperfection – suffering and death – and perhaps also not receiving all the apparent rewards of righteousness. I believe that a big clue in solving this riddle lies in the use by Paul (and indeed other New Testament writers) of the concept of &tau;&epsilon;&lambda;&eta;&iota;&omicron;&sigmaf;.

    Teleios, (together with its associated similar words, teleioo, teleiotes, and teleiosis) is used frequently by Paul. You will have noticed by now that I have failed to give translations of these Greek words yet, and therein lies part of the problem: teleios and co have multiple meanings. Just as a Greek would have trouble translating our word ‘love’ (is it agape, eros, storge or phile?), so too do we have difficulties with teleios. Basically, it can be translated, inter alia, in all or some of the following ways: complete, finished, perfect, having-achieved-the-end-result, accomplished, fulfilled, full-grown, fully-developed, adult and mature. It derives from the Greek noun telos, meaning end/ goal, and, as a further aid to our understanding of the word, the teleological school of philosophical thought essentially asserts that ‘the end justifies the means’ (e.g.: that the bombing of Hiroshima was morally right because it saved lives in the long-run). To a degree, the meaning can vary according to the context but I would suggest that, by and large, teleios (and the associated words above) encompasses all of these meanings and that Paul’s use of it in his soteriology demonstrates conceptually the same kind of dialectic tension as between now and not yet which we have with the Kingdom of God being at hand. Judge for yourselves by these examples of the use of teleios-rooted words, both in Pauline texts and other New Testament writings: 1 Cor 14:20; 2 Cor 12:9; Eph 4:13; Phil 1:6; 3:12-16; Matt 5:48: Heb 2:10; 10:1; 12:23; James 1:4; and 1 Jn 2:5.

    To further illustrate this “Cullmanite”* tension between “now” and “not yet”, we have Paul’s own example: his use of the word &alpha;&rho;&rho;&alpha;&beta;&omega;&nu; (arrabon. The arrabon was used in the Hellenistic world as a deposit, a pledge or down-payment, on the striking of an agreement, to guarantee performance of the contract and to provide compensation in the event of default. In this way, it is remarkably similar to the deposit paid by buyer to seller on exchange of contracts when buying a house. In English and Welsh law, it is the point of exchange of contracts at which legal rights and obligations arise; from exchange, the buyer has the right to own and live in the house and has the obligation to pay over the balance of the purchase monies on the completion date, minus the deposit which s/he pays to the seller at the point of exchange. However, it is only at completion, which typically takes place a week or two after exchange (so that mortgage finance can be called upon and the parties make removal arrangements), that these rights are realised: the keys are delivered, the balance of the price paid, the title deeds handed over, the seller vacates and the buyer moves into occupation. Paul, in Eph 1:13-14 says that the Holy Spirit is our arrabon (usually translated ‘deposit’). His use of the word is very significant: there is a contrast between the arrabon (exchange), which is where we are at now, and the telios (completion) which is where we will be after the eschaton; only at completion do we enter into the fullness of that which is promised at exchange, yet we can act with faith that completion will occur, just as the buyer who has exchanged contracts can book a removal firm and order furniture for the new home with confidence. So, then, exchange constitutes the ‘now’ and completion the ‘not yet’.

    Therefore:-

    • The same kind of dynamic tension exists within Pauline soteriology as with Jesus’ preaching on the Kingdom of God. (As further evidence of this I would refer you to Paul’s discourse on the resurrection in 1 Cor 15 and Cullmann’s* commentary on it )
    • Our salvation and sanctification are already complete, yet the outworking of both continues until our death (or beyond as per the doctrine of purgatory) or the eschaton, whichever is the sooner; whilst this process is being fulfilled we experience the fruits of our salvation/sanctification, but not completely, both with regard to relationship with God and the ‘blessings of righteousness’, thus death and suffering, whilst restrained to a degree, are still at work in our (mortal) bodies

    *The references here are to your late great theologian Oscar Cullmann who has written a rather weighty book on these themes called Christ and Time; if you have a spare decade or three, I would urge you to read it ;)
     
  17. 1jim

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    Hi xdisciplex,


    Regarding Romans 7-8, I direct you to the opening message in the following thread:

    http://netbibleinstitute.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1914&start=0

    Un-Christ-like behavior is not evidence that you’re not saved. Paul frequently calls to the attention of believers their un-Christ-like behavior. His conclusion is not that they aren’t saved but that they are forgetting who they are in Christ. The first 6 chapters in 1 Corinthians exemplify this. The problem isn’t that they aren’t saved but that they are carnal and are insufficiently aware of the fact that they are in Christ and that He is in them. The cure: be aware that they are in Christ and that He is in them.

    In Romans 7-8, Paul is not comparing a carnal believer and a spiritual believer but an Old Covenant participant (7:5 and 7:7-25) and a New Covenant participant (7:4, 7:6 and 8:1-39), as discussed in the message to which I directed you.

    Also, whether Romans 8:16 means that the Spirit bears witness TO our spirit or WITH our spirit is discussed by Dr. Wallace at this web page:

    http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=1370


    Jim
     
  18. steaver

    steaver
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    When you heard the gospel and called on Jesus Christ for salvation, God regenerated your spirit by His Holy Spirit. You became a new creation having the Holy Spirit indwelling you. You became one with God, a child of God.

    You now have this Witness in you forever! No matter what doctrines are pounded from the pulpits you will always know Jesus Christ is Lord. This alone is what saves you and is the Witness in you that you are a child of God.

    No matter what doctrines you get caught up in or are deceived by you can always fall back on the fact that you know Jesus Christ is Lord. This is the Spirit bearing witness in you that you are a child of God, no matter what anybody else might tell you it takes to be saved.

    Many christians leave congregations and withdraw because of the confusion they teach about salvation. But rest assured the Witness remains in you even if you never go to church again in your life and live isolated in the wilderness. The Spirit will forever testify in you that you are a child of God.

    Knowing that Jesus is Lord is that Witness within you. [​IMG]

    Of course if you do not know Jesus is Lord, then you must be born-again before you will understand anything else.

    God Bless!
     
  19. 1jim

    1jim
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    Hi xdisciplex,


    I don’t know why the link to the thread’s opening message to which I directed you failed. The discussion forum his here:

    http://forum.bible.org/index.php

    Then, under category “BIBLE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS / DISCUSSIONS,” click forum “3c: New Testament;” then click page “2” of the index; then click the thread entitled “The Correct Understanding of Romans 7-8” (click the title), which will take you to the opening message, which is this:


    Jim
     
  20. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Xdisciplex, let me ask you a question: what's the difference between "confidence" and "complete certainty"? If I'm confident that my bannister won't give way, I'll lean on it. But there's no way whatsoever that you can achieve complete certainty that the bannister won't give way. Even if you have some top structural engineers perform an in-depth examination prior to leaning on it, just at that moment when you do an earthquake may strike. Of course, in real life you wouldn't even have those engineers, you would trust the bannister after a cursory glance (if not entirely unthinkingly), and may well miss that it is rusted through. We cannot live our lives in a state of total paranoia, we must trust all sorts of things all the time even though we basically never have complete certainty about anything. As humans, this is also true for our salvation. It is not normally possible to know with complete certainty that we are saved. Nevertheless, we must trust in God and live our lives as if saved - just like you lean on the bannister as if you knew for certain that it will hold. The alternative is paranoid paralysis.
     

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