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“You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Rom. 8:15-17).

“Abba” means Father. We realize that He is infinite in power, and so great that to Him the nations are as a drop in the bucket. Great and awesome as He is, we can call Him “our Father.” He has the tenderness of a parent, backed by the power of infinite divinity.

Some say that if they only had the witness of the Spirit, they would rejoice. What is the witness of the Spirit?

“Why,” says one, “it is a sort of feeling, and when I have it I will know that God has accepted me.” But it rests on something more substantial than a feeling.

Sometimes I feel so tired and exhausted that I hardly have any power to feel in any way. That is when I want to know that I am a child of God. Sometimes disease takes hold of us and saps all our strength, and we have no power of mind or body. We are just barely alive, conscious, but with no emotion. That is when we want the witness of the Spirit. Can we have it then? Yes, “the Spirit Himself bear witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (verse 16). How does He witness? “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself (1 Jn.5:10).

What does a witness do? Bears testimony. How do I bear testimony in a court? -By telling what I know. Perhaps I back it up by my oath. The if the Holy Spirit witnesses, He must say something, must He not? Yes. God spoke by His prophets, by Jeremiah, David, Paul. Who speaks in this word, the Bible? The Spirit of God. Then what is the witness of the Spirit? The word of God is the voice of the Spirit of God. Then we have the witness in ourselves, when we have His word in our hearts by faith.

Jones, General Conference Bulletin, 1895, p.266

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