Summary: Sermon on Romans 8:14-17 explaining the two witnesses of assurance.
INTRODUCTION: What are you sure of?
1. How do you know you are the child of your parents?
a. How old you are?
b. How tall you are?
c. How much you weigh?
2. In each case you have definable witnesses that assure you of the answer to these questions.
(ILL.: By the testimony of two or three witnesses.)
DT 19:15 One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
Mt. 18:16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that `every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
BACKGROUND: What about salvation?
1. Is there any way of knowing you are saved?
2. The New Testament answers with a resounding YES!
(ILL.: After John Wesley had been preaching for some time, someone said to him, "Are you sure, Mr. Wesley, of your salvation?" "Well," he answered, "Jesus Christ died for the whole world." "Yes, we all believe that; but are you sure that you are saved?" Wesley replied that he was sure that provision had been made for his salvation.
"But are you sure, Wesley, that you are saved?" It went like an arrow to his heart, and he had no rest or power until that question was settled. Many men and many women go on month after month, and year after year, without power, because they do not know their standing in Christ; they are not sure of their own footing for eternity. Latimer wrote Ridley once that when he was settled and steadfast about his own salvation he was as bold as a lion, but if that hope became eclipsed he was fearful and afraid and was disqualified for service. Many are disqualified for service because they are continually doubting their own salvation.)
PROPOSITIONAL STATEMENT: You can know you are saved.
TRANSITIONAL SENTENCE: Our scripture shows us two witnesses that assure us we are saved.
DEFINITION OF ASSURANCE: The inward evidence of acceptance with God revealed by the Holy Spirit to our understanding and confirmed by our own conscience resulting in a confident knowledge that we are indeed children of God.
I. The Direct Witness of the Holy Spirit
A. It is the highest form of witness.
1. There is no greater witness than God, and the Holy Spirit is God.
Gal. 4:6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
2. Just as God is truth, there is no falsehood in the Spirit.
1JN 5:6 This is the one who came by water and blood--Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.
B. It precedes any other witness, including our own spirit.
1. We must live a holy life for our spirit to witness we are saved
2. To live a holy life, we must have the Holy spirit to produce holiness in our life.
(ILL.: No backward reasoning! . . .)
C. It is evidenced by His influence in our lives.
1. A renewed heart.
Titus 3:4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
2. Production of "fruit."
GAL 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
3. Holiness of life.
II. The Indirect Witness of Our Own Spirit
A. It confirms the witness of the Holy Spirit.
(ILL.: Someone asked Melvin Trotter, who was a hopeless alcoholic before his conversion, "How do you know you are a Christian?" Trotter replied, "I was there when it happened!")
B. It is not subjective, or based on feelings.
(ILL.: Religions of world based on feelings. Have to do certain things to feel you are doing what is required.)
C. Must be based on the objective standard of the Word of God.
1. Immediate knowledge that our lives are changed.
II Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2. Testimony of a clear conscience.