The Internal Testimony of the Holy Spirit
In any courtroom drama that includes witnesses, the testimony that is given is crucial to the case. Testimony is important because it is designed to help us get at the truth of the matter. In some trials, the testimony of witnesses is challenged because their character is suspect. The testimony of a psychopathic liar has little value. For testimony to be credible, the witness must be credible.
When God testifies to the truth of something, His witness is sure. His testimony is altogether unimpeachable. Testimony that has God as its author cannot fail. It is, in fact, infallible testimony. It proceeds from the highest possible character, the deepest possible font of knowledge, and from the most supreme authority.
In His inner witness, the Holy Spirit offers no new secret information or clever argument otherwise unavailable to us. Rather, He operates upon our spirits to break down and overcome our resistance to God’s truth. He moves us to surrender to the clear teaching of God’s Word and embrace it with full assurance.
The internal testimony of the Spirit is not a flight into mysticism or an escape into subjectivism, where personal feelings are elevated to the status of absolute authority. There is a crucial difference between the testimony of the Holy Spirit to our spirits and the human testimony of our own spirits. The testimony of the Holy Spirit is to the Word of God. It comes to us with the Word and through the Word. It does not come apart from or without the Word.
Just as the Holy Spirit bears witness to our spirits that we are the children of God, confirming His word to us (Romans 8:16), so the Holy Spirit inwardly assures us that the Bible is the Word of God.
- The testimony of God is completely trustworthy.
- The Bible offers objective evidence that it is the Word of God.
- We are not fully persuaded of the truth of Scripture without the testimony of the Holy Spirit.
- The internal testimony of the Spirit offers no new argument to the mind, but works upon our hearts and spirits to yield to the evidence already there.
- The doctrine of the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit is not a license for believing that whatever we feel to be true is true.