The apostle Paul made an astounding affirmation when he said, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God” (Rom. 8:16). How can I know that I am saved? How can I have confidence that I am pleasing to God? Paul’s words said it all—the Holy Spirit bears witness with my spirit.
There is a Biblical concept that should be remembered in all matters, but especially in this one about my salvation. There must be two witnesses. Truth cannot be established by just one witness. It takes at least two witnesses! The law of Moses was very clear. No individual could be put to death on the basis of a single witness. “He shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness” (Deut. 17:6). The same was true of other violations of that law. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established” (Deut. 19:15).
The same truth is taught in the New Testament. Jesus said, “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established” (Matthew 18:16). Paul taught the same in two passages: 2 Corinthians 13:1 and 1 Timothy 5:19. The writer of Hebrews makes this same point in Hebrews 10:28.
So, who are the two witnesses that speak so that I can know I am a child of God? The answer is obvious. The Spirit of God and my spirit.
However, it is vital that the words in Romans 8:16 be read carefully. The passage does not say that the Spirit bears witness to my Spirit, but that the Spirit bears witness with my spirit. Had Paul said that God’s Spirit bears witness to my spirit, then I should expect that God would in some way speak to my spirit and that “silent” voice from heaven would be the basis of the confidence in my salvation. This is not what Paul said. Read it again.
The Spirit bears witness, and my spirit bears witness. The Spirit affirms that I am a child of God, and my spirit bears the same witness that I am a child of God. Both spirits bear the same witness.
What does the Spirit say about my salvation or the salvation of any person? The Spirit says that for me to be saved, I must believe (Heb. 11:6). My spirit says that I have believed. The Spirit also says that for me to be saved I must repent, change my heart and life (Acts 17:30). My spirit says that I have repented. The Spirit says that I must verbally confess my faith in Jesus (Rom. 10:9).My spirit says I have done this. The Spirit says I must be baptized to have my sins washed away (Acts 22:16). My spirit says I have done this. I can know that I am a child of God because of two witnesses saying that I am—the Spirit and my spirit.
Are you saved? Have you done what the Spirit says you must do to be saved?
Remember, it takes two witnesses!