(The inner work of the Holy Spirit in the soul of a believer)
The witness of the Holy Spirit affects the inner part of man’s make-up in both sinner and saint alike. It deals with how the Spirit of God reaches the human soul in Salvation. The Holy Spirit affects the human soul when man "hears" the truth of the word of God. As the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit inwardly work together the unholy will and desire of man is affected or swayed. The Spirit’s witness through the Gospel message affects the mind and will of sinful man enough that sinful man can be led to repentance. The Spirit’s conviction pricks the heart by stirring the conscience and revealing to man (Christ) thus showing man his need to turn away from a life of sin.
· Acts 2:37-38…now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent
Repentance is work of the Holy Spirit in the human soul that helps sinful man to change his mind. The Spirit places a new desire in the heart to quit wrongdoing and helps one to recognize a consciousness to Christ. The Holy Spirit testifies Christ to the heart of man.
· John 15:26…But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me
As the Spirit testifies to the heart, man can see himself as he really is. Sin is exposed as the power of the Holy Spirit affects the will of man enough that a change of mind can be made. Mans choice to change is made as the goodness of God leads him to repentance.
· Rom 2:4…not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance
The Spirit’s witness makes Christ known to the human soul. This work of the Holy Spirit affects mans choices and decision making process. When a sinful man sees himself in the presence of Christ brokenness from the guilt of sin occurs. By the Spirits conviction man becomes sorrowful for sinful acts and wrongdoing. Sorrow then turns to consent of the human will in repentance, belief, and acceptance of Christ for the forgiveness of sins.
· 2 Cor 7:10…For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation
Unlike conviction and repentance which affect the will of man, believing and receiving deals with consent of the human will. Consent of human will is given through mans faith toward Christ. It is worked out through a life of obedience to God. Contempt of human will is reflected toward Christ through doubt, rejection, or unbelief. It is worked out through a life of disobedience to God. The Holy Spirit’s invitation through preaching the Gospel can disturb the conscience enough to sway the will of man. Through acceptance of Christ man makes a willful choice to get away from what he is. His choice to willfully exercise faith allows the power of God to produce a life of subjection and obedience to Christ. Note the fact that faith and the Holy Spirit enter into man through hearing… the word of God.
· Gal 3:2…Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
· Rom 10:17…So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The Holy Spirit cuts through the hardness of man’s negative side and bears witness with the spirit of man. The witness of the Holy Spirit unites with the spirit of man through regeneration of the new birth. The mind, will, and desires of a believer are not only affected …by the power of the Holy Spirit but are now… changed. Repentance and remission of sins allows this believer to be pardoned from all past sins. Justification is a pardon granted from God for all the past sins of a man who now trusts in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. For this reason the Gospel is preached.
· Luke 24:47…And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations
· Acts 13:38-39…through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things
When man believes and gives his heart to Christ he receives the down payment of a new life in the Spirit. He is sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.
· Eph 1:13…after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise
Sealing is an initial work of the Spirit that places a believer into Christ and into Christ’s spiritual body. When man is sealed into Christ by the Spirit, life is viewed through a different set of eyes. Man becomes aware of the Holy Spirits presence. He knows his sins are forgiven by trusting the death of Christ alone. He is conscious to righteousness rather than wrongdoing. He is given a holy heart with holy desires and reverence to God. He joyfully abides in the Spirit with a realization of holiness without guilt or condemnation from sin. He knows Christ and knows that his changed moral make up is sealed with the Holy Spirit. He’s Gods property and ownership. The seal of the Spirit of truth enables man to be guided morally into all truth.
· John 16:13-14…Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.