The Witness of the Spirit
William V. Beasley
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
It has often and rightly been preached that the Holy Spirit bears witness "with" and not "to" the spirits of God's children (Rom. 8:16). The Holy Spirit has given us God's commandments (telling men how to become and be children of God) and the spirit of man, upon man's learning the truth, can answer "Yea," or "Nay." The Spirit, through the writings of inspiration, revealed the words of Jesus, ". . . except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" (John 8:24). Our spirit can answer "Yes, I believe," or "No, it is nothing to me." The Holy Spirit has also revealed that man must repent (Luke 24:47; Acts 17:30), confess the name of Jesus (Matt. 1p:32; Rom. 10:10) and be baptized (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Gal. 3:27) in order to be saved. The spirit of man can answer "Yes, I've done these things; Hallelujah, I'm a child of God," or it may answer, "What nonsense!"
Suppose for a moment that the wording in Romans 8:16 was "The Spirit beareth witness to our spirit . . ." Would this really make a great difference in what the verse says? I think not. If it so read, we should next ask, "How does the Spirit bear witness "to" someone or something?" The Bible tells us how the Holy Spirit bears witness "to" man: "And the Holy Spirit also beareth witness to us; for after he said . . . " (See Heb. 10:15-17). The Holy Spirit bears witness "to" man the same way we have been preaching He bears witness "with our spirits," i.e., through the word.
Truth Magazine XIX: 48, p. 756