The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…. – Romans 8:16
Scripture reading: Romans 8:12-16
In the final third of this month, we will consider references from the Heidelberg Catechism to the Holy Spirit.
The first reference in the Catechism says, “Christ by His Holy Spirit assures us of eternal life” (Question 1). Many copies of the Heidelberg Catechism refer us here to Romans 8:16, where we read that along with the Holy Spirit’s ability to make us God’s children, He works with our spirit to make us aware that we are indeed God’s children.
The Christian confession is always outward with the mouth, but first established inwardly in the heart: “With the heart one believes and is justified and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:10).
False professions leave many with false assurances about their relationship with God. However, when the Holy Spirit testifies with the human spirit, a double testimony results within the human heart that leads to an outward, true and assured profession of Christ.
God, by His mercy, continues to provide assurances to us as Christians that we are His children in Jesus Christ. Only with such assurances can we be ready and willing to live for Christ.
Suggestions for prayer
Pray to the Lord that your life might be lived, not as someone who hopes to be a child of God, but as one who is assured that it is so.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. John Vermeer is the pastor of Doon United Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa.