Led by the Spirit
How does a person know that he or she is a Christian? How do we really know? I’ll tell you. We know because the Holy Spirit “bears witness” with our spirit, confirming in our hearts that we are indeed children of God.
Beginning with my sophomore year in high school, I was an hour-a-week Christian. I went to church, I was in attendance, I was present and accounted for. I had received Christ as an 11-year-old boy, but during my high school years I became exceedingly cynical and apathetic. I showed up. That was about it. I even laughed at people who were considered “religious” by others in my little town, and went along with a lot of chicanery in which I had no business participating.
But there were some things I did not do. There were temptations as a teenager that looked incredibly good to me, but I did not give in to them. Looking back, I know why. Even with my cynical attitude, I still felt the witness of God in my life... that inner voice of the Holy Spirit saying, “You are mine. This is not for you.”
When I came back to Christ a few years later and gave myself anew to Him, He was with me as He had always been before. That is the inner witness of the Spirit. We may wander away or run from God, but there is a quiet place in which He deals with us and confirms that we are His own.
The spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16).