This week as we move to the next Article of Faith of the Amarillo Primitive Baptist church we examine the subject of regeneration and witness of the salvation of God. With this article we consider the belief that the Holy Spirit brings a testimony of our salvation into our hearts with or without the presence of the gospel in our lives.
“We believe that a knowledge of salvation is manifest to the heirs of promise by a direct operation of the Holy Ghost in their hearts.”
The Witness Within You
“If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.” (1 John 5:9-10)
Two truths about regeneration are set forth in these verses from the book of 1 John. The first of those truths being that those that are regenerated (which are the only ones that can believe) have a witness within themselves of the work of the Son of God. Notice though that this is not a witness from man. That testimony within you is not because of a preacher, missionary, or dedicated follower of Christ. Rather, that witness within you is because of the witness of God which comes through the Holy Spirit.
The second truth being after regeneration the child of God has a record in their heart and soul of the work of Jesus Christ. This verse does not say, once the child of God has heard the gospel and believed that they would have a record. The record is what allows the gospel to strike a chord in the heart and make belief upon Christ possible. For one that is regenerated, even if they never hear the gospel preached there is an assurance of salvation present in their life.
The Story of Helen Keller
This story has been related many times but it is worth repeating once more as it is a beautiful testimony to the truth of this teaching. Helen Keller was blind and deaf and had been since the age of two. She had lived a life of isolation and frustration not being able to communicate with the world around her. Through the work of a dedicated teacher Keller eventually learned to read, write and speak eventually gaining an education and even attending college.
She later would befriend a minister by the name of Phillip Brooks. In one of their many letters back and forth Keller wrote that she had always known God. She did not have a name for God — as she did not have a name for anything — but she knew that she had not been alone in her isolation. When she did finally acquire language she was thrilled to be able to communicate about the God that she had always known.
Her story is a beautiful testimony to this truth. She did not know God in her isolation because of preaching, missionaries, outreach or any other man-made tool. She knew of God because the truth had been revealed unto her through the witness of the Holy Spirit in her life.
Our Testimony Should Align
Within each of us we have the testimony of the Holy Spirit giving us a record of the work of Jesus Christ. The task for us is to examine if the record we establish by our walk each day aligns with the record that is within us. Does our walk reflect the same testimony to others? Let us strive each day to make that testimony within us as real as it was to Helen Keller. Let us also live our lives in a way that reflects the presence of that witness to our salvation.
May The Lord Bless You,