In which you learn something peculiar about the Cold War Russian Christian’s biblical diet.
Did you know that if you lived in Cold War Russia as a Christian…
Your diet of religious teaching amounted to smuggled Bibles and a state-printed encyclopedia of atheism?
You have to wonder…
In the face of hostile, overwhelming anti-Christian propaganda, how did these Christians NOT abandon Christ?
The answer: The inner witness of the Holy Spirit.
What Is the Inner Witness of the Holy Spirit?
The chief purpose of the Holy Spirit is to provide personal assurance of a believer’s salvation. Romans 8:16 says, ”The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.”
In other words, God stamps each believer with his spirit to secure us for the day when our salvation is complete–the day of redemption.
He stamps us with his official ownership by placing the Holy Spirit upon us. This seal indicates his ownership and authority over us. And our safety and security in him.
Paul says the inscription of God’s seal reads, “The Lord knows those who are his.”
When Are We Sealed with God’s Spirit?
At salvation. And every Christian believer is sealed. In fact, even the spiritually immature Corinthians were sealed.
Paul includes them when he writes that God “set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
The Valuable Role of the Holy Spirit in Apologetics
And because God permanently sealed us with his spirit, we are forever secure as his prized possession. No power on earth or in heaven…now or yet to come…is strong enough to break this seal.
That means our final redemption rests entirely on God and his authority. That means no earthly discouragement or circumstance can change who owns and guards us.
And that means this confidence in the witness plays a valuable role in convincing believers of their own relationship with God.
It’s an indirect confirmation of the truth of the Christian Gospel. That is, in it’s essence, the inner witness of the Holy Spirit.
The Inner Witness Exceeds All Human Testimony
When you become a genuine believer, you experience the Holy Spirit’s presence. It’s an immediate experience of God himself.
And while this is a subjective assurance of Christian truth–and not very helpful in convincing a non-believer–it provides a concrete assurance for the believer.
Thus, as Christian believers we have the testimony of the loving God in us. And this testimony exceeds in force all human testimony.
It’s how Christian believers behind the Iron Curtain survived in spite of tremendous, systematic oppression.
It’s how Luther could stand before an emperor who wanted nothing less than an ironclad recantation and say “…my conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and will not recant, because acting against one’s conscience is neither safe nor sound. God help me.”
And it’s how a small band of no-names in the first century relentlessly spread the Gospel throughout the Mediterranean knowing suffering and death loomed behind every corner.
The Holy Spirit is a promise to the Christian believer that God will protect him. And provide for him without limit. And that he will keep every promise he inspired in his word.
Religious doubt. Potential defeaters. Aggressive ridicule. Threats of violence. Even death. In the end, all these challenges to a believers faith can’t stand against the inner testimony of God himself.
As the old hymn said, “On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.”
Where are your feet planted, friend?