Q. Re: Romans 8:16 which says, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God”. What exactly is this “bearing witness” with our spirits? Can you more clearly define it? Is it a deep-seated “I know that I know that I know” feeling deep down? This verse has always confused me and it is seldom taught on.
A. Someone who bears witness is giving testimony; sharing what he or she has personally observed. In Romans 8:16 the Holy Spirit is testifying with our spirit. That means there are two witnesses. The Bible says a matter shall be confirmed on the testimony of two witnesses (Deut. 19:15). So who are they witnessing to?
Various possibilities exist, but I think they witness primarily to our soul, the seat of our mind, will, and emotions. It’s also where our sin nature resides. They remind our soul that we are God’s children, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, led by the Spirit of God, and as such we are no longer obligated to follow the ways of the sin nature.
I also think when we disregard that testimony and follow the sin nature, the Spirit of God joins with our spirit to convict us and bring us to the foot of the cross to confess and be forgiven.