Jump to content

The Protestant Community

Sincerely inquiring about the Protestant faith? Welcome to Christforums the Christian Protestant community forums. You'll first need to register in order to join our community. Create or respond to threads on your favorite topics and subjects. Registration takes less than a minute, it's simple, fast, and free! Enjoy the fellowship! God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now

Christian Fellowship Community Forums

John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Sign in to follow this  
William

How Does the Holy Spirit Relate to Evidence for Christianity?

Recommended Posts

Staff

by Gary R. Habermas

 

It is often assumed that the Holy Spirit's witness to a believer is not very helpful in a study of apologetics. After all, this testimony is given only to Christians and it is not verified or falsified by evidences. So does it follow that this witness is no more than a subjective conviction?

 

In the few NT passages that address this subject, we are told that, at a minimum, the witness of the Holy Spirit is a personal word to believers that they are children of God (Rom 8:15-17). The Holy Spirit testifies to believers as family members (Gl 4:6-7). So the believer will experience the presence of the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:16-17). This is one way to know that we are truly believers (1 Jn 3:24; 4:13).

 

Since the unbeliever cannot understand things pertaining to salvation (Jn 14:17; 1 Cor 2:14), one might questions the value of the Holy Spirit's witness in an apologetic context. But this seems to assume that dealing with unbelievers is the only purpose for defending the faith. Apologetics may have even more value in strengthening the faith of believers through a variety of avenues.

 

Since the chief purpose of the Holy Spirit's witness is to provide personal assurance of the believer's salvation, the resulting confidence can play a valuable role in convincing believers of their own relationship with the Lord. This might provide assistance, for example, in dealing with religious doubt.

 

Moreover, the witness of the Holy Spirit provides indirect confirmation of the truth of the Christian gospel. After all, if we are the children of god and joint heirs with Jesus Christ as we suffer and are glorified with Him (Rm 8:17), then it would follow that God's gospel path--the basis of this assurance--is likewise true.

 

So when people become Christians and experience the Holy Spirit's presence, it ought not surprise them, since this is precisely what Scripture teaches! It should be normal fare for the believer. Briefly stated, the study of apologetics indicates that Christianity is true; the witness of the Holy Spirit performs the related function of identifying those who are members of the faith.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...