“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness within 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 5:10)
I remember the days of high-pressure soul-winning, with its methods, formulas, and "roads"; when we strictly cautioned converts-in-the-making to forget how they felt and just believe the verses being shown to them. For some reason, we tended to consider the last half of this verse to be more important than the first. But if we are to take it at face value, the “witness” (the Holy Spirit) is just as significant as the “record” (the Bible). We can try to shame people into acquiescence by accusing them of calling God a liar if they refuse to acknowledge the Deity of Jesus Christ; but the truth is, unless the Spirit of God bears witness to it in their hearts, we are simply winning an argument, not witnessing a conversion.
Because of being saved at such an early age, I have been asked if I ever doubted that I am truly a child of God. (Though I think it’s safe to say that if salvation depended on how good a memory one has, lots of us would be in trouble!) However, at this stage in my life, I do remember the circumstances surrounding my conversion, mainly because conviction of sin (yes, at 9 years old) was allowed to fester naturally to a supernatural explosion of grace. But as vivid as that memory still is, it’s definitely not the place I run to for assurance of my standing before God. You see, I need only to open the pages of His Word, or lift my heart to Him in prayer, to know there is an eternal bond between us. You may call it a feeling; I know it to be the witness of the Spirit of God within me (Rom. 8:16). And I can tell you, His image within my heart is more familiar to me than even the reflection I see in the mirror.
With the Record before me and the Witness within me, I can sing with the songwriter, “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine!” Can you?