John Calvin on the Internal Testimony of the Holy Spirit

“The testimony of the Spirit is more excellent than all reason. For as God alone is a fit witness of Himself in His Word, so also the Word will not find acceptance in men’s hearts before it is sealed by the inward testimony of the Spirit. The same Spirit therefore who has spoken through the mouths of the prophets must penetrate into our hearts to persuade us that they faithfully proclaimed what had been divinely commanded…because until He illumines their minds, they ever waver among many doubts!”

“Therefore illumined by [the Spirit’s] power, we believe neither by our own nor by anyone else’s judgment that Scripture is from God; but above human judgment we affirm with utter certainty (just as if we were gazing upon the majesty of God Himself) that it has flowed to us from the very mouth of God by the ministry of men.”  

-John Calvin (as quoted on pp. 78-79 of “God is the Gospel“)

“The answer is not that the Spirit gives us added revelation to what is in Scripture, but that He awakens us, as from the dead, to see and taste the divine reality of the glory of Christ in the gospel…This is the key for Calvin: the witness of God to the gospel is the immediate, unassailable, life-giving revelation to the mind of the majesty of God manifest in the Word itself – not in new revelation about it.”

God is the Gospel, p. 79

“[6] …And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth… [9] If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son… [11] And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”
1 John 5:6-11


About Aaron Golby

Christian. Husband to Katherine.
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