The Witness (Hebrews 10:15-17)

Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,” (Hebrews 10:15, KJV 1900)

One of my assignments in the Army was as a Company Executive Officer in a tank battalion. Once, while on a field exercise one of our tanks broke down and needed to be towed back to the post. It was snowing and already the battalion had two incidents in the villages due to tanks sliding on the snowy roads. In one, a tank ran its gun tube through the side of a school bus (no one was hurt). In another one ran into a building. I decided, rather than leading the two vehicles through the small snow-covered side-roads, to escort them on the autobahn, even though we were told not to take that route. While driving on the autobahn, the towing tank broke down. We limped into a roadside pull-off on the autobahn and I drove my jeep back to the post to get the necessary repair part.

On the way, I got to a bridge which had a sign indicating the maximum weight allowed on the bridge was 40-Tons. The problem was that the two vehicles I left in the rest area when in tow had a combined weight of 120-Tons. Back at the post, I had the Battalion Executive Officer call the German police who met us at the rest stop. Fortunately, they agreed with my decision to take the autobahn rather than the treacherous side roads. However, it did not alleviate the problem.

They went and checked the engineering placard that was affixed to the bridge and discovered that the bridge was rated for more than the combined weight of our two vehicles. The problem was that the bridge had been down graded due to some temporary ceramic lane markers that their DOT placed on it. The German police guided us across the bridge by straddling the markers and we got home safely.

This entire story hinged on someone being able to read, understand, and communicate the sign posted by the engineers who designed and built the bridge. Here, the author of Hebrews states that the Holy Spirit is a witness to us regarding the New Covenant, by quoting from Jeremiah (v16-17; cf. Jer 31:33-34). Jeremiah, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, stated,

But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, And write it in their hearts; And will be their God, And they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: For they shall all know me, From the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: For I will forgive their iniquity, And I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:33–34, KJV)

The Holy Spirit has inspired this word to be transmitted to us. It explains what happens when a person comes under this New Covenant by faith in Christ alone. It describes the transformation of the heart of the believer. This is the word of God given to us and it is the attestation of the Holy Spirit. He has born witness to this New Covenant by inspiring the prophet to record these words, and the writer of Hebrews to transmit them to his Jewish readers.

The Holy Spirit also bears witness in the true believer’s heart through the work of regeneration. The transformation of the believer’s affections for God is a witness of the work of the Holy Spirit. Formerly the believer was dead, alienated from God and did not seek for God or His righteousness. However, now by the ministry of the Holy Spirit, all this has changed and the believer now has an affection for God that was not formerly there. The transformed life is the witness of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s heart to the reality of the New Covenant.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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