Read: Galatians 5:22-25
The fruit of the Spirit is love (Galatians 5:22).
The Confirming Witness
We know that we have been sanctified wholly when, in answer to our prayer, the Holy Spirit reveals himself directly to our consciousness. Wesley writes that the child of God can no more doubt this evidence “than he can doubt of the shining of the sun, while he stands in the full blaze of its beams.”
But there is also a confirming witness — the witness of a changed nature. The crisis of entire sanctification makes a difference in human experience. When our lives are filled with God’s Holy Spirit we rightfully expect some fruit of the Spirit. This fruit, Paul reminds us, is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, fidelity, adaptability and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23, Phillips).
When the Holy Spirit comes in sanctifying power He so cleanses the soul that our attitudes, impulses, and thoughts are all motivated by love. It is a change in the depths of our nature which lies beyond our deliberate control. And yet its effects are felt in our conscious experience.
It was this confirming witness of a changed attitude to which a young lady testified. She rose from the altar with a radiant face and exclaimed, “Oh, I love everybody!”
Always our unshakable confidence is in the assurance of God’s own witness to us. When God has cleansed our hearts and witnessed to our spirits, we ought never to doubt that work of grace because of our changing moods or personal shortcomings. But it is a source of indirect and secondary assurance to be able to sing to the glory of God that we have experienced:
A rest where all our soul’s desire Is fix’d on things above; Where doubt and pain and fear expire, Cast out by perfect love.
— Wesley’ s Hymns