How to understand that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is personal.

Figure emerges from the comos

Jesus says (John 16:13), “When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”

The combination of “He” and “the Spirit” an unusual grammatical construction in Greek, because “Spirit” is a neuter noun that normally would take a neuter pronoun, but the pronoun is masculine, “He” (literally, “that One”). The Holy Spirit isn’t a force; He’s a person, the third person of the eternal Trinity, fully God in every way.

This is important because false cults, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, deny the personality of the Holy Spirit (because they deny the Trinity).

But as we’ve seen (John 15:26), the Spirit testifies about Christ; a force cannot testify. Here, the Spirit guides the disciples; a force cannot give guidance. He speaks, He hears, and He reveals what He has heard to the apostles.

Beyond this text, Peter told Ananias that he had lied to the Holy Spirit, whom Peter calls God (Acts 5:3-4). You can’t lie to an impersonal force.

Paul commands us not to grieve the Holy Spirit by our sin (Eph. 4:30); you can only grieve a person who loves you. Paul talks about the fellowship of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 13:14); you can’t enjoy fellowship with a force.

The comforting truth is, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells in you and tailors His ministry to you personally. He knows what you’re feeling and ministers His comfort to you through the Word or through other believers or sometimes through your unique circumstances.

As Jesus says here, the Spirit guides you in the truth, but He does that as you study the Word of truth. He knows what you need to know and when you need to know it. His aim is to make you holy in thought, word, and deed.

When you don’t know how to pray as you should, the Spirit prays for you in ways that you don’t understand (Rom. 8:26). So it’s important that we don’t grieve or quench the Spirit through sin, but rather yield every area of our lives to the Spirit’s control.