Devotional: The Holy Spirit is a Person

In John 16:12–15 Jesus is taking farewell of his disciples. He tells them that He’s going to leave but in his place, He’s going to send the Holy Spirit. And then He begins to explain to them what the Holy Spirit will do, how He will minister to them and the provision that He will make for them through the Holy Spirit. This is what He says:

“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But 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. He shall glorify me; for he shall take of mine and shall disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are mine; therefore I said, that he takes of mine, and will disclose it to you.” (NIV)

Jesus says, that the Holy Spirit is a person. He breaks the rules of grammar in the version that we have in the Greek language. In promising the Holy Spirit He says, “When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth . . .”

Now the Greek language has three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. And the appropriate pronoun for each is indicated by the gender. For the masculine, he; for the feminine, she; for the neuter, it. The word for “spirit” in Greek, pneuma, is neuter. So, the grammatically correct pronoun is “it.” But the laws of grammar are broken in these verses to emphasise that the Holy Spirit is not an “it” but a “he.” Jesus says, “When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth . . .”

You need to understand that the Holy Spirit is a person. God the Father is a person, Jesus Christ the Son is a person, and the Holy Spirit is likewise a person. In order to be successful in your relationship with the Holy Spirit, you have to learn to relate to Him as a person.

Until you learn to relate to the Holy Spirit as a person, nor an impersonal influence, nor a theological extraction, but as a person—a real person as God the Father and God the Son, as real a person as your husband or your wife, your father or your mother, your son or your daughter—until you learn to relate to the Holy Spirit in that way you will not succeed in being truly led by the Holy Spirit.


What characterizes a person? Do you think of the Holy Spirit that way?


Heavenly Father, blessed be Your name for the outpouring of your Holy Spirit. My desire is to be led by Him daily. Help me to honour Him and relate to Him in the same way I relate to You, for your glory, Amen. 

This devotional is taken from


How to be Led by the Holy Spirit

Signposts along the only road that leads to mature sonship: the leading of the Holy Spirit.

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