Not an It

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17)


Early in my Christian life I did not understand the Holy Spirit. Sadly, in too many conversations, I would refer to Him as “It” rather than Him. I viewed Him more as an impersonal force rather the third person of the triune God. As Francis Chan has noted, the Holy Spirit too often is the Forgotten God. We cannot neglect the Holy Spirit, but rejoice in His Divine Presence. The Holy Spirit is God and cannot be neglected.

Jesus came to be our Immanuel, “God with us,” through His incarnation as man. As the time of His departure drew close, Jesus promised that He would send the Helper, the Spirit of Truth to dwell within us. John 14:17, “You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” This is absolutely staggering. The Lord Almighty dwells within us through the Holy Spirit. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is our deposit guarantying our inheritance (Eph. 1:13-14). We no longer belong to the flesh, but the Spirit for the Spirit dwells in us. And if the Spirit of Jesus dwells in us, then the Spirit will also give life to our mortal bodies just as the Spirit raised Christ from the dead (Rom. 8:11). The presence of the Holy Spirit in our life should be our confidence that we are children of the promise.

The Holy Spirit is known as the humble member of the trinity, because His role is to make much of Jesus. We know that the Holy Spirit dwells in us if we desire to make much of Jesus. We do this through speaking words of truth and living lives of righteousness. The fruit of the Spirit-filled life is seen in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We may not have these traits as much as we want, but as these traits grow in our life, we know that the Holy Spirit dwells within us helping and guiding us to the truth.

The Holy Spirit saves us, sustains us, and sanctifies us. Without the Holy Spirit, we are dead in our trespasses and sins without hope and without God. The Holy Spirit opens our eyes to the truth of Jesus Christ so now the God of hope can fill us with all joy and peace in believing and we can overflow in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, let us not downgrade the Holy Spirit by depersonalizing Him as an impersonal “it,” for He is the One who brings the personal presence of God to our lives. The Holy Spirit is God who dwells within us.