But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come. – John 16:13 NET
“He shall not speak of himself.” There is something peculiarly gracious in this feature of the Holy Spirit, that, if we may use the expression, he does not glorify himself by speaking of himself in the same direct, personal manner as the Father and the Son speak of themselves. Thus the Father speaks of himself all through the word; and the Son speaks of himself in Scripture after Scripture; but the Holy Spirit, though he speaks in the Scripture, for by his divine inspiration the whole was written, yet does not speak of himself in a positive, direct manner, nor call upon us in a clear, personal way to believe in, worship, and adore him.
But his office and work are to testify to our conscience and bear witness to our spirit of both the Father and the Son. Thus as a Spirit of adoption he enables the soul to cry, “Abba, Father,” and so testifies of the Father. As a Spirit of revelation he manifests to the soul the glorious Person of Christ, and thus testifies of the Son. But he does not in a personal manner manifest himself, or testify of himself.
How, then, do we know him? By his operations, his influences, his teachings, his consolations, his sealings, his softenings, meltings, humblings, waterings, enlargings, openings, liberatings, strengthenings, and enablings. The Lord therefore said to his disciples, “But you know him, for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.” Thus we know his indwelling by the light he gives to see our evidences clear and bright; by the life which he diffuses into the soul, to renew and revive our drooping graces; by the submission which he imparts in affliction and tribulation to the sovereign will of God; by the meekness which he bestows under the chastening rod; by the gracious confidence which he will not allow us to cast away; by the holy boldness which he grants before the enemies of truth; by the zeal which he kindles in the heart for the truth as it is in Jesus, and for the glory of God; by the suitable words which he brings to the mind in defense of the gospel; and by the power which he gives to speak them forth with an authority which silences, if it does not convince, the adversary.
Thus, though the blessed Spirit does not speak of himself, he makes himself effectually known by his indwelling power and grace. O blessed Teacher, holy Comforter, gracious Intercessor, and heavenly Witness, come and take up your abode in our heart; there reveal and form Jesus, the hope of glory; there shed abroad the love of God; there bear your divine testimony to our sonship; there cry, “Abba, Father;” there teach and sanctify and bless, that we and all in whom you have wrought your work of grace may be “filled with all joy and peace in believing, that we may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
~ J.C. Philpot ~