We know from the Scripture that personal characteristics are given to the Holy Spirit. There are four essential elements of personality—intellect, feelings, will and actions. Here are some examples of the Spirit’s actions given to us in Scripture.
• He speaks. In Acts 13:2, the Spirit is the initiator of the first missionary journey of the church when He said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
• He testifies. He testifies concerning Jesus. The Spirit’s function and His role is to bear witness to the living Lord (John 15:26).
• He teaches. He teaches that which Jesus has taught. He brings to our remembrance the things the Lord has communicated to us. His fundamental role as Teacher is to make alive the person of Jesus in our life (John 14:26).
• He convicts. The Spirit convicts of sin and of righteousness and of the judgment to come (John 16:8–11).
• He intercedes for us. The Spirit is our Intercessor (Romans 8:26,27). The Bible tells us we have an intercessor in the heavens—Jesus Christ—and we have in the heart the intercessor of the Holy Spirit. Whenever we’re praying for ourself or other people are praying for us, we’re never praying alone.
• He guides us into truth (John 16:13). He directs our steps (Acts 16:6,7). The Spirit did this with Paul, Silas and Timothy as they tried to go into an area of the world to preach the gospel where the Holy Spirit would not allow them.
• He reveals God’s Word to us (2 Peter 1:21). Prophecy, or the written Word of God, did not have its origin in men, but it was carried along to us and revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.
• He can be tested, as with Ananias and Sapphira who put Him to the test by being dishonest (Acts 5:9).
• He can be lied to (Acts 5:3). Peter said Ananias had lied to the Spirit in saying he was giving an offering, when he didn’t give the complete offering.
• He can be grieved. In addition to Ephesians 4:30, Isaiah 63:10 tells us, “Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.”
• He can be resisted. At the end of his great sermon, Stephen said to the people who were about to kill him, “You always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you” (Acts 7:51, ESV).
• He can be insulted and He can be blasphemed (Hebrews 10:29). Jesus described the unforgivable sin as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31,32). Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an absolute denial of what the Spirit is saying about Jesus. The Spirit is always saying to us, “Jesus is the Lord. He’s the Son of God. Confess Him as Lord.” At some point, when we continually resist the Spirit’s testimony of Jesus, we blaspheme against the Spirit.
Since there is no forgiveness, Jesus said, either in this life or the age to come, for a person who blasphemes the Spirit, the subject of blasphemy against the Spirit is a separate topic. It is important to understand that any person who fears he or she has committed the unpardonable sin is still spiritually sensitive and has not committed that sin. Rather, the person who reaches this level of blasphemy no longer has any desire to receive God’s grace and forgiveness because the Spirit no longer convicts that person’s conscience of sin.