26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
Jesus now proceeds to the role of the Holy Spirit in the apostles’ future ministry (Jn 15:16-16:15). He functions the same way that Jesus did by demonstrating authentic truth of Jesus directly to individuals. The introduction of the Spirit in verses 26 and 27 bridges further into chapter 16.
26 “But when the Helper [masculine] comes,
The “Helper” is the Holy Spirit. We have already seen this twice before (Jn 14:26; cf. 16:7). The masculine gender indicates He is a person, not a force.
Note that the Holy Spirit had not yet come to permanently indwell the church. There will be a time shortly “when” that will happen.
whom I [emphatic] shall send [future tense] to you from [the side of] the Father,
Jesus will send the Holy Spirit from the Father (Jn 14:16, 26). The Spirit had not yet come at Pentecost to permanently indwell the church after the ascension of Christ. The mission of the Holy Spirit is Jesus’ mission.
the Spirit of truth
The Spirit is characterized here as the One who reveals truth (Jn 14:17). Truth is the instrument the Spirit uses. He will guide the apostles into all truth (Jn 16:13-14). The “truth” is both the gospel and the New Testament (2 Ti 3:16; 2 Pe 1:21). People cannot know ultimate truth without the Holy Spirit revealing it to them.
who proceeds from the Father,
This phrase indicates the doctrine of the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father. The Father sends the Son and the Son commissions the Spirit of truth on a mission to establish and expand the church.
“From the Father” indicates that the Holy Spirit pre-existed in the Trinity in eternity past.
He will testify of Me.
The “Spirit of truth” will supernaturally testify of Jesus (Jn 16:13). He will bring truth directly to the hearts of people. Evangelism is more than a witness of a human being to a human being.
The Holy Spirit is a person (not a force) because He performs the function of a witness to Jesus. He will continue the work of Jesus.
The apostles who were passive, apprehensive and full of fear but in just 6 weeks became dynamic witnesses for the Lord. They bore burning conviction about Jesus.
The Holy Spirit will testify of Jesus through the apostles and through us.
All true work for God comes though the ministry of the Spirit. If we witness to the lost, we must do it by depending on the work of the Spirit (Jn 16:7-11). The world rejects the ministry of the Spirit (Jn 14:17).
The Holy Spirit bears witness though the followers of Jesus. In the case of the apostles He guided the writing of the New Testament. Truth is always required to witness for Jesus. In our case He supernaturally works through us to both witness to the lost and built believers.