Our pastor spoke briefly in his sermon last week on grieving the Holy Spirit. This idea caused me to think and do some more studying on this topic. Here’s what I looked at.
Ephesians 4:30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
The Holy Spirit has been given to live within a believer until the end. He is there through the good times and the bad. He sees everything that we go through, all our actions and reactions, and everything we do. Grieving the Holy Spirit is not a sign that a believer has lost his salvation because we are sealed until the day of redemption. However, grieving the Holy Spirit will interfere with your daily relationship with God.
Romans 8:9 “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.”
Ephesians 1:13 “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit”
These two passages further clarify that the believer has been given the Holy Spirit. If you don’t have the Holy Spirit, it is because you have never truly believed and placed your faith in Christ. The moment you give your heart to Christ, you are given the Holy Spirit as a seal that you belong to God.
The dictionary defines “to grieve” as “to cause to be sorrowful; to distress”
Let’s take the verse from Ephesians above and put some context around it.
Ephesians 4:29-31 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
In this context, it seems that the Holy Spirit can be grieved when we our actions are like those of the carnal man. All of these things like bad words, bitterness, anger, slander, etc. can grieve the Holy Spirit. These are not things that Christians should be doing. When you become saved, you are a new creation. Your old habits are to be gone, and new ones begun. You should be living a life that is worthy of the salvation that Christ has provided. Your new life has been purchased for you by the very blood of Jesus. Continuing to act in these kinds of ways would bring great sorrow to the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
The next verse in the passage contrasts to the previous verses. Remembering all that Jesus has done for you and the fact that He has forgiven every sin you’ve ever committed and will ever commit, forgive each other. How can you not forgive others when you know how much Jesus has forgiven you? And how can you remain angry with others, how can you hold a grudge, how can you slander others, when you know what you were before you were saved. Holding onto bitterness and malice in your heart is to deny that grace you’ve received.
1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 19 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit.”
The dictionary defines quench as “to put out; to extinguish; to suppress; to squelch.
So how can we quench the Holy Spirit?
By not giving him free reign in our lives. By holding back areas of our life from his control. By accepting his gift of salvation but not wanting to make him Lord of our life. By keeping our faith separate from our everyday life. By not being thankful for the blessings given to us every day.
So quenching and grieving are different. Here’s my analysis.
Grieving is something we do that we shouldn’t. (like lying, disobedience, being angry, holding a grudge, etc.)
Quenching is something we don’t do that we should. (like surrendering, rejoicing, praying, and/or being thankful)
What if I think I’ve grieved the Holy Spirit or quenched his work in my life?
God is patient, merciful, and forgiving. He loves His children. He desires a deep communion with you. He has promised you an abundant life.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Go to God and be completely honest with Him. Confess your sin and you can be restored in your relationship with Him. Then attempt to live your life in a way that would be pleasing to God. Allow the Holy Spirit to direct you.
Galatians 5:16 “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
Galatians 5:22 “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness”
Romans 8:26 – 27 “ In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
God is with us at all times through the presence of the Holy Spirit. This fact alone should bring great comfort to the Christian. The Holy Spirit within us guides us and teaches us the things of God and reveals the truth to us in the Bible.
Listen for His voice. When you hear it, obey, follow, and serve.