Bible Study on...
Grieving the Holy Spirit
by I Gordon
Main Verse: Eph 4:30 ‘Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption’
This short study will look at what it means to grieve or quench the Holy Spirit and what could be some of the signs or implications of doing so. Not exactly a topic anyone wants to be qualified to talk about, but if you are honest you will know times when this has happened. This study then will first establish who has been given the Holy Spirit and then look at what role the Holy Spirit plays in our lives. From the verse above it is clear that one of the main reasons to avoid grieving the Holy Spirit comes from the fact that he has been given to live within us to the very end. He is with us through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Grieving the Holy Spirit is NOT a sign that the believer has lost his salvation because we are sealed until the day of redemption. True believers are eternally secure. But it does influence our daily relationship with God.
Who has been given the Holy Spirit?
Rom 8:9 ‘However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him’.
Eph 1:13 ‘In him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, having also believed, you were sealed in him with the Holy Spirit of promise…’
From these two passages it is clear that every born again believer in Jesus Christ has been given the Holy Spirit. In fact if someone doesn’t have the Holy Spirit he does not belong to Christ. So its simple, the moment you believe and are saved you are given the Holy Spirit as a seal of Gods ownership upon you.
Eph 4:29 – 32 Grieving the Holy Spirit
To grieve: ‘to afflict with deep sorrow.’
Eph 4:29-31 ‘Let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth, but only such a word that is good for edification according to the need at the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
In its context the Holy Spirit can be grieved when we return to those things from which we should have been set free. All of these things such as bitterness, wrath and anger etc can grieve the Holy Spirit because they deny what has happened to us in being born again.
Eph 4:32 ‘Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.’
This is how it is meant to work: Remember what God has (past tense) done for you. Taking into account all that has been freely forgiven you by God, how can we not then find forgiveness for others? If we were conscious of our own sin and the awesome grace that has been extended to us, how can we remain bitter and angry with other people? The order under grace is that you have been forgiven, so forgive others. The order under law is forgive others so that you can be forgiven. That’s why I said that it grieves the Holy Spirit when we hold onto bitterness and malice because it is a denial of that which God has already done for us, and the great grace we have already received.
1Thess 5:16-21 - Quenching the Holy Spirit
To quench: ‘to extinguish or put out. ie the water quenched the fire.’
1 Thess 5:16-21 ‘Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully, holding fast to that which is good.’
How can we quench the Spirit?
By not doing the things that give him access to control our lives. For example, while we are rejoicing in what God has done for us, continually talking to Him about it, and giving thanks to the Father in all things, the Holy Spirit is given reign to control and work in us. What are the opposites of these things? Opposite of rejoicing may be to moan about our situation. Instead of giving thanks we may be ungrateful wondering what God is doing or where he is. These things can quench (or restrict) the Spirit.
Possible difference between grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit
Grieve is something we do. (We are angry, bitter, have unwholesome talk)
Quench is what we don’t do. (We don’t rejoice, or be thankful or just talk with God)
What does the Holy Spirit do in our life?
This next section will look at the role of the Holy Spirit within our lives and what could happen if the believer had quenched the Holy Spirits influence in their life. I say COULD because…
1) God’s very nature is to be patient and gracious even to his disobedient sons.
2) We may have times of dryness when we are perfectly in Gods will and he is still teaching us but through different means. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the Holy Spirit is grieved if you are going through a hard time.
Rom 8:15-16 ‘… but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out ‘Abba! Father! The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.’
The Holy Spirit gives us an assurance that we are saved and enables us to cry out ‘Abba’, which means ‘daddy’ to God! He shows us how close God has drawn us, making us his own sons. If a person had grieved or quenched the Holy Spirit they could lose that feeling of intimacy with God and even begin doubting their salvation.
John 14:26 ‘But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all the things that I have said.’
The Holy Spirit teaches us and brings scriptures to mind. If he wasn’t doing this the bible would be continually boring as he would not be bringing anything alive out of it.
Gal 5:16 ‘But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.’
The Holy Spirit is holy, and will always want to lead the believer in holiness in any given situation. If the Holy Spirit had been quenched the desires of the flesh would be well and truly evident.
Gal 5:22 ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control; against such things there is no law.
The Holy Spirit produces this fruit. With the Holy Spirit quenched the flesh is in control and produces the exact opposite of these things.
1 John 2:26-27 ‘I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you.’
The Holy Spirit, (the anointing within us) discerns between true and false teaching. Without this a person could jump for anything.
John 14:16 ‘I will ask the Father and he will give you the Comforter, that he may be with you forever.’
The Holy Spirit comforts us in our trials. The root of this word means to exhort, comfort, strengthen, and encourage. Pretty hard going without this!
1 Cor 2:9-12 ‘For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God… Now we have received the… Spirit who is from God so that we know the things freely given to us by God.’
The Holy Spirit searches the deep things of God and reveals them to us! And they are the things freely given to us – Grace! If the Holy Spirit weren’t doing this we would slip back into religion and not see the great things that are given to us because of the cross.
Matt 10:20 ‘For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you,’
The Holy Spirit can speak through us when are witnessing about the Lord, teaching others, giving advice in situations, encouraging other through testimonies etc. If the Holy Spirit was grieved our testimony wouldn’t mean anything. It’s his witness in the hearer that makes something real.
Rom 8:26-28 ‘In the same way the Spirit helps us in our weakness for we do not know what to pray what we should…he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.’
The Holy Spirit helps us in praying, and intercedes for us before the Father! If he was grieved, I think this would be one of the times when His role would increase. He would intercede for us more because he wants more than anything for us to come back into a true relationship with God.
A person who has grieved or quenched the Holy Spirit could find some or all of the following signs: They don’t feel close to God, with little assurance of their salvation; the word would be boring and dead; struggle to have peace and comfort in the harder times; their life would not display the fruit of the Spirit and discernment between right and wrong teaching would be limited. If this were the case then it would be necessary for that person to recognize his sin and repent. Nothing new here! 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.'