Summary: What it means and what the effects of grieving the Holy Spirit.
There are some amazing truths contained in the NT concerning the person of the Spirit of God. I am afraid that because He is unseen, He is so often overlooked. Yet He is so frequently mentioned and given such prominence, that we overlook Him at our own demise.
In our text we are given a command in relation to the Holy Spirit. This command is an negative one: "Grieve not the holy Spirit of God."
I. WHAT IT MEANS TO GRIEVE HIM
A. To upset:
1. Grieve is a word used to describe great sorrow. We use it to describe the sorrow that people feel when a loved one dies.
2. The greater the love, the greater the capacity to grieve:
a) ILL. The Jews noted Jesus’ love for Lazarus at the grave because He wept: “Behold how he loved him!”
b) To grieve at someone’s behaviour would imply that the person was loved.
(1) ILL. If a man discovered that money from his wallet was stolen, he would be angered. If he were to find out it was his own child, he would be grieved.
(2) This reveals “the love of the Spirit…” (Rom 15:30).
B. It is not said that he is angered.
1. God is angered by the sin of those who are not His children.
2. But when it comes to His children, He is grieved.
3. When we know he is grieved, it has a tendency to soften our hearts.
II. HOW WE MAY GRIEVE HIM
A. Bad thoughts
1. Some people think that as long as it stays in the mind, it is OK.
2. He is the Holy Spirit, and even sin that is never committed outwardly but tolerated inwardly, grieves Him.
a) If you think upon lustful things, He is grieved.
b) If you harbour bitter feelings towards others, He is grieved.
c) If you are covetous and materialistic, He is grieved.
d) If you have a critical or negative spirit, He is grieved.
e) If you have a murmuring spirit, He is grieved.
B. Bad actions
1. Acts of commission:
a) When you loose your temper, you grieve Him.
b) When you lie, you grieve Him
c) When you swear, you grieve Him
d) When you blaspheme (eg. O my God), you grieve Him.
e) When you gossip, you grieve Him.
f) When you discourage others, you grieve Him
2. Acts of neglect:
We may justify our actions / thoughts, but the Holy Spirit is grieved.
III. THE EFFECTS OF GRIEVING HIM
A. We do not lose Him
1. "Sealed unto the day of redemption."
2. He will "Abide with you forever."(John 14:16)
3. Never leave you nor forsake you (Heb 13:5)
4. We are not as David who prayed, “take not thy holy Spirit…”
B. But that does not mean we do not lose His power, His felt-presence, His leading, His filling:
1. Most of the practical outworkings of the Holy Spirit are taken away when you grieve Him; his operations are suspended.
2. Christians through the ages have recognised this and hence the songs:
a) Breathe on me breath of God…
b) Spirit of God descend upon my heart…
c) Spirit of the living God fall fresh on me…
3. The Christian is utterly dependent upon the Spirit for a spiritual life, without His power, the Christian life deteriorates rapidly.
C. We lose spiritual joy
1. Fruit of the spirit is JOY.
2. Joy of the Lord is your strength.
3. When that joy is removed, the Christian knows it.
4. "Where is then the blessedness ye spake of?"
D. We lose power
1. At one time we could slay the Philistines, and lay them in heaps, but now Delilah can deceive us.
2. We become so vulnerable to temptation.
3. Our boldness in witnessing disappears and we flee when no man pursueth.
E. We lose comfort
1. The comforter comforts us in our faith, he encourages our spirits and we feel to soar above the clouds.
2. But when we are left to our own devices how quickly things may change…
IV. WHAT SHALL WE DO?
A. We must seek out what is grieving Him and give it up
1. We must not justify our sin but confess and repent of them.
B. We must be sure that we possess the Holy Spirit and are truly His children.
1. There are some that persist in sin, but there is no Spirit within them to be grieved!
2. You are not a possessor of the Holy Spirit until you are born of the Spirit (John 3:6)
Brethren, we cannot afford to grieve the Spirit of God. We need Him too much. Whatever it takes, we must make things right with Him.