Summary: 35th in a series from Ephesians addressing the possibility of grieving the Holy Spirit.
“Grieving the Holy Spirit”
I. Our Wealth and Worth In Christ 1-3
II. Our Worthy Walk in Christ 4-6
A. Live in Unity 4:1-16
B. Live in Newness of life 4:17-24
C. Live in Love 4:17-24
1. Speak truth not falsehood 4:25
2. Be angry without sinning 4:26-27
3. Stop stealing but work with your hands to give 4:28
4. Speak with your mouth to encourage and energize 4:29
5. Stop grieving the Holy Spirit 4:30
And stop grieving the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30
By using a present tense verb, Paul instructs the Ephesians to stop a current behavior.
These believers were grieving the Holy Spirit and Paul instructed them to knock it off.
Not only are we to be careful how we treat one another by purging destructive behavior and practicing positive behavior, we are to be aware of how our sinful behavior actually affects the Holy Spirit. We are to understand how our behavior affects the heart of God.
Somehow we get so concerning about how our actions might the people around us, we forget that the eternal God is also adversely affected by our sinful behavior. Our sin causes the heart of God to grieve.
Several questions rise to the surface in this verse that I invite you to explore with me.
What is grief and what does it feel like?
Who is the Holy Spirit?
What specifically grieves Him?
What core reason should motivate us to stop grieving Him?
The answer to these questions will become the subject of today's message. By the time we finish, I hope we become more aware of how our sinful behavior actually affects God and make every effort to stop it.
What is grief and what does it feel like?
The focus of this verse has to do with the emotion of grief. We know from Scripture that our God is a personal God. This applies to all three persons of the Trinity; Father/ Son/Holy Spirit. The Triune God is not just some energy force floating around the universe or some concept or philosophical idea.
They all have emotions, they all feel.
They feel pleasure. They feel the emotion of giving and receiving love. They feel anger.
They feel jealousy. They laugh and rejoice. They cry. They feel sorrow and pain. And from today's passage, we will explore their feeling of grief.
The word translate “grief” could also be translated sorrow or heaviness.
What does it feel like? It won't take too much probing to tap into this feeling because all of us have experienced it at one time or another in our life to some degree or another.
It's the feeling that rages inside the moment you hear about a loved one being diagnosed with a devastating illness. Cancer, Lou Gerigs, MS, Parkinson’s,
It’s what the disciples felt when Jesus told them he was going to die for the first time.
It's what the disciples felt when Jesus revealed one of them would betray him.
It's the feeling you get when you find out that you personally will have to face a very difficult or uncertain future. Perhaps your own terminal illness. It might be facing a court date or an upcoming interview that will determine your future.
Jesus felt grief in the garden of Gethsemane as he faced with the excruciating task of bearing all the sins of every person that ever lived and will live.
Here’s how Mark reported it.
And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. And He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch." Mark 14:33-34
It’s the feeling you get when you see a friend mistreated. It was the feeling the fellow slaves felt when one of their fellow slaves refused to forgive another slave even after he had just been fully forgiven a huge debt by the master.
It’s the feeling you get when you have done something devastating that can't be retracted. The Bible records that Herod grieved after he was lured into cutting off John the Baptist's head.
It's the feeling you get when you've failed and hurt someone miserably. It's the feeling Peter felt when he betrayed Jesus and then when Jesus appeared to him after the resurrection and questioned him about his love.
It's the feeling you get when someone rejects you because of something you did. Paul told the Corinthians to do forgive a man that had been put out the fellowship but repented lest he be overwhelmed by excessive grief.
It's the heavy feeling that comes when you're under a load of trials.
It's the feeling comes from bad news; that early-morning phone call.