Summary: Our lives can also grieve the Holy Spirit. How do we cause the Holy Spirit to feel deep sorrow?

Grieving the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 4:30

The Holy Spirit is often the most overlooked person of the triune Godhead. The Holy Spirit is not a force or power,: He is a person. He is God – God, the Holy Ghost. His mission is to bring glory to God the Father by declaring the work of God, the Son. The Holy Spirit dwells within every believer seeking to bring them into full spiritual maturity, and empowering them for service. When we fail to follow His leading we resist Him. When we refuse to listen to His voice we quench Him. Our lives can also grieve the Holy Spirit. The word “grieve” means to feel deep emotional or physical pain, distress, or to afflict one with sorrow. Paul in Ephesians 4:30 literally is saying to us “Cease grieving” or “do not have the habit of grieving” the Holy Spirit.

I. The Holy Spirit is grieved when we willfully disobey.

A. When we sin, the Holy Spirit experiences grief in a manner appropriate to His deity. He cannot stand the presence of sin and hates it when we, His dwelling place, entertain transgression.

B. Habakkuk. 1:13 “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devours the man that is more righteous than he?”

C. There is an illustration of the Holy Spirit being grieved in the case of Israel's sin and rebellion against God recorded in Isaiah 63:10.

D. Isaiah 63:10 “But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; So He turned Himself against them as an enemy, and He fought against them.” The sin of a believer grieves the Holy Spirit.

E. We grieve the Holy Spirit when our lives do not match up with our profession of faith.

F. The Bible declares that the Holy Spirit’s work is to lead us, to guide us in living the Christian life.

G. John 16:13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”

H. When we choose to sin we bring sorrow to the Holy Spirit; Who is dwelling within us 24/7; Who seeks to have unfettered control of our lives; Whose desire is that we make Christ Lord of all. .

I. Luke 6:46 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord’, and do not do the things which I say?”


K. Christians are warned against fulfilling the desires of the sinful nature in Galatians 5:19-21. When you and I do so we grieve the Holy Spirit.

L. John Calvin comments, “No language can adequately express this solemn truth, that the Holy Spirit rejoices and is glad on our account, when we are obedient to him in all things, and neither think nor speak anything, but what is pure and holy; and, on the other hand, is grieved when we admit anything into our minds that is unworthy of our calling.”

M. “If we commit sin if we openly bring disgrace upon our religion, if we tempt others to go into iniquity by our evil example, it is not long before the Holy Spirit will begin to grieve.” – Spurgeon

N. Scriptures warn that if a Christian continues in sin and continues to grieve the Holy Spirit he can experience God’s chastening judgment.

O. Hebrews 12:5-6 “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives."

II. The Holy Spirit is grieved when we disbelieve and doubt God

A. We are commanded in Ephesians 5:18 “ filled with the Spirit.” – to be yielded to the Holy Spirit through absolute surrender and absolute faith in Him and His word.

B. The great object of the Holy Spirit, as revealed in the Bible, is to sanctify the souls of men. Men are to be saved by "the sanctification of the Spirit through the belief of the truth." – Finney

C. When we fail to believe God and take Him at His word or fail to trust His love we grieve His Spirit.

D. Psalm 78:22 tells us that the Israelites grieved God “Because they did not believe in God, And did not trust in His salvation.”

E. Ten times God is described in Psalm 78 as being angry, grieved, or vexed. Disturbed by their lack of faith, God cried, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?

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