Summary: Part 1 of the series will examine three aspects of grieving the Holy Spirit. This sermon is an adaptaion to one I found a while back.
Grieving the Holy Spirit
Part 1 – To Resist, Grieve & Quench
Rev. Bruce A. Shields
First Baptist Church Tawas City Michigan
Welcome to the First Baptist Church of Tawas City Michigan.
We are glad you are here this beautiful morning, joining us in our worship and praise of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We’ve spent the last couple months discussing the Fruits of the Holy Spirit and how we can develop and display them in our lives as Christians, and how they can only come from the Holy Spirit and cannot be reproduced in any other manner.
This week we will begin our series on Grieving the Holy Spirit, and how we can actually prevent God from working in our lives and growing us because we stop the Holy Spirits work within us.
Today I want to focus on the importance of the Holy Spirit for our Christian experience.
There are three specific aspects of the Holy Spirit’s work, regeneration, indwelling and equipping.
Therefore we will look at three specific “do nots” which concern the Holy Spirit and His relationship with us.
These three “do nots” being;
Do not resist the Holy Spirit.
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit.
And do not quench the Holy Spirit.
We will begin today with the first of these, “Do not resist the Holy Spirit.”
Our scripture reading today is in Acts 7:48 – 53.
Stephen is addressing the Sanhedrin in the same tone as Moses when he conveyed God’s rebuke to Israel.
“48… the Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says:
49 ‘Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord.
Or where will my resting place be?
50 Has not my hand made all these things?’[l]
51 "You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53 you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it."
PRAYER FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT AND UNDERSTANDING
DO NOT RESIST THE HOLY SPIRIT
To resist the Holy Spirit is a determined rejection of His purposes and plans from a human perspective.
Resisting is the action of a hardened heart towards God, and as a consequence of that hardened heart; the person does not perceive or recognize the opportunity of grace when it comes.
We see here that Stephen while addressing the Sanhedrin reminds them of the resistance of his own people.
How God had sent prophets to the people so they may hear His word and be delivered.
Yet, time and time again the people resisted His mercy.
This is why Stephen exclaims in verse 51, “You stiff necked people…You always resist the Holy Spirit…”
Everything carried out by God on earth is through the Person and Office of the Holy Spirit; to resist Him is to resist God, for He is God.
They resisted the Holy Spirit by resisting the plan of God.
Earlier in Chapter 7 we read of Stephen reminding them of how Joseph was sold into slavery and how they did not understand they had sold their deliverer.
How they dealt with Moses, refusing him, grumbling against him because they did not comprehend he was sent by God to lead them.
How they treated all the Prophets of God with contempt.
Persecuting and rejecting them, not understanding they stood in the presence of the gates of Hell when they resisted the Holy Spirit of God.
Even when God Himself came, they persecuted and killed Him.
Why? Because they did not understand He was their deliverer.
Stephen tells them ‘Now you have betrayed and murdered Him’.
How different this is from what we expect to hear in modern preaching.
We always want to hear the ‘feel good’ message.
The sermon that makes us feel like everything is OK, and we are doing all we are supposed to be doing.
Stephen was preaching the truth.
And the truth was that these people were resisting the Holy Spirit, and contradicting everything they said they believed.
But they did not receive the truth, because the truth was not in them.
Nothing has changed.
Today people still resist the Holy Spirit.
There are people who have had revelation of God’s purpose in their life, church people, who have heard the Gospel, yet have not given themselves the opportunity to respond to the truth because they resist the Spirit of God.
There are some here today who even ‘till this very hour resist the Grace in the Gospel of Christ.