Summary: This negative imperative reveals that we all can be guilty of quenching the Holy Spirit. If we do quench the Spirit…it grieves the very heart of God.
Date Written: March 14, 2001
Date Preached: March 14, 2001
Church: BBC (PM) Wed Night
Series: Great Imperatives for the Christian Walk
Title: The Negative Imperative Regarding the Holy Spirit
Text: 1 Thess 5:19
“…Do not quench the Holy Spirit…” [RSV]
The RSV translation of the Bible says, “Do not quench the Holy Spirit” My Bible, the NASB translation says, “Do not quench the Holy Spirit” The KJV translation of this passage says, “Quench NOT the Spirit.” The New Living Translation quotes this verse, “Do not stifle the Holy Spirit!” But possibly the best translation of this passage is the New International Version’s translation which says, “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire.”
This negative imperative reveals that we all can be guilty of quenching the Holy Spirit. If we do quench the Spirit…it grieves the very heart of God. It is a sad occasion because we have deprived ourselves of the Holy Spirit’s caring ministry, and we have also blocked others from receiving the blessings they would have received had we been obedient and not quenched the HS.
Let me ask this question tonight…Have you choked the life out of the Spirit within you? Have you poured water on the creative fire of the HS?
To face these and other questions concerning our reaction to the HS will cause us to plead guilty! That is because we all are guilty of ‘stifling’ or ‘putting out the fire’ of the HS at one time or another.
But how can I avoid the very possibility of quenching the Holy Spirit? How can I avoid a negative response to the loving and caring ministry of the HS?
First I believe we must recognize that the presence of the HS is real and is dwelling within us if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
[Have someone read 1 Cor 3:16 and 6:19-20]
One of the ways we can quench the Spirit is that we fail to recognize that the HS was and is God’s gift to us at the time we are brought into the family…at the moment of salvation.
Paul dealt with this in the Galatian church as many chose to NOT accept or believe that the HS was from God and that they must DO something good to be saved. In Gal 3:2 Paul speaks to them and asks them a rhetorical question. [have someone read Gal 3:2] Of course they knew that the HS was from God and that they did not come by it by their works…but by their faith in God.
I believe that many of us have a flawed view of what happens to the Christian. We sit around expecting some sort of spiritual extravaganza before they believe the Holy Spirit is present in their life.
That is just not true. The Bible is very clear when the Spirit enters our life. In the book of Romans the Apostle Paul dealt with this notion that something BIG had to happen B4 the HS entered into a Christian’s life. In Rom 8:9 he says, “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.”
The mood of this passage tells us that the HS comes in at salvation, and there is not any fanfare necessarily, His coming can be very quiet and calm.
Again as I have said in the past…we are NOT dealing with feelings here, but with the promise from God that when we call on His name with a repentant heart He will save us…and at the time of salvation He has promised to indwell us with His Spirit to guide us.
Feelings are NOT how we gauge God…but we gauge God by His promises. So the first thing we must do to NOT quench the HS or put out the fire of the HS is that we must recognize the presence of the HS when we are saved…We must believe and trust in the promise of God that the HS will enter into our lives!
But recognition of the HS in our lives is not all. To avoid quenching the HS the Christian must also begin to cultivate the fruit of the HS. We must begin to cooperate with the HS and allow His fruit to be borne in our lives.
God’s purpose for saving us is to conform us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ had the perfect relationship with the Father, and God wants us to have that perfect relationship as well…so we are to conform to being as much like Jesus as possible.
The Apostle Paul knew this when he wrote to the church in Rome these words…
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, …