Monday: Grieving the Holy Spirit – Part 1

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Read Ephesians 4:30. Here Paul uses an imperative and admonishes us not to grieve the Holy Spirit. What does it mean to grieve the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is a personal being, not just a divine force. That is why He can be grieved.

Grieving the Holy Spirit

Image © Jeff Preston

But how do we grieve the Holy Spirit? Perhaps we should remember that one of the tasks of the Holy Spirit is to open our eyes to sin (John 16:8). He leads us to Jesus, who forgives our sins and sanctifies us. After all, God’s Spirit is called “holy.” This means that He hates sin. But He rejoices when we are obedient to God in all things and think and speak what is pure and holy. On the other hand, this also means that He is grieved when we cherish anything that is unworthy of our divine calling. Any determination on our part to hold on to sin or to downplay the seriousness of sin grieves Him. Grieving the Holy Spirit is a serious thing.

The context of Paul’s statement in Ephesians 4:30 about the grieving of the Holy Spirit deals with the lifestyle one lived before being converted by Christ, and what came after that conversion. As new creatures in Christ, we should be patient and gentle with each other, forbearing one another in love, and being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:2-3). Being renewed by the Spirit (Eph. 4:23), we are now following Christ, our new head (Eph. 4:15) and so we do not walk in the vanity of our minds, as the Gentiles do (Eph. 4:17). Instead we live a life that is pleasing to God (Eph. 4:24-31).

Whenever we allow any of the negative things mentioned in these verses in chapter 4 to find room in our hearts, and when they manifest themselves in our words and deeds, then the Spirit is sad and grieved. Grieving the Holy Spirit means to spurn His sanctifying presence and His life-transforming power because we continue to willfully sin.

The Holy Spirit is not indifferent to how we live. Read Ephesians 4:25-31, and list the specific moral behaviors that grieve the Holy Spirit. Why is the Holy Spirit grieved by these things?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons