Grieving the Holy Spirit

[This is a reprint from the old blog, and I believe it to still be relevant.]

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

~ Eph 4:30

You know, there just are some Scriptures that sting, and Ephesians is a book that can really sting. This Feast, however, Eph 4 really hit me hard, as I have found myself lacking in my attitude. The Holy Spirit seals us until the day of redemption, that is, when Jesus returns. Grieving the Holy Spirit is not something any true Christian would want to do. So, that begs the question, “How do you grieve the Holy Spirit?”

First, what does not grieve the Holy Spirit? Backing up to the beginning of the chapter, we read:

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

~ Eph 4:1-3

Paul continues on to talk about unity in more depth, speaking of “one body, and one Spirit”, so it is obvious that unity is a very important leading up to the part about grieving the Holy Spirit. Doing the things that cause unity, such as walking worthy, being humble, being patient, being loving, all show the attitude of the Spirit. Causing disunity, then, grieves the Holy Spirit.

What causes disunity? The answer is right before the verse, as the “and” indicates that it is at the end of a thought.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Neither give place to the devil.

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

~ Eph 4:25-29

Lying does not bring unity but brings friction. Being angry will cause friction, even if it is unintentional. Allowing Satan to influence us in any way, which leads to sin, causes hurt and does not bring people together. Stealing, not working and filthy language do not bring unity. These are some of the things that grieve the Holy Spirit.

Sin grieves the Holy Spirit, which was the case in King Saul’s life. The Holy Spirit was taken from him because of constant rebellion. However, Ephesians shows that even things like anger can grieve the Holy Spirit. Anger is a normal human emotion, but we must be sure that our anger does not lead to sin. If we are angry with reason, we must deal with it. If we are angry without reason, we must let it go.

But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

~ Mt 5:22

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

~ Jas 1:19-20

If that doesn’t hit it hard enough, then right after “grieve not the Holy Spirit”, we read:

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

~ Eph 4:31-32

So, are you angry at anyone today?

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