Do Not Grieve The Spirit
“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption”.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is God's seal of approval for anyone who repents of their sins and puts their trust in Jesus but what is the full purpose of the Spirit and how can we grieve the Spirit of God?
Firstly, what is the Spirit's purpose in our life?
The Holy Spirit:
Brings glory to Jesus by revealing Him to us and through us (John 16:14).
Witnesses to us that we are children of God so that we know we are saved (Rom. 8:16).
Wills us to act according to God's good purpose (Phil. 2:13).
Empowers us to be witnesses for Jesus as we are powerless to convict sinners (Acts 1:8).
Guides us into all truth so that the world won't deceive us (John 16:13).
Convicts us of sin so that we will repent and live a holy life (John 16:8).
Empowers us to escape the corruption of sin and live a godly life (2 Pet. 1:3-4).
The Holy Spirit works within us and empowers us to live a godly life. The Bible tells us that “His divine power [the Holy Spirit] has given us everything we need for life and godliness” and “the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:3-4; Rom. 8:4). Our sinful nature will always prompt us to sin but if we live according to the Spirit then we will have the power to overcome the world and no longer be slaves to sin. So, God's purpose in giving us His Spirit is so that we can live a Spirit-led, godly life.
How can we grieve the Spirit?
If we live according to the Spirit then we will please God. However, if we follow our sinful nature and refuse to respond to the Spirit's conviction then we will grieve the Spirit who strives to guide us into holy living. 1 Thess. 4:7-8 say, “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction [to be holy] does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit”. From these verses we can see that ignoring the Spirit is nothing less than rejecting God and this grieves His Spirit.
Eph. 4:30-5:4 say that we will grieve the Spirit if we don’t get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger etc... We should not be obscene, talk foolishly or joke coarsely. All of these things grieve the Spirit because they are improper for God's holy people. Instead we are to be kind, compassionate and forgiving. We should live a life of love and there should not be even a hint of immorality, impurity or greed among us because these things can have a fearful result.
What is the result of grieving the Spirit?
The result of grieving the Spirit is given plainly in Eph. 5:3-7, “But among you [Christians] there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. ... For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them”. These are strong words telling us, as God's holy people, not to allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking that we can get away with being immoral, impure or greedy because God's wrath, hell, will be the outcome. This is why Eph. 4:30 tells us not to grieve the Spirit with whom we are sealed for the day of redemption. (The day of redemption is the day Jesus returns and fully redeems us from our sinful nature by changing us into His likeness - Heb. 9:28; Phil. 3:21).
These verses say that we are sealed with the Spirit “who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption”.
1) Regarding this guarantee: The deposit of the Spirit in our life is our guarantee that we are saved. If we did not have the Spirit then we would not be born again but would still be in our old life of sin. It is only through the Holy Spirit that we are able to live a holy life and have this guarantee that we are on our way to receiving our heavenly inheritance.
2) Next, saying that we are sealed “until the redemption” gives the impression that we will be fully redeemed when Jesus returns, regardless of what we do. However, the following examples show several other more meaningful translations of the word translated “until”:
We are sealed with the Holy Spirit:
looking unto the final and complete redemption (PNT commentary)
for the purpose of and against the accomplishment of the redemption (JFB commentary)
in anticipation of its full redemption (AMP Bible)
with a view to the redemption (NASB Bible).
From this it can be seen that it is more accurate to say that we have the deposit of the Holy Spirit with a view to, or in anticipation of, our full redemption.
So, the deposit of the Spirit in our life is not a guarantee of our final and full redemption but, rather, it is a guarantee that we are saved and looking forward to being fully redeemed. When a deposit is paid to buy something like a house, conditions are put in place. If these conditions are not met then the final purchase can fall through. The conditions of our final redemption are given in Rom. 8:13 which says, “if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live”.
To finish off, in His love, God has sealed us with His Spirit so that we have the Divine Power to live according to His will and to be holy as He is holy. So, let's not grieve the Spirit but humbly repent whenever convicted and ask the Lord to cleanse us of all unrighteousness. In doing this we will be at peace with God and can confidently look forward to receiving a rich welcome into His presence.
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