Do We Grieve The Spirit
Last week we looked at what is meant by resisting the Spirit, what it comes from and the consequences accompanied by it. We saw that the peril of resisting the Spirit is that of those who are not born again. And we also found that the only place in the Bible that this word resisting is used, is in the sermon of Stephen in Acts 7:51. We see there that the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is resisted. Today we will look at what grieving the Spirit is, who does it, and how it affects God. To grieve is to pre-suppose the residence of the Spirit as the comforter that is dwelling within.
The peril of grieving the Spirit is that of those who, born of the Spirit, born again, born from above are indwelt by Him. In the word resisting, the peril is in reference to regeneration. In grieving the Spirit, the peril is in reference to the indwelling of the Spirit. It is mentioned in Ephesians 4:30, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." The word literally means, to cause sorrow, to make sad. It is a real challenge to think of God as sorrowful, but He uses this word through the apostle Paul to show that it is possible to bring sorrow to His heart, by one who is filled with the Holy Spirit. Do not let this action described, be minimized, or taken lightly, that which causes sorrow or make the heart of God sad.
Paul's appeal is not to keep up a list of standards or laws, that since we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, that we should do all to the praise of the glory of His grace. "That whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”(1 Cor. 10:31) We have offended the God that has loved us “in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”(Rom.5:8) "If you walk in the Spirit, you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.”(Gal. 5:16) "Be holy as I am holy.”(1 Peter 1:16)
In Hebrews 4:15, the writer states that we have a high Priest that sympathizes with our weaknesses. However much we hurt, He seems to hurt all the much more. We have a God that is full of compassion and is merciful(James 5:11). To define a word like mercy, would be something like this: the ready willingness of God to relieve the miseries of His fallen creatures. He certainly is touched with the feelings of our infirmities, and thus can be grieved by a child of His. G. Campbell Morgan states, "Whenever He is thwarted, whenever He is disobeyed, whenever He gives some new revelation of the Christ which brings no response, He is grieved. The heart of God is sad when, by the disobedience of His children, His purpose of grace in them is hindered."
The things which grieve the Spirit are spoken of by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 4, so that we need to lay aside the old self and to put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. This is the ongoing work of Sanctification that the Holy Spirit is primarily involved in. Charles Spurgeon says, "Search diligently for the sin that has grieved the Spirit, give it up, kill that sin upon the spot, repent with tears and sighs, continue in prayer, and never rest satisfied until you have by His help have done just that." Though the Spirit of God knows of no emotions of suffering, yet it is shown to us by His inspiration of Paul's words, that in human terms, He is grieved. May the Lord grant to us mercy and grace not to grieve the Spirit. Next week, Lord willing, we will look into part 3 of our series, what it means to quench the Spirit.
Elder Randy Slak