Sinning Against the Spirit

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Do you grieve or quench the Holy Spirit?

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

Have you ever said something to someone that brought tears to their eyes—and then felt terrible for saying it? In the same way, we can make the Holy Spirit sad by things that we do and say.

The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:30 not to “grieve the Holy Spirit.” Literally, this means to make Him sad or sorrowful. And what makes Him sad or sorrowful? We find the answer in verse 31: “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.”

Are you harboring a grudge against someone right now? This grieves the Holy Spirit. We all have people who have hurt us, and I am sure we could somehow justify any reaction. But the Bible tells us if you are harboring a grudge in your heart, then it is a root of bitterness, and it actually brings sorrow to the Holy Spirit.

How about slander? To slander someone means to talk about a person behind his or her back. It is saying in their absence what you would never say in their presence. In some cases, it may be a little truth with a little spin. In other cases, it may be an outright lie to defame and hurt someone. That brings sorrow to the Holy Spirit. That is grieving the Holy Spirit.

We can also quench the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul exhorted the Thessalonians: “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). The word used for “quench” suggests extinguishing a fire, like when you are camping and you extinguish the campfire. We can actually quench the work of the Holy Spirit by unbelief.

Grieving the Spirit and quenching the Spirit are sins that believers can commit. So let’s be careful not to sin against the Holy Spirit.

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