Do not grieve the Holy Spirit

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

Parents left on vacation for a week’s trip to Canada. Their recently gradudated teen-aged son had a Summer job and was unable (and probably not that interersted) in traveling with them and so he stayed home alone. He had an old beater that got him back and forth to work but was not reliable enough to go much further. He had some friends camping in an adjoining state and wanted to visit them over the weekend. He had asked his Father if he might use Dad’s 2nd car. Dad said “no”. Nevertheless, the young man used Dad’s car to drive from Cincinnati over to Indiana the one weekend his parents were away. Unfortunately for him, he had an accident!

Dad and Mom arrived home and son had to report. “I had an accident with your car Dad“. Dad was grieved. His son had disobeyed him. He had trusted him and the son had violated that trust.

That son was me. The year was (check out the license plate in the photo (linked below)!). The car was a 1960 Ford Falcon.

This Wednesday’s study will be from Ephesians 4:25-31. My outline is nonlinear but I trust functional:

  1. Members of one another
  2. Sealed by the Spirit
  3. Specific commands
  4. Grieving the Spirit

At the last supper (Matthew 26:17-ff), Jesus announced that one of His disciples would betray Him. The disciples reaction was sorrow: “And they were exceedingly sorrowful”. The word “grieve” in Ephesians 4:30 is translated “sorrowful” in Matthew 26:22. Sorrow is an emotion, a disappointment. We all have experienced this at one time or another.

The Holy Spirit is God Himself, the 3rd Person of the Trinity. He indwells us. He is among us. Our bad behavior grieves Him.

Charles Hodge commenting on this passage wrote:

“The Spirit, says the apostle, is grieved. Not only is his holiness offended, but his love is wounded. If any thing can add to the guilt of such conduct, it is its ingratitude, for it is by him, as the apostle adds, We are sealed unto the day of redemption. His indwelling certifies that we are the children of God, and secures our final salvation. To grieve Him, therefore, is to wound him on whom our salvation depends

I encourage you to read through this passage and be prepared for this Wednesday’s study. Pay particular attention to the specific commands. Eg: 4:25, “Therefore, putting away lying, “ Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another”. The commands are in the form of a negative directive, a positive directive, and the motive for the directive. So for above:

Negative: don’t lie
Positive: speak truthfully
Motive: we are members of one another

With regard to this specific command, can you imagine the implications to your own personal body if your nervous system were to send erroneous messages to another part of your body! Again citing Charles Hodge:

As it would be unnatural and absurd for the hand to deceive the foot, or the eye the ear, so there is a violation of the very law of their union for one Christian to deceive another

While the car is not central to the story, if you would like to see a picture of it click here. That would be my younger brother standing by it!

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