Stop Grieving The Holy Spirit
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Ephesians 4:30-32 "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
30 "και μη λυπειτε το πνευμα το αγιον του θεου εν ω εσφραγισθητε εις ημεραν απολυτρωσεως 31 πασα πικρια και θυμος και οργη και κραυγη και βλασφημια αρθητω αφ υμων συν παση κακια 32 γινεσθε δε εις αλληλους χρηστοι ευσπλαγχνοι χαριζομενοι εαυτοις καθως και ο θεος εν χριστω εχαρισατο υμιν."
I begin by defining the word "grieve." The Greek word lupeite - lupeite (loo-pe-ite) which means to cause sorrow or heaviness. The English word means the same thing - To make sorrowful; to give pain of mind to; to afflict; to wound the feelings.
We grieve at the loss of a loved one or a close friend. We may grieve at the loss of property. We grieve at the misfortunes of others. We grieve for our own misfortunes. And, I can tell you after working with parents for more than thirty years now, nothing grieves a parent like the conduct of a rebellious, wayward child. Proverbs 17:25 attests to that -- "A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him."
A heart-rending illustration of human grief is when Jacob is told his favorite son Joseph is dead (though he had been sold into slavery) – Genesis 37:31-35.
My purpose in sharing these two illustrations of human grief is to help you to understand the grief that we can cause the Holy Spirit of God when we sin. When I examined the Greek construction of verse 30a it would read this way: "Do not make it a habit of grieving the Holy Spirit" or "Cease grieving the Holy Spirit." It is obvious that some of the Ephesian believers were habitually grieving the Holy Spirit by they behavior. We know that they were believers because verse 30b says, they were "sealed unto the day of redemption."
The word translated "sealed" is the Greek word εσφραγισθητε – esphragisthete (e-sfrag-is'-thette) which carried the idea being set apart or marked , and secured, and in this case for the full and final salvation all believers will receive at the Rapture.
Since our Salvation is secure, Paul charges believers not to
grieve the Holy Spirit. Paul then lists some of the things that
grieve the Holy Spirit. This is not an inclusive list.
John Chrysostom (347-407 A.D.) made this observation - "Bitterness" begets "wrath"; "wrath," "anger"; "anger," "clamor"; and "clamor," the more chronic "evil-speaking," slander, insinuations, and surmises of evil. "Malice" is the secret root of all: "fires fed within, and not appearing to by-standers from without, are the most formidable."
Bitterness here is an irritable state of mind, which produces harsh, unmerciful, and hard opinions of others. Hebrews 12:15 gives us a stern warning about bitterness - "Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;"
An illustration of the high toll that bitterness takes on a person is found in the life of Sigmund Freud. Armand M. Nicholi, M.D., professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, explains that Sigmund Freud died at the age of 83, a bitter and disillusioned man. Tragically, this Viennese physician, had little compassion for the common person. Freud wrote in 1918, "I have found little that is good about human beings on the whole. In my experience most of them are trash, no matter whether they publicly subscribe to this or that ethical doctrine or to none at all" (Veritas Reconsidered, p. 36). Freud died friendless. It is well-known that he had broken with each of his followers. The end was bitter."
It is surprising how many people I have talked to, who profess to
be Christians, yet indulge the spirit of bitterness. This grieves
the Holy Spirit and should be confessed as sin and forsaken.
The word wrath indicates a hot outburst of anger.
In my counseling I have often dealt with people who tried to justify their angry outbursts by saying, "I was just blowing off steam and I felt better afterwards." However, the person to whom the anger is directed did not feel better. The Bible says, "He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly." Proverbs 14:29 (see also Proverbs 15:18, Proverbs 16:32, Ecclesiastes 7:9).
Outbursts of temper grieve the Holy Spirit. We are to put them
The idea here is a settled, lasting resentment. It is a chronic
anger. Daniel 3:19-23 illustrates this kind of anger that
carries out it revenge upon those to who it is directed.
Clamour is loud threatenings, and other extreme speeches
asserting the supposed grievances by which bitterness, wrath, and
anger, vent themselves. Christians should not entertain these vile
passions in their hearts and not be clamorous with their tongues.
is reference to all kinds of slander and
injurious speech directed at those who are the object of a persons
Malice is the vicious mindset that is always looking out for opportunities to revenge itself by the destruction of the object of its indignation.
These six things grieve the Holy Spirit and believers are to be put away form us. This phrase is on word in the Greek αρθητω – artheto (ar-the-toe) that means to make a clean sweep. We are to clean these things, which grieve the Holy Spirit our of our lives.
What are these sins to be replaced with?
This means to be kind and gracious as opposed to being harsh. I
like what Clarke says in his commentary - A Christian cannot be a
savage, and he need not be a boor. Never put any person to needless
Tenderhearted means to be compassionate and merciful.
The word means to be ready and willing to forgive.