How and why not to grieve the Holy Spirit?

God’s Word teaches that every Christian, after hearing the word of truth (the gospel of our salvation) and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, was sealed with the Holy Spirit.

… who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14 NASB)

The seal is a sign printed by someone with authority and this sign, at some point, must represent and confirm the authority of the person who applied it. The seal of the Holy Spirit is not visible to the human eye, but in the Epistle to the Ephesians, God tells us that we were sealed with the Holy Spirit “for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). The presence of the Holy Spirit in us is the proof of our forgiveness and redemption on the great day we look forward to.

Through the Holy Spirit God builds us

All Christians, who were once very different, are now built by the Holy Spirit to form one dwelling place of God, one body of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit provides us with that unity in the church that cannot be achieved by any group of people or human organization, according to Ephesians 2:22.

Through the Holy Spirit God strengthens us in the power of man from within

The inner man is our spiritual man. Today we live in a world where there are very few strong or powerful people in their spiritual being. Most are spiritually handicapped and unable to live a spiritual life according to spiritual principles. Man has no power in himself to live such a life. The Bible teaches that God, according to the riches of His glory, strengthens us by His Spirit in the inner man (Ephesians 3:16).

In the last chapter of the book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul compares the spiritual strength of our inner man with the military equipment of a Roman soldier and says:

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:13-17 NASB)

All the weapons listed above are defensive weapons, except for the sword of the Holy Spirit which is the Word of God. These weapons give a Christian the strength to stand firm and strong in the inner man, and to be able to stand against all the burning arrows of the evil one, which attacks our inner man, the spiritual man, provoking him to sin, and sin grieves the Holy Spirit.

The apostle Paul lists some of the sins that are committed by the Christian, saddening the Holy Spirit. He says:

Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.  Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger and do not give the devil an opportunity. He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. (Ephesians 4:25-31 NASB)

All these sins listed above, as well as other sins, when committed by Christians, sadden the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.

In closing, I want to ask you a few personal questions. Were you sealed with the Holy Spirit of God for the day of redemption? If this has not happened in your life, why not? How do you strengthen yourself in the inner man, in the spiritual aspect of your being? Are you ruled by the Holy Spirit who dwells in you, or do you grieve the Holy Spirit by allowing yourself to be controlled by anger, theft, lying, and any other sins? Come to God with repentance from the heart and then discipline yourself for a spiritual life to study the Holy Scriptures, pray systematically, and thus grow in the power of the man within.

Translated by Ina Croitoru