“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption – Eph 4:30.”
Christianity is not a religion of do’s and don’ts. The heart of our faith rests on the good news of God’s love to us in Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, as Christians, we had better be clear about what to do and what not to do.
Here is a first don’t: Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit. Jesus said He would be with us to the close of the age, and He is by His Holy Spirit (Mat 28:20ff). We can grieve only those with whom we have a love relationship. You can hurt your parents, spouse, children, and friends. Your daughter can make you happier than any girl in the world, but she can also cause you more grief than any girl in the world. That’s because you love her, and she loves you. You have power over each other’s hearts.
The Holy Spirit is closer to us than a spouse or a child or a parent. Therefore, we can grieve Him. We can bring sorrow to the heart of God because we have a love relationship with Him. And we grieve Him when we sin. This means sinning is never just about harming ourselves, or the immediate family, or even a whole church or work family. When we sin, we are grieving the Holy Spirit and hurting our heavenly Father.
King David exclaimed when confronted with his sin, “Against You, You only have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight” (Psa 51:4). This didn’t mean that David had not sinned against Uriah and his family, or even Bathsheba, but David knew that first and foremost he had sinned against God, or if you will, he grieved the Holy Spirit within him.
Here is a second don’t: When convicted of your sin, don’t add to it by making excuses. King David didn’t try and justify his sin. He didn’t try to smooth it over, or half admit it or blame his circumstances. King David didn’t say to God’s prophet Nathan, “It’s none of your business, this is just between Bathsheba and me.” On the contrary, King David when convicted of his sin, acknowledged it and pleaded with God to purge him from his sin. And although there are serious consequences to our sin, as there was in King David’s life, God forgave him as He does us when we genuinely acknowledge, confess and repent from sin (1 John 1:5-2:2).
So, sinning is much more than just breaking a rule in the book. When we sin, whether we think it is a private or public sin, it is a ‘big’ thing and should never be treated lightly. Not only did our suffering Saviour have to die for our sin and suffer the wrath of the Father, but we also grieve the Holy Spirit within us.
So, before we allow sin to take hold of us, let us remember that we have been blessed with the Holy Spirit in our lives and He has come to ‘seal’ us as God’s own. By the Holy Spirit, God guides and protects us for the great future, for “the day of redemption,” a deposit guaranteeing what is to come (2 Cor 1:22). That’s why He came to us and stays with us until we are with Him in glory. JZ.