Ephesians 4:30 A Warning to the Saints: Grieve not the Spirit – Holy Spirit #25

Ephesians 4:30 A Warning to the Saints: Grieve not the Spirit – Holy Spirit #25

This will be message number 14 on the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. What is important here is in all the messages I have tried to cover different dimensions, different angles, a different way of approach because probably the most important thing that we’re seeing is if you want the sequel to the unfolding drama of the redemption of fallen man, from Bethlehem, to Calvary, to Pentecost, the upper room, to this present day is God revealing Himself to the human heart, to the new man, new creature in Christ, the divinely ordered life that He places in each and every one of us as we are born again from above. And I think because this subject does not get that much attention or it gets caricatured by people who are maybe not that well-versed in the Scripture. We have all kinds of ideas about what this person does, how He functions. I’ve told you I’ve been to churches where, like I’ve said, they wave around flags so that they can move the Spirit around. I’ve been in churches, unfortunately; and I say this, I don’t mean, I do not mean to belittle anybody’s form of worship, but if we’re going to look at the Scriptures and be Bereans and read, and see what’s there I’ve seen a lot of things done under the guise of it being something that you’d say, “Wow, that’s an interesting ceremony”” but there’s nothing at all that resembles that in this book we call the Bible, Old or New. I told you the time somebody wanted to, my; those poor shoes that I had, you know the ones that Sylvia put new soles on? I went to a church one time; they wanted to anoint my shoes. And I was thinking, “But I just had those resoled. They’ve got sole, leave them alone!” But it’s important for us to at least set some things in order. Some receive the gift of salvation with simplicity like a child, as Jesus put it, others are constantly letting every wind of doctrine push and persuade them and drive them around. In the Bible there are admonitions, there are, we’ll call them signposts along the journey that are important for us to look at. Just as important as the signposts and the warnings for us on the roads we drive on; in the streets that we travel are these signposts and warnings within the Scripture. One of them which I’m going to highlight today has much to do with a body of people: the church. And every church in every age has the potential to go off on some other track, starting, like Paul said once to the Galatians, starting in the Spirit, but asking the question, “Do you think you’ll finish this journey as you begun it, but finishing in the flesh,” and the answer is absolutely not. Not unless you think that you can do it in your own strength, which God says you can’t; “Without me,” He says “you can do nothing.” So today my text comes out of the book of Ephesians, and if you’d like to turn there, the 4th chapter and the 30th verse which the text reads and it’s, I’m lifting something out, but we’ll have to read the context. Just lifting something out and using it is an error if we don’t understand the context and setting in which it was said. So Ephesians 4 and verse 30, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Now, let me first say this as I’ve been saying this for weeks. One cannot grieve a force; only a person can be grieved. So a lot of people who have used terminology because, in part because of some translations out of Romans where the Spirit is referred to as “itself,” that is the difficulty in trying to translate neutral gender into the English language, rather than saying, “the Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God,” neutral gender. And as I’ve said before the importance and relevance of understanding that gender, the precision of the Greek language, as I’ve said, unlike the Hebrew, which is ambiguous and vague, but the precision of the Greek language, which lets us know that this is not masculine or feminine, which was the case in the Hebrew in the Old Testament when we spoke of the ruach, the breath of God being feminine. Here in the New Testament we specifically have this neutral, so hence the translators when they were translating Romans, it probably seemed wise to them to say “it”” but this is a person, and it’s the third person of the Godhead. So only a person can be grieved, first. Second in the setting of what’s being said here we must ask, to whom this warning is addressed: “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” The text itself, the verse itself makes clear these are not people outside of the church; these are people within the church, saints at Ephesus that at the beginning of the book Paul says that “God chose out from among others He did not choose.” And He calls them saints, simply set apart ones for God. And a secondary portion of this which says they “are sealed unto the day of redemption.” I have translated from another portion of Scripture, another word which is used for “sealing, to be sealed.” We saw that earlier in another message arrabon, which we translated as a part-payment, a deposit. I’ve often used the idea of coat check, you get, you put your coat in, you get a ticket and when you’re ready to leave you have to turn the ticket in to get your coat back. It’s like we’re getting a part of the ticket right now, and when we leave this earth we will get the full thing, in━not here but over there, that’s that concept of arrabon. Here the word for “sealed,” I’ve also dealt with this word, has to do with essentially something that we would say a seal, a stamp, a brand, like we brand cattle and that is the identifying mark that says it belongs to this farmer at this ranch. Picture it as God’s signature upon the believer’s heart that says, “This one’s Mine.” Now the people who are the eternal security, ‘once-saved, always-saved,’ they love this word because they say when one has received the signature upon the heart of God it is impossible to fall away or to do otherwise. Well, this is why Paul gives this; it’s a painful warning to these people. We’ll deal with the whole context in a minute. And I’m going to say what I’ve said here, what my late husband has said, “Text out of context is error.” Quote anything as just a snippet without looking at the big picture of what was said and you’re playing with fire, you’re trying to make a point and force an issue, or drive home your doctrine which is not there clearly within the text. So we’re going to look at the whole body as we normally do to treat this in its most correct way. I want you to think of the text, “grieve not the holy Spirit of God,” as first of all the first time where the full title, “the holy Spirit of God,” appears, although Paul will mention the Spirit or the Holy Ghost in other, in other parts, but this is the full, full title “the holy Spirit of God.” So we know we’re not dealing with the spirit of man and there is, there are references in the Bible to the spirit of man, the spirit of a man which is different than the Holy Spirit of God. For example, when Christ’s disciples were praying, He asked them, “to watch and pray,” and they fell asleep. You remember that? They fell asleep and He said, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”” and He was speaking of the spirit of a man. This is the same thing that Paul talks about in Romans 7: the thing that you want to do, you don’t do, and the thing you don’t want to do you find yourself doing, the will to do may be there but the flesh is weak and cannot. So this concept of grieving, what is written here for us, I would say it’s much more painful; put this in perspective so we can get a little more proximity to the text; it’s much more painful to be badly treated by somebody that you love, that you know and you love that’s close to you, than someone who’s a stranger and not too close. You know, the person who’s not too close it, it’s not as cutting as someone that you are close to, your own child, your brother, your sister, mother, father; whoever it is, your husband or wife; that hurts more. And think about this the Spirit person; the third person of the Godhead has been given to us, dwells in us. So I want you to think of it in that perspective, the proximity; which we, I say “we”━I include myself━fail many times to realize the proximity of God, He lives in me, is striking when you consider, and each and every one of us━it’s applicable to me, it’s applicable to you, our, our outlook, our understanding falls terribly short of Who is with us. And within this text as I go back and I’ll read it, we’ll see why it’s important to kind of understand it that way, what is worse: to offend somebody, even though all offenses are not good, but to offend someone, to hurt someone who is close to you in your heart, versus someone who’s further away? It hurts more to the one that you are right next to, that you’re close to. So think of that in this setting. There is a text out of the writing of Zechariah and the question is, “What are those wounds on thy hands?” This is a prophetic word, a future time speaking of when Christ returns. And the answer is, “Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.” Much more painful because, why? “He came to his own, and his own received him not.” Much more painful, because God sent Him for this purpose, but He was rejected. So think of that in that way. Now we could talk about proximity, and I’ll, I probably will revisit that concept as I go, but right now let me read the text and let’s figure out in this setting in which this appears, and that’s the most important thing. In the setting in which this appears, obviously Paul did not write chapter and verse, that came later, he wrote a letter. But if we’re going to try and figure out how we might piece this together, we’ll start at the beginning of the 4th chapter, and I’ve put labels in my Bible. If you have a Bible like mine on page 1467, if you have a Bible like mine you may have a header that says, “Oneness.” I scratched that out and put “Unity,” because this 4th chapter essentially for us is Paul’s trying to show or explain in this letter the design of the church, which even early on in its very infantile stages, as we know we read in Corinthians, schisms began early on. Now I don’t know, I’m going to say this as a sidebar, I don’t know if those things happen because of the egos of people, the egos of men and women. If schisms happen because one seems to think like a Miriam mindset, “Moses, you’re not the only one.” I’m not quite sure how these things happen or people just vehemently, maybe the leader of those, of a church goes so far off the deep end that somebody says, “I can’t follow,” I get that. But here we’re looking at Paul’s writing a letter to instruct the church to stay together, he says, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.” And that’s kind of interesting. How many people do you know that are forbearing one another in love? Do not look at your neighbor, “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all,” I like that. “But unto every one of us is grace given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherewith he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now the he is ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists.” I’m reading straight King James, “and some, pastors and teacher”” for a purpose. Not for entertainment, not for your pleasure, not for you to agree and say, “Yes I like this, but I don’t like that,” for what? For the bringing to completion: “For the perfecting of the saints,” for a specific goal, “the work of the ministry,” not your best life yet, “the work of the ministry,” not what is pleasing to you; “The work of the ministry, for the edifying,” the building up, “of the body of Christ.” If this, just this one part of this writing could be heralded loud and clear today and people with sensitive hearts and open minds could receive this there’s no telling what the church could do, because there really is only one purpose of the church. It’s not to act as an entertainment center, as I said, it’s not to provide tantalizing materials; it is to provide the gospel message of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, His finished work at Calvary that you and I may be reconciled back to God, what Adam ruined in the first estate, that the last Adam came to fix, clarify, remedy, that we might have communion, now and life eternal with our Lord. And that’s━just put a period right there. There isn’t really anything else that one could expound upon and say, “And this too.” Miss that one first basic thing and you’re not describing the church. We’re clear, right? (Yes, Ma’am.) Good, because I don’t want to be thinking that maybe there’s somebody here that came and said, “Aw, I came here for the entertainment today.” But, “Till we all come in the unity,” you see that the word is being repeated, “unity,” “unity,” “oneness,” “unity,” “to the unity of the faith, and to the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man,” this is the description right here: “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” And that admonition will be carried into the last days when we talk about the spirit of Antichrist, and Antichrist himself where it says, “Even the very elect will be deceived.” The possibility is there. This is why I tell people, stay in the word. There are plenty of other books to read, but this, this is your primary book; this is the one you stick with. You can━it’s not like I’m against other things, educate yourself, but know what exactly you’re being cautioned about. “But speaking the truth in love, that you may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ,” there’s another picture of unity right there, “from whom the whole body,” another picture of unity, “fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. This I say therefore,” now we begin to understand; if the first portion of this, the first 16 verses refer to everything coming into unity that is joined to Christ for the building up, for the edifying now this is the, we’ll call it the practical application. Obviously the fact that he had to say certain things here, tells you clearly that there were certain things at Ephesus that needed to be corrected, much like at Corinth. So now here’s the, the address that ties into our passage: “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from,” life, “from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard him, and ye have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: that ye put off concerning the former conversation,” behavior, “the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man,” so put off concerning the former behavior, “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And”━hold that thought for a minute. “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” I’ll finish the few two verses that remain: “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” If you just keep reading on, you get the gist that this is, it – chapter 5 is really a continuation of the last verse. In context; what can we glean, in context: “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption”? Well, the first thing we can glean from the Greek, this verse begins with Kai, and this; I hate to do this to you, but I have to do this. If you hate grammar, just bear with me. This is a coordinating conjunction, “And.” That means it is equal with what came before. In Greek you’ve got hyper-coordinating, which means if it’s “hyper,” what comes after is more important (this is a very simplified version), or “sub” which means what came before or possibly what comes after maybe of lesser, of a lesser degree of importance, but a coordinating conjunction simply means that is on par, equal with what came before and it connects the thought of what came before. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to use of edifying,” of building up, “that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And,” there’s your coordinating conjunction, “grieve not the holy Spirit of God.” So I make my first point which is that verse 30 is really connected to verse 29 and effectively connected to everything that came before in a series, we’ll call them of behavioral admonitions to the people at Ephesus. Why is this? Why, because it’s quite certain that they received the gospel just as we read, they, he called them “saints of God, chosen of God, chosen out from among those who weren’t,” but there existed still some things that if one wasn’t sensitive to understand through other writings of Paul, including this letter, how God has translated us from the kingdom of darkness into His kingdom of light and how He is changing us from the inside. If it wasn’t enough for these people to hear that, then these admonitions were given. You notice, not too much teaching is done for chapters 4 and 5, not too much teaching is done out of those. People are scared to touch that because, for some reason, it will appear as though, “Well, what is the pastor trying to tell me how to live?” No. Paul is. Paul is, I’m not telling you. I tell you work out your salvation with fear and trembling, but if you’re going to work it out, you’d be in this book and you realize real quickly that you and I, all of us corporately, we’re probably a far ways away from this. And it’s not that I want to strive to achieve this in my flesh or in my own will, but rather the things that the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit of God will do in me will be remarkable when I yield myself to Him. An unyielded person, saved, but unyielded will constantly be at war at reading these verses and saying, “Well, you know,” again, “Who does she think she is?” Well, I don’t think I’m anybody, but I know the apostle Paul was definitely a messenger writing to these people who definitely had a problem, and these problems have not gone away through the ages, so I suggest we look at them; a pretty good idea and quite novel, isn’t it? So here we have a coordinating conjunction, Kai, “And,” which connects with the previous thought, and then something interesting here, may lu-, lupeite, and this is━so, may is the negative for “do not” and lupeite, “grieve” and this is quite interesting even if you don’t like grammar. This happens to be a verb, we’ll simplify it, in the imperative. He’s not saying, “If you think,” or “If you like.” He says, “I strongly caution you, I urge you to not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” And as I said, this is the first time the full title appears: to pneuma; to pneuma to hagion tou Theo, “the holy Spirit of God.” I’m going to just acknowledge that it’s there. I’m not going to write it out. I would like to write out these few words here, which is what is said: “whereby ye are sealed.” This is kind of important, just to show you en ho and this es-, it’s kind of an interesting word, -phragis-, -phargisthate, -gisthate. This “sealing” that occurred, I mentioned this in another message, is simply in the passive. That “sealing” says I didn’t act to do anything; God sealed me with His Spirit, I received; it’s a passive. He wrote His name, like the song, He wrote His name upon my heart, claiming me as His, passively. So it’s not something that I activated, and the thing that I can activate that I’m admonished to be careful about is to not grieve the Spirit. Now why do I, why am I going in this direction? Why, because it’s worth our time to pull this apart. There’s something else that said “sealed unto the day of redemption,” which I don’t know if we really constantly think about on a daily basis. It’s some subject, I guess, when we hear the term “the day of redemption,” it sounds something quite maybe poetic in its sound, but in reality, if we think about it, let’s call it the day that we stand before Him. And then it puts it all in perspective. I used to think, I used to hear people say they envisioned holding on to Dr. Scott’s coattails. Friends, it doesn’t work like that. Each person will have to stand by themselves, alone. Now we’re not standing at a place where ultimate judgment will be meted out because of the blood of Jesus Christ. That’s why Romans 8 is important: “There is therefore now no ultimate condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,” but will we stand and give account? Absolutely. Will we stand and be rewarded for the things we’ve done, the things that we have in the application of the things we’ve understood as God’s way for us? Absolutely. So it’s important equally if we can look at it that way, “the day of redemption” sounds far removed, to kind of peel this apart and see some simple lessons of what the Holy Spirit here does. A warning to our hearts and our minds that we have the ability and power, just as we have the ability and power to grieve people we love, we have the ability to grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Now I’m not asking for hands because if this is not a subject that you’ve even considered, it won’t matter to you, but to anybody who’s ever sat in your own time quietly in your own prayer, in your own, call it confession and talking with God, sometimes I think there must be for anyone who’s earnestly looking to God, there must be a time when you ask if maybe this thing, this one thing or these many things have crossed the line. Have you ever talked to God that way, “Have I crossed the line”? Well, if you’ve asked the question, it means you still have the sensitivity, that you have not grieved the Spirit away. You know what it is when you’re so callous and you get to the point, somebody keeps injuring you in life and you’re not even looking at the Bible, you just see the injuries over and over and over again, and you get desensitized, you get callous and then you just don’t care. That’s exactly what it is to grieve away the Holy Spirit of God, you will not have a care; it will not bother you. You will not be disrupted at all in your thought process, but if you even sat for a moment and asked, “Is this, is this thing so displeasing to You, Lord?” That you even care enough to ask suggests you haven’t, but it also suggests going back to this passage and figuring out that there’s something that Paul is speaking to these people which should speak to us. And again, I’m saying something to you which is really careful. It’s a very cautious, I’m treading very carefully. These are Paul’s words to a church that could be easily influenced by its surroundings. And we are, we are easily influenced by our surroundings. If you just take a look, and I don’t want to say too much about this, but if you just take a look at how our culture is influenced by the media to where we will now be taking information, whether it is true or false, and because we don’t have any way of verifying it, we take that information and we essentially “accept” it as the truth. Unless you’ve come to be in a place where you realize that most people, they have their own definition of the truth and are really not interested in the truth but in their own agenda, and therefore whatever means they must accomplish and must do to communicate to persuade you to think their way. And that’s become the media. Now I’m sure that that’s very popular thing I just said, but it is what it is. The church at Ephesus could be persuaded much like people today can be moved by certain things in the media. I realize when we talk about, and I’m not here to talk about politics, but when we talk about how people are persuaded to think. No, you should be your own thinker in terms of, now as a sidebar, the things that are your civic duty, the things that are your responsibility as a citizen. These should be the things that you contemplate, you think of, you research, not you’re persuaded by, you listen to one station and the station tells you this, and, “And the Lord spoke through that station and said&.” So we have the ability and the power to thwart, to grieve the person of the Holy Spirit, and we’ll talk a little bit, we’ll synthesize something of the passages that are here and perhaps it will give us a little clarity on a few other notes that we can take to ourselves. I know I constantly need to revisit this. It’s an important place, but I get; it’s overlooked because it’s so difficult: how do you approach this? How do you tell people without saying━well, I’m not telling you, I’m asking you to read what Paul wrote and that’s the best way I can phrase that. The second or third thing here is perhaps the final place for us to focus our motivation through this passage. As I said earlier, we’re dealing with a person, so we’re not dealing with a force or an influence; only a person can be grieved. And if we examine the setting of this text and if we examine many other examples where we could, we could then say we understand lifting it out of its setting and seeing through the Scriptures how this may be applied. There’s one glaring one for example in the book of Acts and I’ve referenced it, talking about grieving the Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God is what Ananias and Sapphira did. And there’s a whole host of people who would like to argue for their vantage point, for their benefit. They’re not really interested in what saith the Scriptures, they’re interested in what they want, how they want it and putting a halo around it and calling it church and God’s will. This is the sin of Ananias and Sapphira, and the question is asked to them why they lied to the Holy Spirit in withholding property, and essentially property equaled money, to lay at the apostles’ feet, why did they do this thing when the whole community was participating, but obviously, first the husband, by the way, is killed for lying and then the wife. I think we could probably take from that lesson, and I’m being super-serious, we could take from that lesson that continuing to lie to the Holy Spirit like Ananias and Sapphira may not bring somebody collapsing right there on the floor, but they do become as dead men walking. When you put it in perspective like that, it puts a whole new meaning on that passage, because there are people who are turned over to a strong delusion, they believe a lie and they’re damned. And if at; this is very serious, but it’s my responsibility to bring these things up to treat the whole subject, not just the light, fluffier stuff that we like to talk about; the gifts and the fruit and all the wonderful stuff that is there, but also the negative side, the potential that we all have. I don’t, I’m not looking at you; I said all, the whole body, all of us have. Neglect of prayer, neglect of putting God first; all of these things, you put in the context of this passage, could have the potential. And that’s not to say, “Well, what? How do I even breathe?” We’re not going there. I’m not; this is not a list of do dos and don’t dos. This is understanding there is a potential for us to grieve, to make sorrowful, to sadden, to make heavy, or even one passage, one translation said, “disrupted in communion.” And I, I just simply think it’s important in this series to point out the possibility does indeed rest with us. God gave us this wonderful gift. We can always reject, we have free will, we can reject, we can refuse, we can turn away, and in fact, there’s a passage out of Isaiah 63 and verse 10 that talks about how Israel, the prophet Isaiah says, “Israel rebelled against God, and vexed his holy Spirit; and God became their enemy.” And he’s speaking of the children of Israel in the day that they were delivered out of Egypt’s bondage. At one point, God said, “I’ve had enough!” And some people don’t even read the Old Testament to find out that He strew their bones in the wilderness. He, at some point, said, “I’m done.” It’s like “Okay, enough already━forty years of this stuff? Come on.” Now we have, we’re living in a new dispensation, thank God. But the idea is even the prophet of Old understood it was possible to vex the Spirit of God. Here we have the word “grief.” What does the lesson out of this verse tell us about this divine person? He is the one who essentially is given the pen and ink of God. God directs, we have God the Father and the Son doing their work and the Spirit is essentially given, forgive me for anthropromophisizing and making this a pictorial thing here, maybe even a caricature, but the Holy Spirit, the person of the Holy Spirit is given the pen and ink to write God’s name on your heart. So when we look at His work, His work is to illuminate, to speak to the mind and to open up the mind to the things spiritual; that process, by the way, is not a once and for all. Have you ever owned something and lost it? It might be misplaced for a time or you truly lost it. You know, it’s like those pens people give you at Christmas. You know, they’re beautiful and love them, “Oh, it’s my favorite pen,” right? You use it as much as you can and then you put it down somewhere and then somebody says, “Oh, what a nice pen” and they take off with it and it’s gone. And you’re back to using the good ole Bic pens again, right? It’s kind of like that. It’s possible. So I think I’ve, I’ve opened this up enough. God is never going to act on the human heart against our will. And I could give many examples of this, but I’ve been referring to this both here in the pulpit and on Festival to say, “To whom ye yield your members,” Romans 6: you yield yourself to God, you become a become a yielded vessel unto God, unto righteousness; you yield yourself unto the flesh, you essentially become a tool of the devil, the world and the devil. So it should, it is, it comes back to yielding. And if you remember, I taught out of a passage out of Galatians, which talked about coming under rank and file, stoicheion, the rank and file of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding us. So you can decide to come under that leading, listen to the voice that is speaking to your heart and listen and act upon that, or you can willfully turn away and say, “No.” This is why the writers of, the writer of Hebrews says, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” It’s needful for us to understand God is not going to say, “Now I got you! And I’m going to reel you in like this”” It doesn’t work that way. In fact, we spend most of our time, we heard the first message, “Come, put yourself on the altar,” Romans 12, we spend more time trying to shimmy off of the altar because it’s so scary! What will happen to me if I actually submit and place myself there? So we spend more time trying to get away, but there is a good, as I said, a good reason to present this. There is a catalog, if you will within the verses I’ve read that sum up for us, we’ll say conceptually, why we ought to pay attention to this. Now it is impossible in the climate, in the world we live in, it is impossible for us to not be effected. Our vernacular, the way we talk, the things we hear, we’re, our brains are constantly being infiltrated by outside things that, whether you like it or not, and I’m certainly not a legalist or a fundamentalist or a puritan, but they do contaminate our minds. You know for every step and every step you make with God in God’s word that you, you take one step forward, a strong step, the devil will ensure that there are three or four steps for you to take in the wrong direction to weaken that position. And the truth of the matter is if you follow some of the giants within the book that we’ll say, even momentarily, might have grieved God’s Spirit, although the Spirit was not yet given in the way that we understand in the New Testament, you just take a look at Abraham and his, he’s told specifically he’s going to inherit this land, “Go and claim it,” essentially, but then he wanders off because a famine comes. He wanders off into Egypt. I ask you a question. How many altars did Abraham erect in Egypt? None. And what did God say to him? “Go back to the place where the tent and the altar were at the first. Go back there.” In other words, that’s like our New Testament, “Repent, and do your first works over.” There’s never a time where God will not give us an opportunity, if we’re earnestly looking, that He won’t give us an opportunity full of grace and full of love and full godly correction to get up, point in the right direction, and try again. Do you realize there’s only one place in the Bible, and it’s Christ’s words, He says, “All manner of sin against the Son shall be forgiven.” It’s staggering, but He says there’s this sin against the Holy Spirit, which is unpardonable, and He spells out what it is. And it’s too bad; it’s a great tragedy that that Scripture is not highlighted more for people. That passage I just referred to is referenced in Matthew, in Mark, there is some scant reference to it in Luke and maybe a cloaked version of it in John, but specifically out of Matthew and Mark where the Pharisees are accusing Him of doing the healing and all the miracles in the power of Beelzebub. These are Pharisees and scribes who should have known their own writings, they should have realized that this indeed had to be the Son of God, the Christ, and yet they accused Him of doing this in the power of Beelzebub. And He says, “All manner of sin shall be, against the Son, shall be forgiven,” why? Because the things that He was doing, if you read it real plainly it makes perfect sense to me the things that He was doing were essentially brought on by the power of the Spirit. The Son and the Spirit acting simultaneously, He’s saying, “It’s not against Me. These things, you’re saying it’s an evil spirit. I’m telling you it’s being done by the Spirit of God.” Now you’ve got people still today who will walk around and they’ll make comments about people and say, “Oh, that person’s, that person’s a devil! That person’s full of the devil.” They don’t even know them, they don’t know what they stand for, and if that individual━now there are people that are full of the devil out there, okay. I’m not going to deny that, but if you really listen to the heart, the guts of what’s coming out, especially pastors in the pulpit in their sermons, and it’s the word of God, then you have to really look at when somebody says, “That person has a devil or they have a demon,” that that’s no different than what the Pharisees and scribes did to Christ: “By what power are you doing this?” And this is why Jesus says, “All manner of sin against the Son shall be forgiven.” That, that should tell you that when Satan comes to whisper in your ear that you’ve done something so bad━He says, “All manner of sin; all manner of sin against the Son”━that should, that should flood your heart with comfort that no matter where you’ve been and what you’ve done, out of our Lord’s mouth Himself, He says, “No matter what it is, you’re forgiven. Just this one thing that’s unpardonable.” That should flood your soul, if you’re sitting here perplexed and frustrated and feeling down because you can’t figure out how to get rid of what’s inside of you, He says, “It’s all forgiven; that’s forgiven.” Only the devil comes and says, “Oh, let me remind you about this. Let me tell you about really what, what really is the thing here.” No, what really is the thing is what the Lord said: all manner of sin against the Son shall be forgiven; one sin He calls unpardonable and that’s the sin against the Holy Ghost. And He explains in detail in that passage what it means, not discerning, like Esau, not discerning spiritual things and from whence they are coming. Now if the spirit of a man or a woman is speaking about the spirit of a man or a woman’s things that are things of the earth, earthly and worldly, versus someone who’s standing and talking to you about the things of God. And I’m telling you something, it’s really difficult in this day and age for people to have enough patience and mental harnessing to listen to the things of God, because we live in probably the greatest time of “I want what I want and I want it now. I want it instantaneously,” versus “I will pray and I will keep praying. I will not cease to pray and ask and wait on the Lord.” Ha! So I mentioned, for example, Abraham, who as I said, could have grieved away. Can you imagine had he tried to erect an altar in Egypt? But he didn’t. He could have stayed in Egypt, but he didn’t. And there are many more of these in the Old Testament; I could mention a plethora of these. I mentioned Jonah given a second chance and when given a second change, that Spirit of grace that came upon him to go and preach at Nineveh. There’s a spirit that we read about, about Naomi. The same thing is true of her. In her great lament, she no longer wished to stay in Moab, and if you read her story she could have decided to stay there. That would have been easy! That’s the comfort of the world, the comfort of whatever, but she made that uncomfortable journey back to the place where God desired her to be and God blessed her there. Out of her deep crisis, God blessed her there. Out of famine, God blessed Abraham. Even out of a bad judgment and trying to escape the hand of God, God still gave second chance to Jonah and blessed Jonah and his preaching at Nineveh. My point is if we’re sensitive enough, we won’t carry through with this whole thing, the grief that we can, it is possible that we can, just as we can grieve a person in the natural we can grieve God’s Spirit away. And if you look at this setting once more I tell you it’s quite important for us to realize the possibility of what we’re able to do if we’re not aware. I told you this is a gift God gave us for a purpose. And the wonder of this; this is the miracle, this is why I think some people may be totally bored with what I’m saying, and if you are my apologies to you that you are bored, but for those people who are not bored, let me tell you what this, what this subject stirs in my soul. It stirs the fact that God identified me, and I’m going to speak for me, you speak for you. Let it speak to you. God identified me in my worthlessness. God identified me when I didn’t know Him. God identified me when I didn’t love Him. God identified me and said, “That one’s Mine,” and sent His Spirit, this is Romans 5: “God shed his love into our hearts,” how? By the Holy Spirit, wrote His name on my heart and said, “This one’s Mine.” Now the choice still remains for me, I can refuse, I can reject, I can do what I━I have free will, but He said, “This one’s Mine.” It thrills my soul that I can look back and think, you know, we used to sing a song here, O What a Savior; it thrills my soul that I have a Savior like that: “O what a Savior, hallelujah!” I think about Him dying at Calvary and I think about it just for me. Forgive me, but that’s what each one of us should do: just for me, if only I responded, if only you responded. And then the magnificence of Him sending a portion of Himself, in the mystery of the Godhead, into my heart to say, “This one’s Mine”” and in turn giving me the understanding that this is, this is my way home. In this world, while I’m here I recognize I don’t really fit in, I don’t really belong, but the person dwelling with me says, “I’ll take you there. I know the way back. I was there. I know the way back. This is how I’ll take you there.” That floods my soul with incredible joy that I don’t have to fret about the worry when the time comes that the Lord comes to call me away that that precious Spirit given to me will lead me into His presence. You don’t just somehow make it there. God has provided a way for you to enter into His presence when that time comes, through His Spirit, and what a wonder that He did that. When I think about that, it floods my soul, so yes, where, where sin abounds grace abounds much more. Where the tumult of live comes in and things that may lead me to the brink of, and yet I come back to read this passage, the whole passage, and I realize the unity of the faith, the building up the body, the equipping of the saints to remind us constantly that God has not left us. He’s given us the tools. I’ll perhaps on Festival I’ll talk about the tools in prayer and in worship. And if you want to go as far as reading into the 6th chapter of Ephesians when he talks about the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, which no saint can survive and fight the principalities and powers that are around us without this tool and this equipping. So when I think about this, it brings me to almost a fresh reality that, yes, much like when I think about we have kids in the kids’ church, you know, you go into the kids’ church and where the young kids are and you really, you think a little bit differently. I hate to say this, but it’s the truth. You think, you think a little bit differently when you open your mouth, don’t you? That’s not like I will do something that sounds “Christian.” You think about something for the sake of the child, you think about that child, how it is vulnerable to the hearing of anything that is coming its way; sound waves that are heard while you are not in his or her presences. And I think about this the same way. It’s a sensitivity. It says I’m not trying to avoid certain things because they are and they will be in my life, however I will be a little bit more sensitive in practicing an awareness of His presence that perhaps will not let me cross over that line that Paul admonishes the Ephesians to pay attention to. That gift that is given, I’m going to tell you straight out, there are many different opinions on this. Some have asked, I’ve had people ask me, “Do you believe that if somebody crosses the line that God will withdraw His Spirit?” Well, I just said that the Spirit is the way into God’s presence and we all must stand, so the answer to that question is no, but the operation of the Spirit within the believer, I believe, changes. And all you’ve got to do is look to the Old Testament and what God did indeed do in type is remove His Spirit from Saul and place an evil spirit upon him, but this is why the caution is given multiple times in the book of Hebrews and many times over for us. And that is not the case to say that, as I said, a sensitive soul in prayer, if you’re still talking to God about something that has burdened your heart that you feel heavy laden about and you’re still worried about this thing before God, I tell you straight and plainly it means that God’s Spirit has not left you, because you’re still concerned about displeasing Him. You’re still concerned about the thing before Him, not before your brother, your sister, your wife, your husband and anybody else, but before Him. And that burden still being there, the gentle, what I call the gentle hand of God lets you work it out with Him and gives you another chance as I referenced Abraham, I referenced Naomi, I’ve referenced Jonah, I’ve referenced Peter many times over. The Lord foretold Peter’s denial, yes? But don’t you think when He saw Peter and their eyes crossed as He was being led out and Peter was warming himself by the fire that there had to be a degree of grief in the reality that what He said, even though when He speaks it’s true and it comes to pass, but He saw in the flesh the reality of fallen man. The same mouth that said, “Thou art the Christ” could do this thing. And it’s the same thing that operates in us, the same ability for us to say, “I love You, Lord! You’re my Savior,” and then to turn around to do something that would be displeasing to God. Now I cannot, I cannot go further than this, because to go further than this brings, not only it brings us all under the ire and that looking glass for which I am not your inspector. I don’t judge people, I don’t condemn people, I don’t say, “Ha ha! You’ve been caught red-handed up there.” But rather what I say to you is if we’re sensitive and we’re really reading the Scriptures to learn more about God’s way, then we’ll let the sensitivity of the Lord in this passage speak to us, minister to our hearts and help us in our walk. Does that mean that we will accomplish the opposite of the things we’re admonished not to do? No. It simply means we’ll become aware of them and awareness is a beginning that then God can say to a yielded vessel, the clay on the wheel, “Stay still just a minute longer while I help you to understand what exactly I’m trying to do with you.” As yielded clay, God can finally make what He wills, which is little Christs; His church in His image and likeness. And I pray to God that that’s what this message will bring in our hearts today, in Jesus’ name. That’s my message. You have been watching me, Pastor Melissa Scott, live from Glendale, California at Faith Center. If you would like to attend the service with us, Sunday morning at 11am, simply call 1-800-338-3030 to receive your pass. If you’d like more teaching and you would like to go straight to our website, the address is www.PastorMelissaScott.com

6 Replies to “Ephesians 4:30 A Warning to the Saints: Grieve not the Spirit – Holy Spirit #25”

  1. This is the 14th Sunday Service message on the Person and Works of the Holy Spirit. It is #25 in the series, which includes additional in-depth teaching from the “Festival of Faith” weeknights at 7:00 p.m. Pacific.


  2. Hands down, best sermon on this verse ever! Thank you Pastor Scott, for keeping us aware of the cosmic struggle for our souls and the narrow path that only the Holy Spirit can guide and usher us into YHWH’s brilliant presence thru the promise of His Son! Tharsei

  3. Great lesson too bad facebook is down and I can't share this yet. I'm involved in a debate with my roommate who attends the Methodist church which is having a big debate on whether to ban leadership who are PRACTICING HOMOSEXUALS, and also to ban gay marriages in the church on the east coast. The west coast wish to teach 'progressive' Christianity and allow/ordainance of Practicing homosexual leaders and elders as well as bless and allow gay marriages by the church. I for one do not believe the bible is 'progressive', it is what it is, says what it says and tells us God is the same yesterday, today and forever. I am NOT for banning ANY sinner from the church for all sin is the same in the eyes of God, but big difference in repentance and nonrepentance. In asking forgiveness and walking a path the bible teaches, praying and keeping in Gods Word, and knowing stumbles will happen but you get back up and continue on walking with God… NOT living in sin, Not intentionally deciding to do what humans feel is right. However Teachers are held to a higher standard and living and practicing what the bible says is sin, and a church blessing gay marriage and the practicing of what the bible condemns is not something that changes or can be progressive in the bible.. to tickle ears, to say 1 sin is worse than another, to openly welcome practicing sinfulness greives the holy spirit.. but I guess that will become clear in the end.

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