“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30 (ESV)
The Apostle Paul encouraged the believers in Ephesus, and all Christians everywhere, to put off their old sinful pre-converted desires and behavior, be renewed in their minds through the Word of God, and to put on their new regenerated behavior. This new self is characterized by holiness in desire and righteousness in behavior.
What exactly does righteous and holy behavior look like in our everyday world and culture? It is at this point that Paul becomes specific in the practical biblical truth set forth in Ephesians 4:22-24.
Ephesians 4:25 commands believers in Christ to always speak the truth to their neighbors. Ephesians 4:26-27 addresses the subject of righteous anger. Ephesians 4:28 contrasts stealing vs. working. Ephesians 4:29 commands believers to have gracious speech. Ephesians 4:30 addresses the subject of grieving the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 4:30 begins with a present, active imperative statement: And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. To grieve (λυπέω; lypeo) someone is to make them sad or distressed. It is bad enough when Christians grieve other Christians. However, it is even more grievous when the recipient is the Holy Spirit.
Paul describes the Holy Spirit as the One who has sealed (σφραγίζω; sphragizo) each believer in Christ. Therefore, each believer is secure in Christ. This sealing ministry is established until the Lord’s return or the Day of Redemption.
Dr. R. C. Sproul comments that, “That the Holy Spirit can be grieved is an indication of His being a person and not an impersonal force. The idea is not new to the New Testament, as is clear from Paul’s quotation of the prophet Isaiah (63:10). The divisive attitudes and behaviors forbidden (see Ephesians 4:31) disrupt the unity that the Spirit has established in Christ’s church (Ephesians 4:3).”
Let each of us resolve to not grieve anyone today. This especially applies to the believers’ relationship with the Holy Spirit of God. Have a God honoring day.
Soli deo Gloria!