The Book of Ephesians: How do We Grieve God?

30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” (Ephesians 4:30–31 (ESV)

Yesterday we examined Ephesians 4:30. The text commands believers in Christ to not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. To grieve someone is to cause them pain, distress, or sadness. It becomes apparent that the Christian can and does cause the Spirit of God to be grieved. But how?

The answer to this question is found in Ephesians 4:31. It is in this text that the Apostle Paul outlines six ways in which believers in Christ grieve God the Holy Spirit.

Bitterness grieves God. Bitterness (πικρία; pikria) is persistent resentment and spite towards someone (Romans 3:14; Hebrews 12:15). Bitterness can also be displayed by being terribly envious (Acts 8:13).

Wrath grieves God. Wrath (θυμός; thymos) is an intense fury and rage (Luke 4:28; Acts 19:28; Rom. 2:8). Wrath is an outburst of anger.

Anger grieves God. Anger (ὀργή; orge) is a continuous state of wrath or fury (Mark 3:5; Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:8; 1 Tim. 2:8; Heb. 3:11; 4:3; James 1:19, 20+). Anger is settled and continuing emotion.

Clamor grieves God. Clamor (κραυγή; krauge) shouting and screaming. This behavior is done presumably in wrath or anger. It is a brawling personality.

Slander grieves God. Slander (βλασφημία; blasphemia) is speech intended to defame, malign, and revile another individual. It is hateful speech. It is malicious speech. When directed towards God it is called blaspheme.

Malice grieves God. Malice (κακία; kakia) is a wicked or hateful feelings of emotion. It is ill will.

God commands that all these behaviors and emotions be put away (αἴρω; airo). This means to personally and obediently destroy and execute these unrighteous acts and attitudes.  

Are any of these six on your personal hit list? Which ones would you describe as a besetting sin? Confess and repent of each and every one which is evident in your life.      

Soli deo Gloria!

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