Grieving the Holy Spirit (Spurgeon)

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        I was reading through Spurgeon notes and sermons on Grieving the Holy Spirit and thought I’d post some of his thoughts and teaching on this.  I think you’ll enjoy this and find it quite thought-provoking. ( click here for more on “Grieve not the Holy Spirit” Eph 4:30)

(notes/ phrases taken from Charles Spurgeon 1859 sermon no. 278)

       And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30

       Notice the bible does not say “Don’t make him angry” but instead it reads “Grieve Him not”.  Some people are barely moved when someone is angry with them, but who cannot be somehow moved when we know we have caused someone grief? For grief is a sweet combination of anger and of love. Love sweetens the anger. Perhaps you wouldn’t care much if you made someone angry without cause, but to grieve that person and without intention, would cause you distress of heart and you would not rest until this grief had subsided, until you had made some explanation or apology or had done your best to take away the grief. When we see anger in another, we at once begin to feel hostility. Anger begets anger, but grief begets pity and pity is next to love and we are to love those we have caused to grieve.  Grieve not the Holy Spirit; do not cause Him to mourn.

The Love of the Holy Spirit for you

     Oh, how He loves you! It is difficult to put into words, except to look at actions. Look back on your life from childhood and see how the Holy Spirit searched you out in love to stir up your conscience and correct us on account of our youthful sins. How often has the Spirit of the Lord gone after us. How often have I remembered his guiding?  He has whispered in our ears “ My son, give me your heart, go to thy chamber, shut they door , confess thy sins, and seek a Savior’s love and blood” –and how often or not have we listened and obeyed? How often have we put those words aside? But blessed be his dear name, that He has never let us go! Though our steps were leading us straight to the fires of hell, he sought after us to pluck us from the fire. He wrestled with us and would not let us destroy our souls. Oh, how many times have we ill-treated Him? Wasn’t it the Holy Spirit who guided you to Jesus? Who opened your blind eyes and your deaf ears to hear of a pardoning love? Who opened your clasped hands to receive the Savior’s grace? Though we are all still learning, He is our blessed instructor and continues to lead us into many truths. The Spirit comes down to dwell with us stubborn, unruly wild colts to teach us the mystery of the kingdom and make known to us the wonder’s of a Savior’s love. He has helped you in all your labors; He has comforted you in all your distress. He has filled you hearts with peace and Joy in believing. How many times would your heart be broken if He had not bound it up? He bound up your wounds. He teaches, preaches, commands with authority, how many of us are willing to do this- to bear with unbelievers, with sinners, and to search out the troubles souls helping them find compassion? How wonderful is the Holy Spirit, who would stoop down from heaven to become a comforter to us. 

            We, ourselves, groan within our spirit which the spirit hears and it reaches the heights of heaven to the ears of Christ. He is full of tender compassion, he helps us in our infirmities. He gives us strength, and we cannot say it is on our own accomplishment. He has so sweetly enabled us, and how often have we forgotten to thank Him, must we not admire His love? Must it not be a fearful sin indeed to grieve the Holy Spirit by whom we are sealed? The Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of all God’s redeemed and blood-washed people. Oh, my friends, when I think how often you and I have let the devil in, I wonder the Spirit has not withdrawn from us. He preserves the saints what a wonderful miracle.  It is a wonder that the Holy Spirit is there at all, but he must be daily grieved with all the evil guests, false traitors, that try to enter the heart of man. We often talk about the love of Jesus, but when do you talk about the love of the Holy Spirit? Now we are not here exalting one person of the trinity above another, but I do feel this: that we should love Jesus with all our hearts, and let us love the Holy Spirit too. Do not forget Christ’s cross, let us not forget the Spirit’s operations.

The Holy Spirit Has Sealed You

           The Spirit himself is said to be our seal and our pledge of inheritance. He confirms we are truly the children of God, we are born of God. No faith is true if it is not sealed with the Holy Spirit. The Lord has anointed us and has sealed us and has put the Spirit in our heart. Unsealed faith is like a poison, but sealed faith is true faith.  The Holy Spirit seals us with preservation until Christ comes to fully redeem us.

 Grieving the Spirit

  How can I grieve the Holy Spirit? You may grieve Him with impure thoughts. He cannot bear sin and it grieves Him if your heart is lifted up to anything other than Him. We also grieve Him if we indulge in outward acts of sin. For he cannot dwell in our hearts if we continue to carry on that way. Is you prayer closet cob-webbed? Have you neglected Him? Is your bible collecting dust on the shelf in the back room? Do you not seek to do any good in this world? Do you only live for yourself? As the scripture says “ They have forsaken me, they have left the fountain of waters, they have hewn unto themselves broken cisterns” I can see the Spirit grieving when you sit down to read a novel and there sits your bible unread. Don’t you know how precious this book Is? You have no time for prayer, but the Spirit sees you very active about worldly things, and you have many hours to spare for relaxation and amusement. He is grieved when He sees you love worldly things better than you love Him.

      Take care that He does not go away from you, for it will be a pitiful thing for you if He leaves you to yourself. He is grieved with your unbelief, doubt and worry. (Read Hebrews 11) Do you doubt His trustworthiness? His Power? Let us make a confession, that we have grieved the Holy Spirit. What happens to us when we grieve the Holy Spirit? He is grieved again and again and again, and still bears with us. But finally, when His grief become excessive, He will say “ I will stop my operations here, I will leave” What a miserable state we will be left in if this happens. His instructions we will hear no more, we open the word- but no longer understand. We go to our notes, but they make no sense. Where has our comfort gone? Where has our joy gone? Now there is darkness and no presence of spiritual power. Once we could do all things, but now we can do nothing.. The Lord will withdrawal himself at that time, no longer will light shine, joy will not be found, spiritual power and comfort –all gone. Oh, how thankful I am to the Holy Spirit for the abundance of grace and gifts He fills us with.

  Now consider this: Some may not agree, however, some of the present day churches have grieved the Holy Spirit. For the Spirit deals with the churches just as it does with individuals. Consider this- how many lost are the churches bringing in? Is the pool of baptism unstirred? This is sad, but the churches seem to like it that way. For the Spirit of God is grieved there in our churches and He is gone. He is still present here with us. He has not left us, even though we are unworthy. Oh, how I want to see the Holy Spirit poured out on the churches!!

        Now, go home to your houses and humble yourselves before God and cry aloud that he will visit His church and open the windows of heaven to pour out His grace- that nations would be born in a day, and sinners saved by the thousands- oh, that revival would come. The Spirit of God never leaves His people finally, He leaves them for chastisement, but not for damnation. Sometimes He leaves that they may get good knowing their own weakness, but will not leave them finally to perish. Are you in a state of backsliding or coldness?

      Listen to me and may the Lord bless these words: Brother, do not stay any longer in this condition and in the absence of the Holy Spirit. Use every means so that the Spirit may come back to you. Search out the sin that has grieved the Spirit, give it up, slay that sin, repent with tears and sighs, continue in prayer, and never rest until the Holy Ghost comes back to you. Pray “Return, return, O Holy Spirit return, and dwell in my soul” Yield to Him, resist Him not, and grieve Him not.
              Repent and be converted every one of you, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the lord and remember these words:

He that believeth in the Lord Jesus and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” May the Lord grant that we many not grieve the Holy Spirit. Amen

Pray Psalms 51:
Have Mercy on me, O God
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion
blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt
purify me from my sin.
For I recognized my rebellion,
it haunts me day and night.
Against you and you alone, have I sinned,
I have done what is evil in your sight
You will be proved right in what you say,
any your judgement against me is just.
For I was born a sinner
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me
But you desire honesty from the womb
teaching me wisdom even there
Purify me from my sins and I will be clean
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Oh, give me back my joy again, a
you have broken me
now let me rejoice
Don’t keep looking at my sins
remove the stain of my guilt
Create in me a new heart, O God
Renew a right spirit within me
Do not banish me from your presence
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore me to the joy of your salvation
and make me willing to obey you
Thank I will teach your ways to rebels
and they will return to you
Unseal my lips, O Lord that my mouth may praise you
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit
you will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God