Ephesians 4:30

Don’t Grieve The Spirit


Ephesians is divided into 3 sections { Ch.1-3 Wealth of the believer

Ch 4-6:9 The walk of the believer / Ch.6:10 Warfare of the believer

A) Ch.4 begins that section that focuses on the walk of the believer

    V.1 Walk worthy of our Calling – Our Walk in light of the Church


B) Ch.4 v.17 Don’t walk like the world – WALK IN PURITY

1) Ch.5 – Walk in love / Light / wisdom


C) Ch. 5 & 6 Our Walk in the World / Walk in Family / Walk at work



Now what is interesting to me is that smack dab in the middle of all this talk on our walks – Paul makes this statement here in 4:30

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

A) What a sobering thought – that you and I by our actions and attitudes can grieve the Spirit of God


B) That is such a radical concept that should right away make us aware that the HS is not some power or cosmic force / 3RD person of triune Godhead

1) He has feelings and emotions –


C) Our lives can bring great Joy to the Spirit of God or great grief – that is a heavy thing to consider – Smile on his heart / or a Frown


D) Today I want to consider 4 things about this idea of grieving the Spirit

 1stFact that the Holy Spirit  can be grieved /2nd Causes of Grief /

          3rd The Results of grieving the Holy Spirit  /

 4th – How to get right – put a smile where there has been a frown





1st The Fact that the HS can be grieved

A) As Christians we have a blessed relationship with the HS – He has baptized us into the body of Christ at the moment of our salvation 1 Cor 12:13


B) It was then that he also sealed us as his possession Eph 1:13

  1) He has also indwelt us – Jn 14:16 ,17

                    Our very lives are the temple of the HS 1 Cor 6:19


C)   Once we are born again the HS teaches us Jn 16:2,13

1) HS is moving us toward intimacy with God – Crying Abba father Gal4:6

2) And the HS is our guarantee of Heaven – 2 Cor 5:5 

                          And it is the HS who empowers us for service – Acts 1:8


So we have this incredible relationship with the spirit of God /

A) But w/ in that incredible relationship w/ the HS – is the sober reality He can be GRIEVED !!!!


CHS It is an inexpressibly delightful thought, that he who rules heaven and earth, and is the creator of all things, and the infinite and ever blessed God, condescends to enter into such infinite relationships with his people that his divine mind may be affected by their actions. What a marvel that Deity should be said to grieve over the faults of beings so utterly insignificant as we are! We may not understand the expression literally, as though the sacred Spirit could be affected with sorrow like to human sorrow, but we must not forego the consolatory assurance that he takes the same deep interest in us as a fond parent takes in a beloved but wayward child; and is not this a marvel?”


B) The word grieve here is a word that is related to love. It is impossible for you to grieve someone who does not love you,

1) nor can you be grieved except by those whom you love.


C) If someone who does not love you is offended by what you do, he is not grieved, but angry, enraged.

1) Grief is always an indication of the presence of love.

                                   Therefore this word reveals that God loves us.

Sin everywhere must be displeasing to the Spirit of holiness, but sin in his own people is grievous to him in the highest degree.

A) He will not hate his people, but he does hate their sins. The Spirit would not be the Spirit of truth if he could approve of that which is false in us:


B) He would not be pure if that which is impure in us did not grieve him.

1) We could not believe him to be holy if he could look with complacency upon our unholiness;


C) nor should we think of him as being perfect if our imperfection could be regarded by him without displeasure


D) The Holy Spirit is in us, as Christians, in order to help us, to bless us, to strengthen us, to teach us how to live.

1) The activities that grieve him, therefore, are those that hurt us and harm us and therefore hurt his love.


He is grieved with us mainly for our own sakes, for he knows what misery sin will cost us; he reads our sorrows in our sins.

A) He grieves over us because he sees how much chastisement we will incur, and how much COMMUNION  we lose.


B) He foresees that the backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, and grieves because he foresees the backslider’s grief.


C) A mother’s grief for the wrong-doing of her prodigal son is not so much the pain which he has directly CAUSED her.

1) But rather it is the sorrow which she knows that he will bring upon himself.


D) That is God’s heart toward us – that causes Him to grieve for us over our sin -

1)  So first of all we see the Fact – that we can grieve the HS



2nd Consider the Causes:   Israel –

A) One of the things that was common with the nation of Israel – equally as common with the Church today – Is WORLDLINESS


B) Israel longing for Egypt – later in the History of Israel – Following the pagan practices of the nations around them


C) I have no doubt it greatly grieves the Spirit to see in believers any degree

of love w/  the world.


1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world.17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.


Consider the fact that He has blessed us so much – He gave us His Son

He has given us life



B) And yet He watches us turn our backs on all of that – to seek satisfaction in the pursuit of worldly lust – pleasures


C) Like you as a parent furnishing your Child with a house to live in / Bed room to sleep in / food to eat/

1) They persist in staying the backyard eating manure { Grievous 


Worldliness, in any shape, is very grievous to the Spirit of God;

A) it must displease the Spirit of God, because he calls us a peculiar people, and he tells us to “come out from among them and be separated, and touch not the unclean thing;” and then he promises, “I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters;”


B) But if we will not be separate, how can we expect him to be anything but  grieved!

C) It is grievous to the Spirit of God that we would seek to find any pleasure or satisfaction in that which He has redeemed us out of


The  Spirit of God is also greatly grieved by unbelief. { Israel

A) What would grieve you more, than to have your child suspect your



B) If I go up to some little kid in the mall who is lost – try to help him find his parents – he is resistant – that is painful – because I know where to take him to help him


C) But if I am trying to help my own kids and they are resistant to it because they don’t believe I really want to help them that is devastating

1) Greatest frustration


Same way w/ God – He is grieved more over the unbelief of his own people than that of unbelievers

A) Because unbelievers have never seen what saints have seen-

Never felt what we have felt, never known what we have known;


B) We have seen so much – We know so much / we have experienced so many times the faithfulness of God – Yet we doubt – Inexcusable


C) God forgive our unbelief, and may we never grieve his Spirit more.


The Spirit of God is also grieved by our  ingratitude.

A) Because ingratitude has as it’s root pride that sense that somehow we deserve the blessing God has brought into our lives


B) The HS is also Grieved by our lack of Prayer – Lack of Dependency

So those are all things which can cause the spirit of God to be grieved


C) But now I want us to turn to our text and see what Paul says here about behavior that grieves the Spirit v.31


Eph 4:31  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

A) More subtle, and, therefore, more deadly are these wrong attitudes, the things we harbor within us that we do not let others see.


B) But these are things that God sees in us & it is theses things that grieve the Spirit of God


C) Look at them: Bitterness, what it that? Well, that is a hard heart, Unforgiveness at the core -  cynical hateful outlook toward someone else.

1) Heb 12:15 warns us to watch out for a root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;


See bitterness is listed first here for a reason – it is bitterness that leads to these other things that grieve the spirit of God & defiles others

A) The word wrath means "rage," hotheaded passion, losing your temper, in other words.


B) Anger is a related word that means an inward boiling resulting in a desire to punish somebody, to strike back, to seek revenge.


C) The word for clamor here is a word that means "to shout, to rail, to bawl someone out."

1) Slander is speech that is injurious to someone else -- gossip, rumor spreading. V.29 Corrupt speech – that which is Putrid – smells


D) Malice  the desire to injure someone else.


But notice it all starts with Bitterness – Bitterness occurs when we allow anger to become sin Note v.26

26 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath,27 nor give place to the devil.

A) Interesting concept here – It is possible to be angry and not sin – not grieve the HS –  Jesus was angry – temple – House of prayer den of thieves


B) Paul was angry.  He was angry when he saw how people that he loved were being taken advantage of by false teachers.  Judiazers in Galatia 

1) So it is possible to be angry and not to sin. 


C) But even when we are righteously indignant, we have to be careful that we don’t go over the line and begin to sin. 

1) There comes a point where we have to just step back and not cross that line, because we can be right about something. 


D) We can see a situation and know that that’s wrong.  And we can come in.  But how we respond to it could possibly end up being sinful. 

1) And so we have to be careful.  Be angry; that’s allowable.  But do not sin.  Do not let the anger in you lead you over the line into sin.


I think of Absalom back in the Old Testament, the son of David. 

A) Half brother Ammon raped Abasalom’s sister Tamar – And David failed to really discipline Amnon. 


B) He failed to really do what should have righteously been done with his sin. 

1) And Absalom became angry, and rightfully angry, because of the sin of Amnon.  And the lack of discipline put forth by David


C) But what he ended up doing was letting that anger turn into bitterness. 

1) That righteous indignation—he let it turn into bitterness, and it poisoned him, and in the end it brought him down. 


D) He murdered Ammon and tried to take over his father David’s Kingdom


E) So those are things that can grieve the HS – cause Him great pain and can totally ruin our lives – defile us and others in the Process

1) Now lets consider the results of Grieving the Spirit in these ways – what is the affect it has upon our lives



Result of Grieving the HS ?  Symptoms:

A) Lose your sense of the HS presence in your life – Cold – no sensitivity to the HS { Samson Spirit departed & He knew it not


B) Lose your Joy { No song in your heart CHS Your soul is not a watered garden but a desert wilderness

1) Soon we begin to feel unhappy and depressed, joyless, heavy and listless.

2) Critical spirit – where all you can see is the faults in others


C) Grieve the HS and you will lose all power – Prayers will be weak

1) Grieve the Spirit & the word will become dry – Quenched

     Like the Water spout is stopped up -


D) Grieve the Spirit and your usefulness will cease !!!!


E) Grieve the HS & you will give place to the devil – v.26 do not let the sun go down on your wrath,27 nor give place to the devil.


If you let the sun go down on your wrath giving place to the devil – foothold to the devil

A) The implication is that when you hold on to anger and you don’t turn it over to the Lord for Him to take care of it, you actually give Satan an opportunity to get a foot  hold in your life. 


B) Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath – don’t let that anger turn to bitterness – don’t go to sleep and let it take root – { Night time is root time

1) You know Denise and I in 17 yrs of marriage have never gone to bed angry at each other –


C) Actually tried a couple of weeks ago – Started cracking up

1) Not saying that so you think – we are perfect – { We fight / disagree / many nights up late talking things thru { Give space


D) My point is this: We made this a priority early on in our relationship not to do this/we take this verse literally /so it is hard to do it now { Conviction

Listen the affect of having the spirit of God grieved or quenched is way more than any of us can afford to have happen

A) Sop what do you do if you realize today – I have grieved the Spirit ? You feel dry / Joy is gone / bitterness has taken over – what do ?


31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.


B) We will see Wed – context of putting off the Old / putting on the new like a Coat – off with the old – on w/ the New

1) Worldliness – Repent – turn from the sin turn to the Lord

2) Unbelief – confess it and trust

3) Ingratitude – Confess – Worship

4) Lack of Prayer = a lack of Dependency -  Confess it – Put off the old and put on the new


C) But in this area of our attitudes toward others: - One step further


You may be boiling with rage at someone right now, you may be seething because they have hurt you or wronged you

A) Well, if so, put it away. That is the word of the Lord. Put away these things, let them all be put away.


B) That means to repent of them, change your mind about them, stop justifying them to yourself,

1) stop saying you have a right to feel this way. 


C) Now Immediately when you do this, an ungrieved Spirit within will release to you the love of Christ, the kindness of a God

1) He will produce in you the ability to Forgive .


B) " That is what Christianity is, tenderheartedness, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave us.

"Well," someone says, "you don't know what I'm up against. You don't know what so-and-so has done to me.

A) If you were in my shoes you wouldn't be able to forgive, either. I can't forgive, don't ask me to."


B) I have had Christians say this to me, "I just can't forgive this person."


C) Now LISTEN CLOSE : there is a sense in which this is true. You cannot, you really cannot forgive them. Why?

1) Because forgiveness is Step #2 and you have not done Step #1 yet.

You cannot take Step #2 until you have done Step #1, that is for sure.


D) Number 1 is to put away this wrong attitude.

1) There are always two problems involved whenever a Christian holds a grudge or feels resentment against someone else.


E) There is the situation that caused your feeling, that is one problem.

1) But there is a closer, more immediate problem, and that is your reaction to this, your attitude toward him. That is where the Christian always has to start


But This is our difficulty. We always want to start with the problem that caused the situation, that caused our feeling.

A) But God says, No, first remove the beam that is in your own eye, then you will see clearly how to remove the speck that is in your brother's eye


B) Start with yourself, first. What is your attitude toward this other person? That is where you must start.


C) First, put away bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander and malice. Put it away. This is where the difficulty comes.

1) When we get right down to that place we discover, oftentimes to our own shock, that we do not want to do it.


D) We want to be bitter, we want to be vengeful; we enjoy it. We want to make people squirm & then crawl back to us and ask our forgiveness.

But  If we will obey God and put them away,

A)then immediately the Holy Spirit who dwells within, whose task it is to give us that character of Jesus Christ which made him the worlds most attractive man,

will immediately begin to release to us the tenderheartedness and the kindness of Christ and we can forgive as God in Christ forgave us.


B) That is a wonderful measuring stick, is it not? Forgive, as God in Christ forgave you.

1) That rules out such things as, "Well, I can forgive him but I won't forget." God forgot!


C) It cuts out anything like, "I'll forgive him but I'll never speak to him again." God speaks to you again, does he not?


D) How did God in Christ forgive you? Have you forgotten that?

1) That is what He wants to do in us – First start with the attitude