Here is another contentious subject. Many Christians either don’t know or think they know what this expression means. The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:30 (KJV), “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
To get the real meaning of this verse, read the previous verse and the following verses to the end of the chapter. The grief we cause the Holy Spirit is a result of our churlish and childish behaviour.
Instead of having sharp words with one another, we should speak gently. Instead of envy, we must encourage one another. Instead of bragging, we must be humble. Instead of boasting of how talented we are, we must appreciate the accomplishments of others.
How sad it is that people misunderstand this wonderful verse. I’ve been taught that it meant restricting the manifesting of the Holy Spirit by not speaking in tongues. The word “tongues” actually means human languages. As we read in Acts chapter two, people didn’t hear “angelic languages” but the dialects of those attendees at the temple.
The Holy Spirit is also grieved by our wrong actions. More than just slander, our unreasonableness and fractious actions are what quenches the Spirit. Again, it isn’t resisting tongues which grieves and quenches him.
Neither do we prevent the Spirit’s work by not performing signs and wonders. Look at what Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 (KJV), “Quench not the Spirit.” I once was taught by errant teachers that it meant preventing him from doing miracles through us. Reading the whole chapter shows that Paul was writing about fleshly misconduct which is fueled by our pride. The Christian life is others-centred and Christ-centred, not self-centred.
I’ll be writing more about this abysmal misunderstanding of the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work in us in my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? My Psalms 37:4 heart’s desire is to proclaim the Lord’s truth regarding each member of the Trinity. Please pray that I can write and publish this highly important book while there is yet time to do so.