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Sermon #4139

Grieve Not the Holy Spirit

A Sermon on Grieving the Holy Spirit from Ephesians 4:30


Ephesians 4:30 ESV KJV
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (ESV)

Sermon Description

What does it mean to “grieve the Holy Spirit?” In this sermon on grieving the Holy Spirit from Ephesians 4:30, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones speaks of Paul’s statement that encompasses all the particulars that he had been talking about in the preceding verses. Importantly, it also serves to differentiate Christian ethics from any other ethical tradition. If a Christian’s morality is not rooted in this purpose and understanding of sinning against God, then it is not Christian at all. Paul’s point is this: any wrong living grieves the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit is the seal of the Christian’s inheritance and indwells those who are saved. All sin runs counter to the character of God and grieves Him greatly. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that when one becomes a Christian, their relationship to God becomes one of love instead of one as a lawbreaker. Thus, when one sins, they must not be grieved because they have broken His law, but rather because they have sinned against His great love for them. Understanding this, it is easy to see why it is such a serious thing to sin and grieve the Holy Spirit. How can this be countered? Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that the Christian must constantly be aware of the Lord’s presence. As people are reverent around royalty, Christians must remember that God is constantly with them and act accordingly. This will drive them to a desire to honor and please Him with their lives.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul often inserts striking statements in the midst of practical exhortations. This verse is an example.
  2. There are differing views on how this verse connects to the surrounding context. It could be summarizing what came before or introducing what comes after. It likely serves as a center point connecting both.
  3. This verse highlights what makes Christian ethics distinct - the Holy Spirit's role. No other system teaches not grieving the Spirit.
  4. This verse captures the heart of biblical sanctification. It's not about rules or self-benefit but honoring the Holy Spirit.
  5. The Holy Spirit dwells within believers, as Paul has said before. Without the Spirit, one is not a Christian.
  6. It is astounding yet true that the Holy Spirit can be grieved. Though God is impassable, for salvation He has entered into relationship with us where He can be grieved.
  7. We grieve the Holy Spirit through unholy actions, words, thoughts, failure to honor His presence, and failure to follow His leading.
  8. We should not grieve the Holy Spirit because of who He is, the ingratitude it shows, the failure to understand salvation's purpose, loss of His manifestations, supremacy of the flesh, and His convicting work.
  9. The Spirit never leaves a believer but may withdraw manifestations and bring conviction to restore the relationship.
  10. We should remember the Spirit's constant presence, the glory He prepares us for, and be careful not to grieve Him.

The Book of Ephesians

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.