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Grieving the Holy Spirit Part II

Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Ephesians 4:32 KJV 1900
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:30–32 KJV 1900
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Paul is completing his thought on grieving the Holy Spirit and as he is doing so he reminds these believers at Ephesus to treat one another in a particular way. He mentions three attributes of this treatment and then gives a supreme motivation for such treatment.
Paul says I want you to think for a moment about what God has done for you through the person of Jesus Christ. In doing so it should help you to exhibit these qualities toward one another.

Review

Last week we were reminded of the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We said:
The Gift of the Holy Spirit
There is no greater gift apart from Salvation that the indwelling Spirit of God
He Councils - leads and guides into all truth
He Comforts - He provides help in distress and trouble
He Convicts - He shows us our sin
He Confirms - He keeps us in Christ
2. The Grieving of the Holy Spirit
Then we said that because of the ministry of the Holy Spirit we need to take heed that we do not grieve him as Paul commanded.
“grieve not the holy Spirit”
When we realize the significance of the Holy Spirit in our life we should be extremely careful not to hinder his ministry!
Definition of grief - to sorrow
Demonstration of grief - Rejection, Rebellion, Resistance
Stephen preaching before he is stoned to death:
Acts 7:51 KJV 1900
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
Defense of Grief - An appreciation for the body, the significance of the Spirit, the attention to put off and put on
Defense of Grief - An appreciation for the body, the significance of the Spirit, the attention to put off and put on
Illustration: Fuel in the gas tank must reach the injectors in order for the engine to fire. If something is impeding that fuel somewhere in the line we would be vigilant in our desire to find the block and solve the problem. Otherwise we are stuck. The same is true with the Spirit of God in our life. We must not grieve or impede his ability to work!

Introduction -

Our Behavior toward one another in the church
The local NT church is a family and much of Paul’s instruction is centered around the proper function and maintenance of that family unit.
We are going to look at one final aspect of grieving the Holy Spirit and it has to do with our treatment of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The instruction Paul is giving is to saved people “hath forgiven you”
The instruction Paul is giving is to Sealed people “sealed unto the day of redemption”
Ephesians 4:32 KJV 1900
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
So the grieving of the holy Spirit has much to do with the conduct of believers one toward another!
Paul says I want you to think for a moment about what God has done for you through the person of Jesus Christ. In doing so it should help you to exhibit these qualities toward one another.
The Contrast Paul is dealing with
The Contrast Paul is dealing with
There is an obvious contrast in what Paul describes as poor behavior and preferred behavior in the body and it is clear from the context that this behavior is related to Paul’s command to “grieve not the holy Spirit”.
Declaration: How we treat our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ will affect our fellowship with God- the Holy Spirit
Preposition: How would we characterize our behavior towards others in the body (all of those in the body)?
Transition: As we give further consideration to what Paul commanded in regard to “grieve not the holy Spirit”. I want us to notice three aspects of our behavior toward one another.

I. The Demand to “put away” Poor Behavior

“bitterness…wrath....anger…clamour…evil speaking”
All of these are selfish immature behaviors as well as emotions and they destroy the church from the inside. Paul exhorts us to put them all away!
“let all...put away” same phrase used in “took it out of the way”
Colossians 2:14 KJV 1900
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Illustration: These behaviors Paul describes need to be completely removed from our lives.

A. The poor behavior of Bitterness - grudge or hatred

We think we are achieving something with bitterness by punishing the offender but all we are doing is poisoning ourselves
Bitterness can come as a result of many things such as:
Jealousy - Joseph's brothers as they sold him into slavery
Mistreatment / Hurt - Peter’s denial of Christ as he was tried and taken to the cross
Hebrews 12:3 KJV 1900
For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Illustration- years ago I was in church and a Pastor did “such and such” I will never go back to church again - .....so you are going to let your bitterness toward a fellow believer (a fellow sinner saved by grace) stop you from serving the Christ who died for you?
Quote - Bitterness is like drinking poison and hoping someone else will die!
Hebrews 12:15 KJV 1900
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
“many be defiled” literally CORRUPTED!

B. The poor behavior of Wrath & Anger - Violent anger

Anger is an emotion that can ruin a person in a similar way bitterness can
Proverbs 22:24 KJV 1900
Make no friendship with an angry man; And with a furious man thou shalt not go:
Proverbs 29:22 KJV 1900
An angry man stirreth up strife, And a furious man aboundeth in transgression.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 KJV 1900
Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
What does it take to make you angry?

C. The poor behavior of Clamour & Evil Speaking- loud complaining

This has to do with our tongue
Most damage in a church is done with a tongue
James 3:6 KJV 1900
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
Ja 3:6
It is no wonder that Paul warns about such things as they are the very things that destroy churches. Paul is talking about unity in the body and specifically about grieving the Spirit and he reminds us that our ability to behave properly toward one another is essential!
Why do some churches seem to have the presence and power of God and some do not?

II. The Direction toward Preferred Behavior

“kind…tenderhearted…forgiving”
The Word of God always has something to replace the old with! Becoming like Christ is really a process of replacement!
Illustration: Replacement

A. The preferred behavior of Kindness

Definition- Act of good will; beneficence; any act of benevolence which promotes the happiness or welfare of others. Charity, hospitality, attentions to the wants of others, etc., are deemed acts of kindness or kindnesses.
Kindness is really about placing our focus and attention on others
Illustration: Husbands need to be reminded to be kind to their wives - after a period of years we become familiar with each other and we take one another for granted - we dont open doors, hold hands - perform acts of kindness. The same happens in a church

B. The preferred behavior of Tenderness

We need thick skin but we also need an interior tenderness
Illustration: M&M’s on a warm day - the shell stays in tact but the chocolate in the middle is melted and tender
Same word is used “pitiful”
Same word is used “pitiful”
1 Peter 3:8 KJV 1900
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

C. The preferred behavior of Forgiveness

Forgiveness does not necessarily mean forget
Forgiveness does not mean that you treat that individual the same as others in all respects
Example: If you let someone stay in your home and they stole money out of your bedroom- they might ask for and receive forgiveness but the same level of trust would need to be earned over time - maybe it will never reach the same level

III. The Desire behind our Behavior

“even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”
The entire summary of what Paul is commanding can be simply rationalized by the fact that God has forgiven us!
WE MUST KEEP WHAT CHRIST HAS DONE IN FOCUS!!
Paul says... I want you to think for a moment about what God has done for you through the person of Jesus Christ. In doing so it should help you to exhibit these qualities toward one another.
Paul says I want you to think for a moment about what God has done for you through the person of Jesus Christ. In doing so it should help you to exhibit these qualities toward one another.

A. Motivated by the reason for God’s forgiveness - “for Christ’s sake”

We did not earn this forgiveness
We did not deserve this forgiveness.....It was given at Christ’s expense
It was given at Christ’s expense
GRACE- God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense
1 Peter 3:18 KJV 1900
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

B. Motivated by the receiving of God’s forgiveness - “hath forgiven you”

This forgiveness was freely given to us!

Conclusion

Review
I. The demand to “put away” poor behavior
II. The direction toward preferred behavior
III. The desire behind our behavior
God desires close fellowship with his children through the holy Spirit. Grieving the Spirit undermines and diminishes that fellowship. Our behavior toward or other brothers and sisters is central to maintaining appropriate fellowship with God.
All of this instruction is to individuals for the purpose of strengthening the body! UNITY!
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