Series: Walking the Talk
Message – When the Spirit Grieves
I imagine that if God where only One Individual, salvation would have worked out radically different than it did. I mean, some aspects of it, such as the need for it, the method for redemption, the purpose of it would have remained unchanged, but the dynamics involved and the way in which it works out to and for the individual I believe would have been considerably different.
We see the differences in the personalities between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – that even though their core natures are the same, their personalities are quite different.
An example of this is the tenacity of the Father. He is persistent and unwavering. If He were the only member of the Godhead, I believe salvation would have looked much different in the ways in which it intersects the individual. The Son, Jesus, plays the role of the intermediary between the Father and the world. It is NOT like good cop / bad cop, but there are significant differences in their persons which make interactions with them unique to the individual…and so it is with the Spirit of God.
To offer an example we will capitalize upon in today’s lesson, the Holy Spirit is the only member of the Godhead (so far as I know) Who we are told specifically NOT to grieve! It isn’t that the other members cannot BE grieved, but that the results of grieving the Spirit as opposed to the Father and the Son are significantly different.
Within the Godhead there is a favoring and honoring and deferring to Each Other in keeping with the personality of each member. This usually gets a little kickback from those who think linearly about God. Yes, God is ONE – meaning they are united or in agreement, but that does NOT mean they do not have unique personalities and temperaments. Another very clear example which I often refer to when I teach on topics like this is that We are told that man may be forgiven for blaspheming (railing in anger against) the Father and the Son, but NOT if we rail against the Holy Spirit. Why? Well, the results are different! The Father and the Son both know the gentleness and soft-hearted disposition of the Spirit and that more so than the other members can be hurt in His interactions with man. So they naturally jump to the defense of the Spirit out of deference to Him…and that is nothing more or less than what is right. The Holy Spirit IS God and should therefore be honored before and above the creation.
So, with this in mind, we need to learn how to interact with our partner-gift from heaven in a way which is honoring of His ways and sensitive to His heart. That is the focus of today’s lesson….
Grieving the Spirit
“3 And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”
The word STRIVE means – plead, content, abide with
What is the result of the Spirit being grieved?
Isa. 63:10, “But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; So He turned Himself against them as an enemy, And He fought against them.”
“1 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. 3 For the LORD is the great God, And the great King above all gods. 4 In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also. 5 The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land. 6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. 7 For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice: 8 “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 When your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work. 10 For forty years I was grieved with that generation, And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts, And they do not know My ways.’ 11 So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ “
Gill says about this verse “and take not thy Holy Spirit from me”; or “the Spirit of thine holiness”; the third Person in the Trinity; so called, not because this epithet of “holy” is peculiar to him; for it is used also of the Father, and of the Son, Joh 17:11; but because he is equally holy with them, and is the author of holiness in his people, which is therefore called the sanctification of the Spirit, 1Pe 1:2; and without whom David knew that purity and holiness of heart and spirit he had desired could not be renewed and increased in him; and therefore deprecates the taking of him away; which shows that he was not as yet removed from him, not with standing he had fallen into great sins; and his sense of sin, and confession of it, and his fervent application for pardoning grace, and purity of heart, abundantly prove it. The Spirit of God is a gift of his, which is without repentance, and where he once is as a spirit of regeneration and sanctification, he ever abides: his external gifts may be taken away; but internal grace is an incorruptible seed, and always continues. By sin the Spirit of God may be grieved, so as to withdraw his gracious influences, and his powerful operations may not be felt; and this is what is here deprecated. The Targum interprets this of the spirit of prophecy which David had, by which he composed psalms and songs prophetic of Christ, and of Gospel times, and which was not taken away from him; see 2Sa 23:1.
Is this a once and done prospect? No
Psa 78:40 “How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, And grieved Him in the desert!”
How does this play out in our personal experience?
Reveals truth > eyes to see
John 16:12-16, “12 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. 16 “A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.”
“9 But as it is written: “EYE HAS NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NOR HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN THE THINGS WHICH GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM. 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD THAT HE MAY INSTRUCT HIM?” But we have the mind of Christ.”
Act 11:18, “When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”
2Tim. 2:22-26, “22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”
Will and do
“12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. 14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”
“But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.”
Knowing that the light to repent comes from the inward working of the Spirit of God, and the desire and will to do God’s will comes from Him…
Take time alone and pray even as David did, a prayer of invitation to the Holy Spirit to take hold together with you in addressing the tenancies of your own heart.
Psa. 139:23-24, “(23) Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; (24) And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”
Be intentional and invest the time that is required to work through the kinks in your interactions and fellowship with Him. Trust me, you could not have a more willing partner in this endeavour.
I hope this message will bless you richly…not because I taught it, but because it reveals Christ. He alone is our blessing and if in any way – whether big or small, 100% accurate or even just partially so – I have revealed our great God and Savior to you in a relationally knowable way, then this was time well spent on both our parts.
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