Ephesians 4:30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
Our pastor once said that unapplied truth is wasted truth. Head knowledge is important for the Christian life but if that knowledge never leads to action, heart change, then we are wasting that knowledge. In fact, this is unwise. Wisdom is the proper application of knowledge. Therefore, we strive to be doers of the word and not hearers only as James commands.
This is our first weekly post where we will explore together how we can apply the sermon to our lives. If you need a refresher you can watch the sermon.
Before we do that, I want to answer one question. I have been asked recently by multiple people (outside of Grace church) why we only have one service each week. The answer is simple. We want to make sure the people of God are able to apply what they heard in the sermon. One sermon a week can help us grow in our knowledge of the Scriptures when we go deep into the truth we heard. So that’s that.
Paul has been describing the Christian life in Ephesians 4:25-32 and in verse 30 he tells the saints at Ephesus to not grieve the Holy Spirit.
This presupposes a few truths.
- The Holy Spirit is a person. He is not an impersonal force or an it or even a principle. He is the third member of the holy trinity. An idea or impersonal force cannot be grieved.
- We have a relationship with the Holy Spirit. If I can grieve the Holy Spirit that means I have a relationship with Him. He dwells within me. Here we can pause and ask an application question. Do I have a relationship with the Holy Spirit? In other words, am I a Christian? To be have the Holy Spirit living within me means I am in Christ, I am a Christian. But if the answer is negative and I do not have a relationship with the Holy Spirit then I am not a Christian.
- The Holy Spirit is present with us. He is present with us. He lives, dwells within, has taken up residence in the disciples of Jesus Christ.
Many times, the best way to apply a sermon is to ask questions. I think that’s the case here.
Do I ignore the presence of the Holy Spirit in my day to day life? It is too easy to live life without acknowledging the presence of the Holy Spirit. He is always with us. And when we ignore His presence and sanctifying work, we grieve Him.
My wife does a good job of this. In the hard, difficult moments of the day (normally kid related) I can hear her while I'm working in our home office acknowledging that the Holy Spirit is with her and He is there to help. You may not do the same thing or do it the same way but there is nothing wrong with reminding ourselves that He is present to help us.
Do I acknowledge my absolute dependence on the Holy Spirit? Jesus said that the He was sending the Holy Spirit to be our helper. He is another helper of the same kind as Jesus. He is present in our lives to help us and wants to help us. Do you fight that temptation to sin in your own strength or His? Too often in my own life if I am honest I do it in my own strength and that grieves the one who wants to help me. The very power of God, the Holy Spirit of God, dwells within us. Why would we want to try and do anything in our own strength?
What is your motivation for obedience? Why do you want to live a holy life? Earlier I mentioned that we have a relationship with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we should be motivated to a life of holiness because we love Him. He leads us to do anything that is holy and anything that is not holy in our lives grieves Him. Do I want to be holy because I love God or because I fear the consequences of my sin. There are consequences to our sin, but as a child of God we obey Him because we love Him and have a proper fear of Him and not the consequences of our sin. Why do you obey? And if you are not obeying why do you not obey?
In order to not grieve the Holy Spirit, it could be we need to learn more about Him from Scripture. A good place to start is John 14-16. These are precious words from Jesus that are cherished by His disciples. The application for you could be to learn more and then put that new knowledge into practice.
What are some other ways you can apply the sermon this week? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to message me on Facebook.