By Larry Ray Hafley
When angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner that repenteth (Lk. 15:7, 10), we can know that “the holy Spirit of God has been offended, grieved, made sad by sin” (Eph. 4:30; Psa. 78:40; Isa. 63: 10). Jesus keenly, deeply and emotionally felt pain as he saw blind eyes, hardened hearts and closed minds (Isa. 53:3; Mk. 3:5). It is no less true today. Angels have rejoiced over me and over you, but only after “the holy Spirit of God” has been greatly grieved.
It is by one Spirit that we have access or entrance unto the Father (Eph. 2:18). That access is implemented by the Spirit through the gospel (Eph. 3:6; 6:17; 2 Thess. 2:13,14). This gospel is that which “the holy apostles and prophets” preached “with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven” (1 Pet. 1:12), Hence, through an obedient faith we are made fellow heirs (partakers, sharers) of the Spirit’s promise in Christ (Eph. 3:6; Rom. 5:2; 1 Pet. 1:22). No wonder, therefore, that we read of “the communion of the Holy Spirit” (2 Cor. 13:14). It is a common, shared relationship, an inheritance, executed by the “holy spirit of God” in, by and through the gospel (Jn. 14:26; 15:26,27; 16:13; 17:17,20).
Every spiritual blessing, every morsel of hope, every mountain of mercy and every ray of grace that we have comes through the Spirit in his law, the gospel (Rom. 1: 16; 8:2; 16:25,26; Eph. 2:18; 3:6). With an “everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,” how do we dare to grieve “the holy Spirit of God”? Surely, only a vile, depraved wretch would curse his aged, loving mother and scorn a sacrificing father. How low am 1, then when I do despite and insult unto the Spirit of grace? That is what I do when I sin. I spurn the only One who has never done an ill thing toward me, the only One who would die for me and gently apply the soothing balm of the gospel when I need it most but deserve it not at all.
So, the next time you are tempted to lie or to lust, to hate or to hurt another, reflect on the grief you will bring, not only to yourself and your soul, but also to “the holy Spirit of God.” Certainly, such thoughts should stifle your tongue when it would lash out in anger; such remembrances should purify your heart from its pride and bitterness and cleanse your hands of evil. “Grieve not,” my brother, “the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 10, p. 295
May 16, 1991