Sins against the Holy Spirit

Published 11:36 pm Friday, September 5, 2008

A Spiritual Awakening will involve repenting on the part of saved believers. An experience that can lead us to repentance is to consider our sins against the Holy Spirit. Consider three ways the Bible says that a saved believer may sin against the Holy Spirit.

First, you may lie to the Holy Spirit. In Acts 5:3, the Apostle Peter said to Ananias, “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Ghost?” How does a believer commit the sin of lying to the Holy Ghost? It is done by pretending before others that you are more dedicated and faithful and obedient to God than you really and truly are. Secretly you may know that you are not what you have led others to believe that you are. The particular action of Ananias and his wife was to pretend they were giving all to God and to the church when they were secretly doing otherwise. From the pulpit to the pew, each believer needs to do much soul searching about any and all secret sins that we are pretending do not exist. Let’s quit lying to the Holy Spirit; let’s stop living a lie.

A second sin against the Holy Spirit is what the Bible calls “grieving the Holy Spirit.” In Ephesians 4:30, we are told what attitudes and actions of a person will grieve the Holy Spirit: “bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (NIV). Do you have unforgiveness in your heart? Do you have continuing anger and bitterness toward someone? Do you hold malice (desire to see another suffer) toward someone? If you have a yes answer, you are grieving the Holy Spirit! Verses 30-32 say to get rid of those feelings, attitudes and actions by falling on your knees before the cross of Jesus Christ and remember how much “in Christ God has forgiven you.” Quit grieving “the Holy Spirit of God.” Jesus can help you do it.

A third sin against the Holy Spirit is what the Bible calls “quenching the Holy Spirit”. I Thessalonians 5:19 says, “Quench not the Spirit” (KJV) or “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire” (NIV) or “Never dampen the fire of the Spirit” (Phillips). Bad fires destroy good things. The good fire of the Holy Spirit produces good things. Just as the good fire in a stove produces delicious food as we cooperate with it; likewise the fire of the Holy Spirit will produce good things in us if we do not dampen (quench) the flame. The Holy Spirit is the fire within us to produce life changing Bible study, bold witnessing, Christ like character, effective prayer, peaceful relationships and true worship. The Bible is saying, Let the Holy Spirit fulfill his purposes in us and in “our” (His) churches. Therefore, do not dampen the Spirit. Do not quench the Spirit. Let the fire of the Spirit burn within us. God help us to quit quenching the Spirit, beginning now!

Note: Charles Christmas is a religious columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears each Saturday.