What REALLY Grieves the Holy Spirit?

My perceptive wife asked me that question one day. Ephesians 4:30 says, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."

If God is in a good mood toward me always because of the work of Christ and his continuing ministry to me as the great High Priest, then how can he be grieved? It is interesting that the only reference to God being grieved toward a believer is found right here in this passage. Some will try to say that the context is saying that our sins and failures to obey are what grieve him. But if you look at the context, as in Paul's other writings, he is taking a moment to give short lists of implications of what it means to live from this new covenant identity of being "in Christ" or united to him as the "New Man". Our union with Christ will produce certain behaviors from the inside out. So he is talking about what that looks like.

Then he makes this statement about grieving the Spirit. What does this mean? Read the whole sentence. It is the response of the Spirit of God when we try to undo by unbelief what he has done for us by the work of redemption. After this great salvation, work of the cross and resurrection...after Jesus has been seated and we have been united to him...to try to undo the great goodness displayed in the gospel is the only thing that grieves him! It is working against the very work of the gospel in our lives.

That doesn't mean he endorses sins. It means that He is endorsing the solution to sin.

So what should we do? Believe! Accept his love fully. Say yes, to his yes of forgiveness.  Say thank you for his purchase of your life with his precious blood. Agree with the fact that every spiritual blessing in heavenly places has been given to you. Run with the truth that you have been adopted as sons and daughters, accepted in the Beloved, and forgiven for every sin, past, present and future forever by one single sacrifice! It really makes God happy when you do! 


Photo: © Ivan Chuyev | Dreamstime Stock Photos