Posts are in reverse chronological order.
What can we do the Holy Spirit?
I was listening to the radio the other day (I think it was David Jeremiah—but my memory may be failing me). He was mentioning two things we could do to the Holy Spirit:
- We can grieve the Holy Spirit. This is when we do what the Spirit does not want us to do.
- We can quench the Holy Spirit. This is when we don’t do what the Spirit wants us to do.
Grieving the Spirit is your normal, everyday sins of commission, although it would seem especially sins of the tongue:
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. (Eph 4:29-31, NASB)
One discussion of quenching is in 1 Thessalonians:
in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. (1 Th 5:18-20, NASB)
This means different things to different people, but clearly quenching the spirit is in some manner resisting the good works we are called to (after our salvation, not for our salvation). Not praying, not giving thanks, not witnessing, not giving to those in need, etc. Quenching the Spirit involves of sins of omission.
The Dreaded Unforgivable Sin
There is another thing we can do to the Holy Spirit. We can blaspheme Him:
And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him. (Luke 12:10, NASB)
This is the “only unforgivable sin”. This causes more than a little concern and some weeping and gnashing of teeth the first time one learns about it. The good news is that we (believers) don’t have to worry about it at all. All the sins commited by believers are forgivable (or perhaps I should say forgiven):
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9).
So then, if blasphemy of the Spirit is unforgivable but God forgives us [believers] our sins then there is only one conclusion that does not give rise to a conflict: Blasphemy of the Spirit is the sin of unbelief. All unbelievers are guilty of the unforgivable sin (along with truckloads of your garden variety transgressions). Believers do not have to worry about the unforgivable sin.
Provocative post on God Changing His Mind over at Thinking Out Loud.
Appreciate the response to my post on the Lord's Supper by the always joyful Joyful Christian.