This Sunday we remember Pentecost, 50 days after the resurrection of our Saviour and Lord from the dead. We know the story well from Acts 2, when God the Holy Spirit was poured out onto the NT church. It’s not that God the Holy Spirit wasn’t present in the Old Testament, He was, but now in the New Testament, He lives in the hearts of all believers in Jesus Christ.
I wonder sometimes whether we really appreciate that the Holy Spirit is not some lesser person of the Trinity, but is equally God. I have a suspicion that if we thought more about the Holy Spirit as God living in us and His role in our lives, we would be less inclined to sin and grieve God, the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit’s role was to primarily convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:9). These three things are primarily concerned about acknowledging Jesus as Saviour and Lord to the glory of the Father (Phil 2:11). God the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, so that we will run to the righteousness that God has provided in Christ, so that we will enjoy forgiveness and eternal life and no longer be subject to judgment.
The Holy Spirit’s role therefore, is primarily to highlight Christ. The Holy Spirit is a little like the in-ground flood lights that direct our attention to some prominent sculpture or statue. Likewise, the Holy Spirit is not to be the centre of attention, but His task is to point sinners to Christ as the One and Only Saviour. That is indeed what He has done with us and is great reason for thanks.
But there are more reasons to celebrate the Holy Spirit. God the Holy Spirit is also our Counsellor (John 14:16). God the Holy Spirit is our Comforter (2 Cor 1:3-4). God the Holy Spirit testifies to our spirits that we are God’s children, adopted sons and daughters of the living God (Romans 8:16-17). God the Holy Spirit living in us is a deposit, guaranteeing our certain arrival in heaven to be with our Saviour (2 Cor 5:5). So there is much to celebrate about the blessing of having God the Holy Spirit in our hearts and lives. So, let us not take God the Holy Spirit living in us lightly or flippantly.
So then, how do we grieve the Holy Spirit? There are probably a hundred different things, but in summary I would suggest that anything we think, say or do, that doesn’t consider Christ’s honour and God’s glory, is in danger of grieving the Holy Spirit. Allow me to give a few examples for your consideration.
Is the person you are planning to marry going to assist you to honour your Saviour and Lord in your life going forward? Is the business you are planning to set up, purchase or running, going to be used to bring honour to your Saviour and Lord? Is your entertainment, or the sports you or your children are involved in, honour your Saviour? Is your behaviour and language such that it is honouring to the Lord? Is your regular attendance at worship, your Bible reading, your prayer life, all honouring to the Saviour and Lord? Are we as parents honouring the Lord in way we raise our children? Are we as teenagers and children behaving in a way that not only honours our parents but also the Lord? As you can see, the list is endless and I am sure you could add several other things.
So this Pentecost Sunday may it be our prayer, that guided by God’s Word, we may increasingly listen to the Holy Spirit prompting our hearts to full obedience so that we may not grieve God the Holy Spirit, but honour our Saviour and God. JZ.
Pastor John Zuidema
Since 1997 Pastor John has been ministering to Churches across Australia and New Zealand.