Grieve the Holy Spirit. Two questions come to mind from Ephesians 4:30. First, what does it mean to grieve not the Holy Spirit? Second, what does it mean to be sealed for the day of redemption?
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Ephesians 4:30, NKJV
To understand Ephesians 4:30 correctly, let us put it in the context in which it was written. Prior to verse 30 (verses 25-29), we are encouraged to not commit four sins. 1. Put away lying. 2. Do not be angry. 3. Do not steal. 4. Do not speak corrupt words. Immediately after this we are exhorted not to grieve the Holy Spirit.
The simple explanation, then, is that in committing the above four sins, especially doing so with no care for the consequences, grieves the Holy Spirit. We are speaking here of believers who are being indwelled by the Holy Spirit. We feel the tweaks of conscience when we sin. This is the Holy Spirit's way of "speaking" to us. That conscience may occur immediately following the sin, or as in the case of King David, it may appear when we are confronted regarding that sin.
What is our natural tendency? Our natural tendency is to ignore sin and to be angry when confronted by others regarding our sin. Yet, the true believer, like David, will in time fall before Christ asking forgiveness for that sin. Truly, we desire to live perfectly and uprightly before God, yet we find that to be an impossible task.
In checking to see what Bible scholars have said about Ephesians 4:30, I read an interesting quote by Charles Ellicott (Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers). Charles Ellicott was an English theologian in the 1800's. He stated the following:
There is implied a personal relation to a Divine Person, capable of being "grieved" by our transgressions, partly as sins against His perfect holiness, partly as suicidal rejections of His unfailing love.
We tend to forget that as God, the Holy Spirit experiences emotions and reacts to us. That is truly amazing to think about. After all, we are created in the image of God, so if we have emotions, so does God have emotions. The fact that He even reacts to us at all always amazes me. What a truly wondrous God we serve!
What does it mean to be sealed for the day of redemption? Redemption is a gift of God. We can not earn it, and we do not qualify for it. Nothing in us makes us good enough for God to consider for salvation. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Because salvation is all of God and none of us, no one can take it from us. The Holy Spirit literally has sealed us so that Satan has no power to rip it from us.
It is true we accept Christ by faith to become a believer, but even the power to do that was given to us by God. We were blind and deaf until He opens the eyes of our hearts and the ears of our understanding. God opened our eyes, showed us salvation through Christ, and we responded by crying out to Him to save us.
Go, today, in the joy and peace of the Lord, knowing that He has saved you, He keeps you, and He will bring you safely to live with Him forever. If you have not accepted Christ, go to Him now. The day of salvation will not last forever!