Preacher's Pulpit by Dr. Joe Tims

Holy Spirit #4: Grieve Not the Spirit

Ephesians 4:25-32


The believer is to strip away the garment of being contrary or of grieving the Holy Spirit. "Grieving" means to pain; to offend; to vex; to sadden the Holy Spirit.

When a child acts contrary to the counsel of his or her parents, he or she hurts and grieves them. So when a person acts contrary to the counsel of the Holy Spirit, he or she hurts and grieves Him.

The command is forceful, very forceful. This is seen in the name of the Holy Spirit. He is not only called the Holy Spirit here, He is call both the Holy Spirit and "the Spirit of God".

In context of Paul's discussion we see a list of put on/put off principles.

Old man / New man

Lying / Truth

Sinful anger / Anger w/o sin

Stealing / Laboring

Corrupt communication / Edifying communication

Now he adds "grieve not the Holy Spirit..."

How is the Holy Spirit grieved?

There are several indications in the passage.

I. The Spirit of God can be grieved and be made sorrowful concerning specific things.

A. Lying (verse 25).

B. Anger (verse 26).

C. Yielding to temptation (verse 27).

D. Stealing (verse 28).

E. Corrupt communications (verse 29).

II. The Spirit of God can be grieved and be made sorrowful when believers act unjustly - (verse 31 & 32)

A. Bitterness bitter hatred.

B. Wrath sudden outbursts of boiling anger.

C. Anger gradual buildup of hatred and resentment with eye to vengeance.

D. Clamor the noise made by people who are shouting back and forth in a quarrel.

E. Evil speaking slanderous, injurious speech about someone's character.

F. All malice a vicious disposition.

III. The Holy Spirit can be grieved by not putting on certain things

A. Two qualities of character.

1. "Be ye kind to one another" mild, pleasant, kind, beneficial.

2. "Tenderhearted" compassionate.

B. Applying the principle "forgiving one another."

1. Most failure to have right relationships is failure to forgive.

2. This is to be done "even as God for Christ sake hath forgiven you."

C. He is grieved when believers participate in anything contrary to the nature of the Holy Spirit.

IV. The Holy Spirit being grieved has serious results.

(Zech 4:6) "Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts."

A. Believers lose fellowship and power of the Holy Spirit.

B. The Spirit must turn from a ministry through us to a ministry to us.

C. The Spirit's ministry is limited in us, but He does not depart from us.


It is a serious business to grieve the Holy Spirit. It is most important to make it right any time we feel that we may have done so. Right relationship with the Holy Spirit is essential to all other right relationships in life.