Grieve Not the Holy Spirit of God”
How God the Holy Spirit must love us! Only one who loves us can be grieved by us. Others are angered, offended, and antagonized by our acts of evil. One who loves us is grieved. The blessed Holy Spirit has sealed us as the objects of his love in eternal election, sealed us in life in regeneration, and sealed us unto the day of our resurrection. He seals to us all the blessings of the covenant of grace, giving us faith in Christ and thereby assuring us of our interest in our covenant Surety and Savior. He lives within us. He guides us. He teaches us. He reveals Christ to us. And he comforts us. Let us take great care not to grieve him.
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth.” — By “corrupt communication” Paul means more than cursing. Many, who would never soil their lips with an oath, have mouths full of “corrupt communication”, by which the Spirit of God is grieved. What is this “corrupt communication”? The Apostle tells us in verse thirty-one. It is words of “bitterness”. It is speech that arises from bitter feelings, speech that is intended to hurt. Bitterness of speech is unbecoming in anyone. But for God’s children to speak bitterly of one another is horrid! Bitterness always arises from pride and jealousy. “Corrupt communication” is the language of “wrath”, the heat of jealousy and bitterness, and “anger”, feelings of ill-will toward another, vengeance, and inward desire to damage, hurt, and kill. Murder is the result of anger unrestrained by law. “Corrupt communication” is the result of anger restrained (outwardly) by law. It is the root of all “clamour”, fighting, brawling, contentiousness, and strife. This “corrupt communication” is “evil speaking”, slander, gossip, reproach.
Let these things be “put away from you, with all malice.” These things are sinful, carnal, corrupt. They arise from the flesh. They dishonor Christ. They grieve the Holy Spirit. They disrupt the fellowship of the saints. They hinder the cause of Christ. God forbid that we engage in such evil! Let us rather speak “that which is good to the use of edifying…and be kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”. If we cannot speak good of one another, let us speak nothing!
When consecrated to God, no member of the body can be more useful, or do more good than our tongues. With the tongue we sing Jehovah’s praise, tell out the story of redeeming love, call sinners to Christ, and edify one another. But unless it is consecrated to the Lord, the tongue can be the most destructive member of the body. “It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” It is a weapon of anger, pouring out harsh, cruel words in a fit of temper. It is a weapon of malice, carrying slander and gossip from house to house, dividing friends and brethren. Well did James write, “If any man offend not in word or deed, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” May God the Holy Spirit give us grace to bridle our tongues. The wounds of the tongue are deep, painful, and lasting. How much better it is to use this little, but mighty member to spread the heavenly dew of grace, pardon, peace, mercy, and love, than to use it spreading the hellish fires of hatred, anger, wrath, malice, and bitterness
—-Pastor Don Fortner
Election is not the cause of anybody going to hell, for election is unto salvation. (2 Thessalonians 2: 13) Neither is non-election responsible for the damnation of sinners. Sin is the thing that sends men to hell, and allmen are sinners by nature and practice; sinners altogether apart from election or non-election. It does not follow that because election is unto salvation that non-election is unto damnation. Sin is the damning element in human life, election harms nobody.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
“And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld HIS GLORY, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
My friend, if you will carefully consider it, this is the most extraordinary fact ever declared in human language. God became a man and “took upon him the likeness of sinful flesh.” The ancient of Days became an infant of days. The Son of the Most High God became a man of sorrows. He made the world; but as a man, “he had no place to lay His head.’ He who made the rivers asked a woman to give him a drink of water. He who cast out devils was tempted of the devil, and the author of life died and lay in a tomb. LISTEN TO THE POET:
“His fingers formed the bough which grew
The thorns that crowned his brow;
The nails which pierced his hands were mined
In secret places he designed;
He made the forest whence there sprung
The tree on which his body hung;
He died on a cross of wood,
Yet he made the hill on which it stood;
The sun that hid from him its face
By his own hand was hung in space;
The sky which darkened o‘er his head
By him above the world was spread;
The spear that shed his precious blood
Was tempered in the fires of God;
The grave in which his form was laid
Was hewn in rocks his hand had made.
Pastor Henry Mahan
A man’s free will cannot cure him even of a toothache, or of a sore finger and yet he madly thinks it is in his power to cure his soul! The greatest judgment which God Himself can, in the present life, inflict upon a man is to leave him in the hands of his own boasted free will. Augustus Toplady (1740-1778)
What time I am afraid I will trust in thee. Psalms 56:3