by Richard Sibbes
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom we are sealed until the day of redemption.—EPH. 4:30.
Whether these words are a command issuing from authority, or counsel from wisdom, or a warning from God's care for our souls, it is not significant, considering that both counsel and warnings from the great God possess the force of a command, accompanied by a touch of love's sweetness. The apostle, in his customary manner, moves from a specific dissuasion against corrupt speech in the preceding verse to this general advice of not grieving the Spirit of God through sin, particularly when acting against an enlightened conscience. This dissuasion from evil is reinforced by the dangerous consequence of grieving the Spirit of God, and the danger arises from the fact that it is the Spirit of God and God Himself whom we grieve—a holy Spirit: holy in His own nature, and holy as the source of all holiness within us. He, after working holiness in us, seals and confirms us in that state of grace until the day of our glorious redemption. Therefore, the reasons for not grieving lie in the greatness and goodness of the person whom we grieve and the magnitude and constancy of the benefits we receive from Him. To say something about the person: the Holy Spirit is called a Spirit not only in terms of nature, as being a spiritual essence, but also with regard to His person and role. He is both breathed forth from the Father and the Son, proceeding from both of them, and by His role, He breathes life into all whom God has given Christ to redeem and whom He Himself sanctifies. He is the Spirit of God in the sense of proceeding from God, and yet He is God Himself. Those who deny this deny their own baptism, for they are baptized into the name of the Holy Spirit just as they are baptized into the name of the Father and the Son. Nothing less than a person who is God is necessary to assure our souls of God's love and to transform our nature when it is in opposition to Him. Who else can reveal to us the mind of God except the Spirit of God? In this, we witness the united willingness of both the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit: when both the Father and the Son are eager to send such a great person to minister to us and assure us of the immense good the Father has ordained and the Son has accomplished on our behalf.
Table of Contents
The Holy Ghost, why called a Spirit
1. Of grieving the Spirit
2. Of the sealing of the Spirit
3. Of the day of redemption