Grieving the Holy Spirit

More quotes from Francis Chan’s The Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit, David C. Cook, 2009.

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St Basil the Great: “What does the Spirit do? His works are ineffable in majesty and innumerable in quantity. How can we even ponder what extends beyond the ages? What did he do before creation began? How great are the graces he showered on creation? What power will he wield in the age to come? He existed, he pre-existed, he co-existed with the Father and Son before the ages. Even if you can imagine anything beyond the ages, you will discover the Spirit is even further beyond.” (63) [This quote blew me away. How can I grieve such an awe-inspiring God by ever sinning against him?]

“God created feelings. Sure, like anything else, they can be misused and abused. But the intent and purpose of feelings came from God. Since he created emotions, why is it difficult to believe that he himself has emotions? The Spirit is grieved when there is a breach in relationship, whether it be relationship with God or relationship with other people. When we are disunified, unloving, hateful, jealous, gossipy, etc., that is when we grieve the Spirit of God. And since he is the creator of emotions, I believe that the Spirit grieves more deeply than we can even understand … I pray for the day when believers care more about the Spirit’s grief than their own. In fact, I pray that some of you readers would be broken over the grief you’ve placed on the Holy Spirit. So broken that you actually put down this book and work to resolve any conflicts you have with other believers. ‘If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all’ (Romans 12:8).” (72, 76)

Here are some of things according to Chan that should be present in your life if the Spirit dwells within you:

1. The Spirit helps us speak in precarious situations.

2. The Counsellor teaches and reminds us of what we need to know.

3. The Spirit enables us to witness to others.

4. The Spirit empowers us to put to death the mis-deeds of the body.

5. The Spirit gives us an adoption to be God’s children.

6. The Spirit convicts us of sin.

7. The Spirit brings us life and freedom.

8. By the Spirit we abound in hope.

9. We are given a manifestation for the common good in community.

10. We exhibit the fruits of the Spirit.
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