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Protecting the Holy Spirit

The apostle Paul writes one chapter in the Bible devoted to the need for spiritual balance, 1 Corinthians 6. While freewill gives human beings daily choices to obey God’s commands or do what they want. Paul explains beginning in 1 Corinthians 6:12 that everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. Bad choices have consequences as sin separates human beings from God, Isaiah 59:2.

Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]; 18 Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]. 19 Do not quench (suppress or subdue) the [Holy] Spirit; 20 Do not spurn the gifts and utterances of the prophets [do not depreciate prophetic revelations nor despise inspired instruction or exhortation or warning]. 21 But test and prove all things [until you can recognize] what is good; [to that] hold fast. 22 Abstain from evil [shrink from it and keep aloof from it] in whatever form or whatever kind it may be, 1 Thessalonians 5:17-22.

In a letter to the Church at Thessalonica which had a history in the first century to overreact based upon Acts 17:1-10. Whenever emotions come into play, human nature can unleash practices of the flesh, Galatians 5:15-21. Paul’s advice for protecting the Holy Spirit begins with unceasing prayer where this spiritual discipline becomes an habitual practice. When prayer is absent, Christians open the door for the Holy Spirit to be suppressed, subdued or completely quenched.

Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God’s own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin). 31 Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind). 32 And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you, Ephesians 4:29-32.

A portion of Paul’s letter to the Church at Rome brings this dilemma to the forefront in Romans 8:5-8. Sinful minds are hostile to the Bible and are in direct conflict with the Holy Spirit. Meanwhile, Paul’s letter to the Church at Ephesus warns against giving the devil a foothold in an area of your life. This is the context prior to the passage above. Since all people have fallen short of God’s glory, Romans 3:23, practice public confession and forgiveness so that unity within the body of Christ is restored and the Holy Spirit can conquer any roots of bitterness that linger or remain unresolved.

by Jay Mankus

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