Day Two: “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God”

Ephesians 4:26-27,29-32 (NIV) – “‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold…Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

“Paul, again quoting the Old Testament (Psalm 4:4), doesn’t say you shouldn’t be angry; anger itself is a natural human emotion, and to pretend it isn’t here is a form of lying. But he insists that you mustn’t let it lead you into sin. You must learn to tame it, to deal with it before you lie down to sleep. Otherwise you are leaving an open door and inviting the satan to come in. Everything that follows from anger – the raised voices, the shocking words, the sour taste in the room – all these must be put away…

Paul adds some comments in the more positive direction. In particular, you should behave as those on whom God’s Holy Spirit has placed God’s mark. The word Paul uses could refer to the ’seal’ or official stamp on a document or package, marking it out for a particular use or occasion. The mark indicates who it belongs to and what it’s for. The presence of the Holy Spirit in the community, and in the heart of the individual Christian, declares that we belong to God, and that we are destined for full  ‘redemption’… That is central to the Christian hope, and possession this hope gives particular shape to our present lives.” [Wright, Nicholas T.  Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters. 2004]

Let’s pray for ourselves and for our churches in light of this truth – that God has sealed us with His Spirit for the day of redemption.  Pray that we will live, then, in the Spirit, not grieving Him, but pleasing Him.  Pray that we will be kept safe and pure until the day of redemption.