It is really important to better understand the person of Holy Ghost (notice I don’t say “the” Holy Ghost). Sometimes people think of the Holy Ghost as more of an “It” than a “Him”, hence me not putting “the” before Holy Ghost.
According to Scripture, the Holy Ghost is not only God, but He has a will, a personality, and can even be offended!
There is a sin that can be committed against Holy Ghost. Matthew 12:32, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.“; in other words, ascribing any miracle, spoken in the name of Jesus, to the work of satan is blasphemy and a sin against Holy Ghost.
I want to focus on acts that can be committed by believers in grieving Holy Ghost.
One of the places in Scripture where we read about grieving Holy Ghost is in Ephesians 4:29-32. The apostle Paul writes:
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
To grieve means to make sad or sorrowful. It means to cause sorrow, pain, or distress.
But what makes Holy Ghost sad or sorrowful?
1. Foul and abusive language makes the Holy Spirit sad.
Verse 29 says not to use, “corrupt communication”. The word used here, σαπρός (sapros) speaks of something that has gone “rotten.” This includes obscene language, profanity, dirty stories, vulgarity, double entendres, etc.
When did it become “cool” for preachers to speak this way from a pulpit? Some people would say this is being “real” or “authentic”.
Guess what? You are not to speak this way—privately or publicly. How about being authentically godly instead?
2. Bitterness makes the Holy Spirit sad and sorrowful.
The definition of bitterness, πικρία (pikria) is “acridity (especially poison) literally or figuratively: – bitterness”.
Some people just like to be mad or angry. They live for conflict, arguing, and fighting. This, as with all sin, only gets worse if left unchecked and unrepented of.
The sad thing is that bitter people rarely want to keep it to themselves. Instead, they spread it around. The KJV Bible speaks of “…bitterness springing up … and thereby many be defiled;” (see Hebrews 12:15).
I have a better idea: forgive!
3. Fits of rage and uncontrolled anger make the Holy Spirit sad and sorrowful.
“Wrath” θυμός (thumos) speaks of a person who is easily angered and who raises his voice—shouting and screaming. “evil speaking” βλασφημία (blasphēmia) is slandering others behind their backs. “Malice” κακία (kahkeeah) speaks of ill will and plotting evil against someone.
Look, all of us have been hurt in life, but we have a choice as to how we react. We can be like the moneylender Shylock in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, demanding our “pound of flesh”. We can say, “They did this to me; therefore I will have my vengeance!”
We can also believe God when He says “To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence;…”
Instead of speaking evil of someone, we are to be, “…kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,…”
We who are saved didn’t deserve forgiveness; yet God forgave and still forgives us when we sin. As Paul concludes Ephesians 4:32 by saying, “…even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Forgiven people should be forgiving people. Otherwise, we are grieving Holy Ghost.