Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Recovering from grieving the Spirit

When we grieve the Spirit, he does not run away, feeling rejected. Rather he will work to restore us. For that restoring ministry of the Spirit, we should be thankful. Although our love has diminished, our liberty has been abused, and our God-given resources ignored, he does not give up on us.

The path of restoration involves chastisement in one way or another. This is not a pleasant experience, but it is a profitable one. We may have to learn through wilderness experiences; we may suffer a few divine corrections until we return in repentance.

Repentance is the way of restoration, and it is the only way. We are used to hearing unconverted people being urged to repent because they have to. But it is the same for Christians; we cannot get back on to good terms with the Spirit by resolving to do better. We have to come to God and confess our sins, our follies, with no excuses, and ask him for restoration. And he will give it. It rejoices him to do so.

How can we continue in a lifestyle that does not grieve the Spirit? Obviously we need to depend on him, and this is exhibited by ongoing prayer for his involvement in our lives. But there are some other responses that also help us. 

The first is thankfulness for salvation. Thankfulness to God for his mercy should be a clear feature of each Christian’s outlook.

The second is contemplation or meditation on the full redemption that is going to be ours when Jesus returns. We should think about it, and if we do that we will speak about it. And our speaking about it and anticipating it delights the Spirit and he will not only stimulate longings for it, he will give foretastes of it. 

The consideration that the Spirit is in us as the seal and as the foretaste of the state of glory should be incentives to cause us not to grieve him.

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