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Isaiah 63:10 - Homilies By R. Tuck

Grieving the Spirit.

"But they rebelled, and grieved his Holy Spirit." Dean Plumptre says, "Here we may note a foreshadowing of the truth of the trinal personality of the unity of the Godhead, which was afterwards to be revealed. That which "vexed" the Holy Spirit was, in the nature of the case, the unholiness of the people, and this involved a change in the manifestation of the Divine love, which was now compelled to show itself as wrath."

I. THE SPIRIT IS HOLY ; EVERYTHING IMPURE WILL GRIEVE HIM . The Bible refers to him as the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, as though to suggest to us that it is this attribute of his character which bears special relation to us, and his work in us. His aim is our sanctification. All the overcomings of sin, all the removals of hindrances and evils, all the bestowments of peace, are intended to help us toward that great end. When we first go forth into life from a pure home, how grieved we feel at the association of the scoffer, the swearer, the vicious! To a chaste mind how grievous indelicacy is! So our impurities must grieve the pure Spirit. Our besetting sins must, be they pride, or selfishness, or conceit, or unchartiableness, or the cherishing of foul thoughts, be a grief and a vexation to him.

II. THE SPIRIT URGES TO ACTIVE WORK FOR GOD ; WHERE THERE IS APATHY , INDOLENCE , OR REBELLIOUSNESS , HE IS GRIEVED . Among the weapons of the spiritual warfare we read of the "sword of the Spirit," as though the activity of the Christian depended on the Spirit. The highest attainments of Christian life have been made, not by quiet folk, who set themselves only on personal culture, but by active folk, who have gone forth to witness for God, taking their lives in their hands. Wherever there is shrinking back from active service—which is virtual rebellion—the Spirit is grieved. We are grieved when we see a man with great powers abusing or neglecting to use them. The Spirit would act through our energies, and is checked if we hold our powers hack from him. And we suffer ourselves. The spiritual sluggard's garden will surely be like the natural sluggard's. Thorns and thistles will spring up and riot there. If he would but toil, and sow, and weed, and train, the dews and rains and sunshine would help on his work. This is the reason of our barrenness, not that we have had no dews from heaven, no Spirit of God with us, but that we have neglected our part of the work, and, withholding our loving obedience and active service, have grieved his Holy Spirit.—R.T.

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