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August 28, 2010

Building Strong Friendships in Christ

Quench Not the Holy Spirit Today

“Do not quench the Spirit;”

 1 Thessalonians 5:19, Page 1851

       One God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.  For the Christian, we serve one triune God, and strive by His power to love God will all of our heart, strength and mind.  Many Christians know very little about the Trinity, and do not know many verses about the Holy Spirit.  In the list of short commands that close 1 Thessalonians, Paul directs our attention to the Holy Spirit.  He is a person, separate and distinct from the person of the Father, and separate and distinct from the person of Son.  Yet, He is a part of the Godhead, and one with the Father and Son.  He shares the same attributes with  the Father and Son: He knows everything, He has all power, He has always been present everywhere, and He never changes.  The Holy Spirit can be grieved, showing He has emotions (Ephesians 4:30, page 1831), and can be lied to (Acts 5:3, page 1707).  The Holy Spirit produces His fruit in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23, page 1825), and God commands us to walk in the Holy Spirit as believers (Galatians 5:16, page 1825; Galatians 5:25, page 1826). Furthermore, God commands us to be filled with the Holy Spirit   (Ephesians 5:18, page 1832).    The Holy Spirit also distributes spiritual gifts for various ministries (1 Corinthians 12:7, 11, page 1796), and everyone has a spiritual gift to be used in spiritual ministry (1 Corinthians 12:7, page 1796).  Indeed, at the moment of salvation, Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11, page 1504). You see, from the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to live in your new life in Christ (Romans 8:9, page 1768).   Based upon all these truths about the Holy Spirit, we can see what a great role He intends to play in the daily life of the believer in Christ. 

       In 1 Thessalonians 5:19, page 1851, Paul directs our attention to a command concerning the Holy Spirit.  We must not “quench” (“σβέννυτε“) the Holy Spirit.  When you think about the word “quench” in the New Testament, consider these examples.  The fires of hell are never quenched (Mark 9:48, page 1576), the lack of oil quenches burning lamps (Matthew 25:8, page 1547), and the shield of faith quenches the flaming arrows of the devil (Ephesians 6:16, page 1834).  Finally, the Lord Jesus will not quench a smoldering wick (Matthew 12:20, page 15:20).  These graphic pictures help us understand that we have the power to quench the activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  The idea of quench in this passage means that we halt, stop, restrain, or inhibit the activity of the Holy Spirit.  He will not leave you, but you can stop His work in areas of your life, and grieve Him in doing so.

       Let us remember the context again.  In this list of commands, we see that God demands that we rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in everything today.  Now, if we keep those commands, then we will avoid quenching the work of the Holy Spirit in areas of our lives.  Because He constantly works to make our lives holy, and He always abides in us because we have been sealed by Him in Christ (Ephesians 4:30, page 1831).    The order of the commands here makes a difference, with one building upon the others.  In fact, we could see that all the commands in the entire book interlace so that we see how to glorify God and become better friends in Christ.  God gives us direction in how to live with other friends in relationships, and with Him, but also how we organize our minds.  Let me emphasize one more thing about the command “do not quench.”  Paul used the plural of you.  All of you do not quench the Holy Spirit.  Just like the other commands, all of us have this same duty to God, and to one another.  When I make the individual decision to sin, or stop praying, or stop rejoicing, I have a direct impact upon all my friends in Christ.    

       So, we learn some more about building strong friendships in Christ.

     ●  Strong bonds of friendship form when we allow the Holy Spirit to control my life, and I live in His power all the time, especially with my friends in Christ.

     ●  Strong bonds of friendship grow when I do not quench the Holy Spirit in my life, and help my friends to avoid quenching His power.  I am staggered that I can grieve the Holy Spirit, and quench His activity in areas of my life. 

    ●  We harm our bonds of friendship when allow our friends to fade off and fade out of our lives because they have quenched the Holy Spirit.  We need to encourage each other to walk in the Spirit, and be filled with the Spirit.

Application for Today

        Today, I want to avoid quenching the Holy Spirit in my life.  He seeks to produce His fruit in my life all the time, and I want Jesus to be Lord of all my life, all the time.  Have you quenched the work of the Holy Spirit in your life today?

 

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