Ephesians 4:30
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed to the day of redemption.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(30) And grieve not the holy Spirit.—This verse refers to all the practical commands given above. The four cardinal sins forbidden are regarded as “grieving the Holy Spirit of God.” In that expression, even more than in the cognate expressions of “quenching the Spirit” (1Thessalonians 5:19), and “resisting the Holy Ghost” (Acts 7:51), there is implied a personal relation to a Divine Person, capable of being “grieved” by our transgressions, partly as sins against His perfect holiness, partly as suicidal rejections of His unfailing love. In the description of this effect of sin we have the needful complement to the view hitherto taken of its effect, as marring our unity with men; for that unity is always in God, through the Holy Spirit working out in each soul the image of Christ. “There is one Body” only because “there is one Spirit.” Sin vexes the one, but grieves the other.

Whereby ye are sealed.—Properly, in whom ye were sealed. See the fuller expression of the same truth in Ephesians 1:13-14, and the Notes there. The reference to it is here emphatic. The “sealing unto the day of redemption” reminds us of the glorious consummation to which we are destined, and from which every sin is a falling off. The very thought of this perfection, with all its associations of purity and love, should shame us from sin.

This general exhortation seems fitly to close the warning against the series of typical sins, which is itself exhaustive of the general sins against men. In the passage which follows (Ephesians 4:31 to Ephesians 5:21) St. Paul does not indeed traverse new ground, but dwells with special emphasis on some of these sins, which especially beset the society to which he wrote, viz.: (in Ephesians 4:31 to Ephesians 5:2) bitterness, (in Ephesians 5:3-14) impurity, (in Ephesians 5:15-21) reckless excess.

EPHESIANS

GRIEVING THE SPIRIT

Ephesians 4:30The miracle of Christianity is the Incarnation. It is not a link in a chain, but a new beginning, the entrance into the cosmic order of a Divine Power. The sequel of Bethlehem and Calvary and Olivet is the upper room and the Pentecost. There is the issue of the whole mission and work of Christ-the planting in the heart of humanity of a new and divine life. All Christendom is professing to commemorate that fact to-day, [Preached on Whitsunday] but a large portion of us forget that it was but a transient sign of a perpetual reality. The rushing mighty wind has died down into a calm; the fiery tongues have ceased to flicker on the disciples’ heads, but the miracle, which is permanent, and is being repeated from day to day, in the experience of every believing soul, is the inrush of the very breath of God into their lives, and the plunging of them into a fiery baptism which melts their coldness and refines away their dross. Now, my text brings before us some very remarkable thoughts as to the permanent working of the Divine Spirit upon Christian souls, and upon this it bases a very tender and persuasive exhortation to conduct. And I desire simply to try to bring out the fourfold aspect in those words. There is, first, a wondrous revelation; second, a plain lesson as to what that Divine Spirit chiefly does; third, a solemn warning as to man’s power and freedom to thwart it; and, lastly, a tender motive for conduct. ‘Grieve not the Holy Spirit, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’

Now let us look briefly at these four thoughts: Here we have-

I. A wonderful revelation.

Wonderful to all, startling to some. If you can speak of grief, you must be speaking of a person. An influence cannot be sorry, whatever may happen to it. And that word of my text is no more violent metaphor or exaggeratedly strong way of suggesting a motive, but it keeps rigidly within the New Testament limits, in reference to that Divine Spirit, when to Him it attributes this personal emotion of sorrow with its correlation of possible joy.

Now, I do not need to dwell upon the thought here, but I do desire to emphasise it, especially in view of the strangely hazy and defective conceptions which so many Christian people have upon this matter. And I desire to remind you that the implied assumption of a personal Spirit, capable of being ‘grieved,’ which is in this text, is in accordance with all the rest of the New Testament teaching.

What did Jesus Christ mean when He spoke of one who ‘will guide you into all truth’; of one who ‘whatsoever He shall hear, those things shall He speak’? What does the book of the Acts mean when it says that the Spirit said to the believers in Antioch, ‘Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them’? What did Paul mean when he said, ‘In every city the Holy Ghost testifieth that bonds and afflictions await me’? What does the minister officiating in baptism mean when he says, ‘I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost’? That form presents, according to many interpretations, a Divine Person, a Man, and an Influence. Why are these bracketed together? And what do we mean when, at the end of every Christian service, we invoke ‘The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit’? A Man, and God, and an Influence-is that the interpretation? You cannot get rid from the New Testament teaching, whether you accept it or not-you cannot eliminate from it this, that the divine causality of our salvation is threefold and one, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Now, brethren, I do not think I am exaggerating when I say that practically the average orthodox believer believes in a duality, and not a Trinity, in the divine nature. I do not care about the scholastic words, but what I would insist upon is that the course of Christian thinking has been roughly this. First of all, in the early Church, the question of the Divine nature came into play, mainly in reference to the relation of the Eternal Word to the Eternal Father, and of the Incarnation to both. And then, when that was roughly settled, there came down through many ages, and there still subsists, the endeavour to cast into complete and intelligible forms the doctrine, if I must use the word, of Christ’s nature and work. And now, as I believe, to a very large extent, the foremost and best thinking of the Christian Church is being occupied with that last problem, the nature and work of that Divine Spirit. I believe that we stand on the verge of a far clearer perception of, and of a far more fervent and realising faith in, the Spirit of God, than ever the Churches have seen before. And I pray you to remember that however much your Christian thought and Christian faith may be centred upon, and may be drawing its nourishment and its joy from, the work of Jesus Christ who died on the Cross for our salvation, and lives to be our King and Defender, there is a gap-not only in your Christian Creed, but also in your Christian experiences and joys and power, unless you have risen to this thought, that the Divine Spirit is not only an influence, a wind, a fire, an oil, a dove, a dew, but a Divine Person. We have to go back to the old creed-’I believe in God the Father Almighty ... and in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord ... I believe in the Holy Ghost.’

But further, this same revelation carries with it another, and to some of us a startling thought. ‘Grieve not the Holy Spirit’: that Divine Person is capable of grief. I do not believe that is rhetorical exaggeration. Of course I know that we should think of God as the ever-blessed God, but we also in these last days begin to think more boldly, and I believe more truly, that if man is in the image of God, and there is a divine element in humanity, there must be a human element in divinity. And though I know that it is perilous to make affirmations about a matter so far beyond our possibility of verification by experience, I venture to think that perhaps the doctrine that God is lifted up high above all human weaknesses and emotions does not mean that there can be no shadow cast on the divine blessedness by the dark substance of human sin. I do not venture to assert: I only suggest; and this I know, that He who said to us, ‘He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father,’ had His eyes filled with tears, even in His hour of triumph, as He looked across the valley and saw the city sparkling in the rays of the morning sun. May we venture to see there an unveiling of the divine heart? Love has an infinite capacity of sorrow as of joy. But I leave these perhaps too presumptuous and lofty thoughts, to turn to the other points involved in the words before us.

I said, in the second place, there was-

II. A plain lesson here, as to the great purpose for which the Divine Spirit has been lodged in the heart of humanity.

I find that in the two words of my text, ‘the Holy Spirit,’ and ‘ye were thereby sealed unto the day of redemption.’ If the central characteristic which it imports us to know and to keep in mind is that implied by the name, ‘the Holy Spirit’ then, of course, the great work that He has to perform upon earth is to make men like Himself. And that is further confirmed by the emblem of the seal which is here; for the seal comes in contact with the thing sealed, and leaves the impression of its own likeness there. And whatever else-and there is a great deal else that I cannot touch now-may be included in that great thought of the sealing by the Divine Spirit, these things are inseparably connected with, and suggested by it, viz. the actual contact of the Spirit of God with our spirits, which is expressed, as you may remember, in the other metaphors of being baptized in and anointed with, and yet more important, the result purposed by that contact being mainly to make us holy.

Now, I pray you to think of how different that is from all other notions of inspiration that the world has ever known, and how different it is from a great many ideas that have had influence within the Christian Church. People say there are not any miracles now, and say we are worse off than when there used to be. That Divine Spirit does not come to give gifts of healing, interpretations of tongues, and all the other abnormal and temporary results which attended the first manifestations. These, when they were given, were but means to an end, and the end subsists whilst the means are swept away. It is better to be made good than to be filled with all manner of miraculous power. ‘In this rejoice, not that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.’ All the rest is transient. It is gone; let it go, we are not a bit the poorer for want of it. This remains-not tongues, nor gifts of healing, nor any other of these miraculous and extraordinary and external powers-but the continual operation of a divine influence, moulding men into its own likeness.

Christianity is intensely ethical, and it sets forth, as the ultimate result of all its machinery, changing men into the likeness of God. Holiness is that for which Christ died, that for which the Divine Spirit works. Unless we Christian people recognise the true perspective of the Spirit’s gifts, and put at the base the extraordinary, and higher than these, but still subordinate, the intellectual, and on top of all the spiritual and moral, we do not understand the meaning of the central gift and possible blessing of Christianity, to make us holy, or, if you do not like the theological word, let us put it into still plainer and more modern English, to make you and me good men and women, like God. That is the mightiest work of that Divine Spirit.

We have here-

III. A plain warning as to the possibility of thwarting these influences.

Nothing here about irresistible grace; nothing here about a power that lays hold upon a man, and makes him good, he lying passive in its hands like clay in the hands of the potter! You will not be made holy without the Divine Spirit, but you will not be made holy without your working along with it. There is a possibility of resisting, and there is a possibility of co-operating. Man is left free. God does not lay hold of any one by the hair of his head, and drag him into paths of righteousness whether he will or no. But whilst there is the necessity for co-operation, which involves the possibility of resistance, we must also remember that that new life which comes into a man, and moulds his will as well as the rest of his nature, is itself the gift of God. We do not get into a contradiction when we thus speak, we only touch the edge of a great ocean in which our plummets can find no bottom. The same unravellable knot as to the co-operation of the divine and the creatural is found in the natural world, as in the experiences of the Christian soul. You have to work, and your work largely consists in yielding yourselves to the work of God upon you. ‘Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you.’ Brethren! If you and I are Christian people, we have put into our hearts and spirits the talent. It depends on us whether we wrap it in a napkin, and stow it away underground somewhere, or whether we use it, and fructify and increase it. If you wrap it in a napkin and put it away underground, when you come to take it out, and want to say, ‘Lo! there Thou hast that is Thine,’ you will find that it was not solid gold, which could not rust or diminish, but that it has been like some volatile essence, put away in an unventilated place, and imperfectly secured: the napkin is there, but the talent has vanished. We have to work with God, and we can resist. Ay, and there is a deeper and a sadder word than that applied by the same Apostle in another letter to the same subject. We can ‘quench’ the light and extinguish the fire.

What extinguishes it? Look at the catalogue of sins that lie side by side with this exhortation of my text! They are all small matters-bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil-speaking, malice, stealing, lying, and the like; very ‘homely’ transgressions, if I may so say. Yes, and if you pile enough of them upon the spark that is in your hearts you will smother it out. Sin, the wrenching of myself away from the influences, not attending to the whispers and suggestions, being blind to the teaching of the Spirit through the Word and through Providence: these are the things that ‘grieve the Holy Spirit of God.’

And so, lastly, we have here-

IV. A Tender Motive, a dissuasive from sin, a persuasive to yielding and to righteousness.

Many a man has been kept from doing wrong things by thinking of a sad pale face sitting at home waiting for him. Many a boy has been kept from youthful transgressions which war against his soul here, on the streets of Manchester, full as they are of temptations, by thinking that it would grieve the poor old mother in her cottage, away down in the country somewhere. We can bring that same motive to bear, with infinitely increased force, in regard to our conduct as Christian people. ‘Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God.’ A father feels a pang if he sees that his child makes no account of some precious gift that he has bestowed upon him, and leaves it lying about anywhere. A loving friend, standing on the margin of the stream, and calling to his friends in a boat when they are drifting to the rapids, turns away sad if they do not attend to his voice. That Divine Spirit pleads with us, and proffers its gifts to us, and turns away-I was going to use too strong a word, perhaps-sick at heart, not because of wounded authority, but because of wounded love and baffled desire to help, when we, in spite of It, will take our own way, neglect the call that warns us of our peril, and leave untouched the gifts that would have made us safe.

Dear brethren, surely such a dissuasive from evil, and such a persuasive to good, is mightier than all abstractions about duty and conscience and right, and the like. ‘Do it rightly’ says Paul, ‘and you will please Him that hath called you’; leave the evil thing undone, ‘and my heart shall be glad, even mine.’ You and I can grieve the Christ whose Spirit is given to us. You and I can add something to ‘the joy of our Lord.’4:29-32 Filthy words proceed from corruption in the speaker, and they corrupt the minds and manners of those who hear them: Christians should beware of all such discourse. It is the duty of Christians to seek, by the blessing of God, to bring persons to think seriously, and to encourage and warn believers by their conversation. Be ye kind one to another. This sets forth the principle of love in the heart, and the outward expression of it, in a humble, courteous behaviour. Mark how God's forgiveness causes us to forgive. God forgives us, though we had no cause to sin against him. We must forgive, as he has forgiven us. All lying, and corrupt communications, that stir up evil desires and lusts, grieve the Spirit of God. Corrupt passions of bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil-speaking, and malice, grieve the Holy Spirit. Provoke not the holy, blessed Spirit of God to withdraw his presence and his gracious influences. The body will be redeemed from the power of the grave at the resurrection day. Wherever that blessed Spirit dwells as a Sanctifier, he is the earnest of all the joys and glories of that redemption day; and we should be undone, should God take away his Holy Spirit from us.And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God - This is addressed to Christians, and it proves that it is possible for them to grieve the Holy Spirit. The word used here - λυπεῖτε lupeite - means properly to afflict with sorrow; to make sad or sorrowful. It is rendered to make sorry, or sorrowful, Matthew 14:9; Matthew 17:23; Matthew 18:31; Matthew 19:22; Matthew 26:22, Matthew 26:37; Mark 14:19; John 16:20; 2 Corinthians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 6:10; 2 Corinthians 7:8-9, 2 Corinthians 7:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13. It is rendered "grieved," Mark 10:22; John 21:17; Romans 14:15; 2 Corinthians 2:4-5; Ephesians 4:20; and once. "in heaviness," 1 Peter 1:6. The verb does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. The common meaning is, to treat others so as to cause grief. We are not to suppose that the Holy Spirit literally endures "grief, or pain," at the conduct of people. The language is such as is suited to describe what "men" endure, and is applied to him to denote that kind of conduct which is "suited" to cause grief; and the meaning here is, "do not pursue such a course as is "suited" in its own nature, to pain the benevolent heart of a holy being. Do not act toward the Holy Spirit in a manner which would produce pain in the bosom of a friend who loves you. There is a course of conduct which will drive that Spirit from the mind as if he were grieved and pained - as a course of ingratitude and sin would pain the heart of an earthly friend, and cause him to leave you." If asked what that conduct is, we may reply:

(1) Open and gross sins. They are particularly referred to here; and the meaning of Paul is. that theft, falsehood, anger, and kindred vices, would grieve the Holy Spirit and cause him to depart.

(2) anger, in all its forms. Nothing is more suited to drive away all serious and tender impressions from the mind, than the indulgence of anger.

(3) Licentious thoughts and desires. The Spirit of God is pure, and he dwells not in a soul that is filled with corrupt imaginings.

(4) Ingratitude. "We" feel ingratitude more than almost anything else; and why should we suppose that the Holy Spirit would not feel it also?

(5) neglect. The Spirit of God is grieved by that. Often he prompts us to pray; he disposes the mind to seriousness, to the perusal of the Bible, to tenderness and penitence. We neglect those favored moments of our piety, and lose those happy seasons for becoming like God.

(6) Resistance. Christians often resist the Holy Spirit. He would lead them to be dead to the world; yet they drive on their plans Of gain. He would teach them the folly of fashion and vanity; yet they deck themselves in the most frivolous apparel. He would keep them from the splendid party, the theater, and the ballroom; yet they go there. A l that is needful for a Christian to do in order to be eminent in piety, is to yield to the gentle influences which would draw him to prayer and to heaven.

Whereby ye are sealed - see the notes on 2 Corinthians 1:22.

Unto the day of redemption - see the notes on Ephesians 1:14.

30. grieve not—A condescension to human modes of thought most touching. Compare "vexed His Holy Spirit" (Isa 63:10; Ps 78:40); "fretted me" (Eze 16:43: implying His tender love to us); and of hardened unbelievers, "resist the Holy Ghost" (Ac 7:51). This verse refers to believers, who grieve the Spirit by inconsistencies such as in the context are spoken of, corrupt or worthless conversation, &c.

whereby ye are sealed—rather, "wherein (or 'in whom') ye were sealed." As in Eph 1:13, believers are said to be sealed "in" Christ, so here "in the Holy Spirit," who is one with Christ, and who reveals Christ in the soul: the Greek implies that the sealing was done already once for all. It is the Father "BY" whom believers, as well as the Son Himself, were sealed (Joh 6:27). The Spirit is represented as itself the seal (Eph 1:13, for the image employed, see on [2370]Eph 1:13). Here the Spirit is the element IN which the believer is sealed, His gracious influences being the seal itself.

unto—kept safely against the day of redemption, namely, of the completion of redemption in the deliverance of the body as well as the soul from all sin and sorrow (Eph 1:14; Lu 21:28; Ro 8:23).

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God; viz. by corrupt communication. The Spirit is said to be grieved when any thing is done by us, which, were he capable of such passions, might be matter of grief to him; or when we so offend him as to make him withdraw his comfortable presence from us: see Isaiah 63:10.

Whereby ye are sealed; set apart or marked for, and secured unto the day of redemption; see Ephesians 1:14 2 Corinthians 1:22: so, Ezekiel 9:4, they are marked that are to be delivered; and Revelation 7:3, the servants of God are sealed that were to escape the following plagues.

Unto the day of redemption; i.e. full and final salvation at the resurrection: see Luke 21:28 Romans 8:23. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God,.... Not a believer's own spirit, sanctified by the Holy Ghost, which is grieved by sin; nor the spirit of a good man, that hears our words and sees our actions, and is displeased and troubled at them; but the third person in the Trinity: and this is said of him by an anthropopathy, and supposes something done that is offensive to him; and he may be grieved, not only by unconverted persons, by their stubborn resistance and opposition to the Gospel and means of grace, and by their contempt of his person, office, and grace, but by believers themselves, and who are here spoken to; and which may be done both by their words, lying, angry, and corrupt ones, before cautioned against, Ephesians 4:25 and by their actions, their behaviour towards God, their conversation in the world, and by their carriage to one another, which is suggested in the following verse: also he may be grieved by their thoughts, their vain and sinful thoughts, and that they are no better employed; and especially when they entertain any undervaluing ones of Jesus Christ, whose glorifier he is; and by the unbelief of their hearts, and by their unmindfulness of the things of the Spirit; and when they disregard the rules, dictates, and advice of the Spirit, and make no use of him: and his being grieved appears by his departure from them; which is to be perceived by the darkness of their souls, the prevailings of corruption, the weakness of grace, and their backwardness to duty: and now there are many reasons why he should not be grieved; as because he is God, and the author of the new birth, the implanter and applier of all grace, and the finisher of it; because he is the saints' comforter, their advocate, helper, and strengthener; and their constant companion, who dwells in them, and will remain in them, until death: and it follows,

whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption; of the sealing work of the Spirit; see Gill on Ephesians 1:13. By "the day of redemption" may be meant, either the day of death, when the saints have a deliverance from the incumbrance of the body; from their present state of exile and banishment; from the body of sin and death; from all sorrows and afflictions; from the reproaches and persecutions of men; from the temptations of Satan; from doubts, fears, and unbelief; and from all fear of death, corporeal, spiritual, and eternal: or the day of the resurrection, when the body will be redeemed from mortality, corruption, weakness, and dishonour; when it will be refined and spiritualized, so that it will not stand in need of natural sustenance; will be endowed with great agility, like that of spirits; and will be subject to the soul, or spirit, and will be suited to spiritual objects; to which may be added, the day of judgment, Luke 21:28 when Christ shall appear in glory, and his saints with him, and he will put them, soul and body, into the possession of everlasting happiness; which will consist in the vision of Christ, in conformity to him, and in that happy company and conversation that will then be enjoyed, and that delightful employment they will be taken up in: and now the saints being sealed up by the Spirit unto this time, shows the perpetual indwelling of the Spirit in them; and that it will continue even after death, who will give them confidence at the day of judgment; and that it is the Spirit which works up the saints, and makes them meet for glory; and gives them the assurance of it, and therefore they should not be grieved.

{18} And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

(18) A general precept against all excess of affections which dwell in that part of the mind, which they call angry, and he sets against them the contrary means. And he uses a most strong preface, how we ought to take heed that we grieve not the Holy Spirit of God through our immoderateness and excessiveness, who dwells in us to the end of moderating all our affections.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Ephesians 4:30. Connected by καί with what precedes; hence not, with Lachmann and Tischendorf, to be separated by a full stop from Ephesians 4:29, by which there would result an exhortation too indefinite in the connection.

And grieve not (which would take place by means of λόγοι σαπροί) the Holy Spirit of God. Evil discourses are so opposed to the holy nature and aim of the Divine Spirit, who dwells in the Christians, that He cannot fail to be grieved thereat. Comp. Hermas, ii. 10. 3, as also ii. Ephesians 3 : μὴ θλῖβε τὸ πνεῦμα ἅγιον τὸ ἐν σοὶ κατοικοῦν, μήποτε ἐντεύξηται τῷ Θεῷ καὶ ἀποστῇ ἀπὸ σοῦ. An anthropopathic conception of the consciousness, with which the Spirit of God is holily affected, of the incongruity of human action with His holiness; but how truly and touchingly in keeping with the idea of the love of God, which bears sway in His Spirit (Romans 5:5)! The man becomes conscious of this grieving of the divine πνεῦμα, when he, who has become through the atonement and sanctification the dwelling-place of the Spirit, no longer receives from this Spirit the testimony that he is the child of God (Romans 8:16). The chosen expression, “the Holy Spirit of God,” renders the enormity of such action most palpable. An allusion, we may add, to Isaiah 63:10 is not to be assumed, since in that passage the παροξύνειν of the Spirit is characteristic.

ἐν ᾧ ἐσφραγ. εἰς ἡμέραν ἀπολυτρ.] furnishes motive for the exhortation: for if ye have received so great a benefit through the Holy Spirit, how wrong (ungrateful) is it the possibility of losing the seal here hinted at. But to this μὴ λυπεῖτε points less naturally than μὴ παροξύνετε (Isaiah 63:10) would point to it.

ἐσφραγ.] quite as at Ephesians 1:13.

εἰς ἡμέρ. ἀπολυτρ.] for the day of redemption; when at the Parousia the certainty of the deliverance unto salvation, indicated by ἐσφραγ., becomes reality. As to ἀπολύτρωσις, comp. on Ephesians 1:14; Luke 21:28; also Romans 8:23.Ephesians 4:30. καὶ μὴ λυπεῖτε τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον τοῦ Θεοῦ: and grieve not the Holy Spirit of God. This is not a general exhortation, but one bearing, as the καί indicates, particularly on the preceding injunction. The utterance of evil or worthless words is repugnant to the holiness of the Spirit, and is to be refrained from as calculated to grieve Him. The injunction is made the more solemn by the designation of the Spirit as “the Holy Spirit” and the Spirit “of God”. The Spirit is here regarded as capable of feeling, and so as personal. In Isaiah 63:10 we have a similar idea, following the statement that Jehovah was afflicted in all His people’s affliction. These terms, no doubt, are anthropopathic, as all terms which we can use of God are anthropomorphic or anthropopathic. But they have reality behind them, and that as regards God’s nature and not merely His acts. Otherwise we should have an unknown God and One who might be essentially different from what we are under the mental necessity of thinking Him to be. What love is in us points truly, though tremulously, to what love is in God. But in us love, in proportion as it is true and sovereign, has both its wrath-side and its grief-side; and so must it be with God, however difficult for us to think it out.—ἐν ᾧ ἐσφραγίσθητε: in whom ye were sealed. ἐν ᾧ, not “by whom” (Tynd., Cranm., Gen., Bish.), or “whereby” (AV), but “in whom,” the Holy Spirit being the environment of the seal, the sphere or element in which it takes effect. On the sealing see on Ephesians 1:13 above.—εἰς ἡμέραν ἀπολυτρώσεως: unto the day of redemption. εἰς is most simply taken as = with a view to. ἀπολύτρωσις, as in Ephesians 1:14, Luke 21:28, Romans 8:23, is the redemption of the future, and here specifically that redemption in its completeness and finality. The gen. is the gen. of temporal relation, = the day on which redemption will take effect, or manifest itself; cf. ἡμέρα ὀργῆς (Romans 2:2); κρίσις μεγάλης ἡμέρας (Judges 1:6). The consideration, therefore, that it is in the Spirit they have their security and their assurance of reaching the day when their redemption shall be made perfect, is an additional reason for avoiding everything out of harmony with His holy being and action.30. grieve not] A distinct indication of the Personality of the Blessed Spirit. “Grief is certainly a personal affection, of which a Quality is not capable” (Pearson, On the Creed, Art. VIII). Putting aside passages where “spirit” obviously denotes “breath” or “wind,” the usage of the word in Scripture favours the interpretation of it as always denoting a personality, good or evil.—See further Bp Pearson’s discussion.—This precept, in this context, seems to indicate that polluting words would be a special “grief” to the Holy One.

ye are sealed] Better, ye were sealed, at the definite crisis of reception. See above, Ephesians 1:13 and notes.

the day of redemption] “the redemption of the purchased possession,” Ephesians 1:14, where see note.Ephesians 4:30. Μὴ λυπεῖτε, grieve not) by corrupt conversation. The Holy Spirit is grieved not in Himself, but in us [or in other men (by reason of our conversation)—V. g.], when His calm testimony is deranged. The LXX. often use λυπεῖν for חרה and קצף.—ἐσφραγίσθητε, ye have been sealed) that you may know that there is not only some day of deliverance, but also that that day will be a day of deliverance to you, as being the sons of God; and on that account rejoice [opposed to grieve].—εἰς ἡμέραν ἀπολυτρώσεως, to the day of deliverance [redemption]) This is the last day; of which there is a kind of representation [present realization—a pledge given in hand] in the day of death; it takes for granted all previous days, Romans 2:16. On that day especially it will be a matter of importance to us, who shall be found to be sealed.Verse 30. - And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God. Very solemn and emphatic counsel. The name is given with unusual fullness, in order to show the magnitude of the sin - τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον τοῦ Θεοῦ, "The Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God." By an anthropopathy the Spirit is represented as grieved by such treatment as would grieve us - e.g. when his work is obstructed, when sin is trifled with, when Deity is treated carelessly, when place is given to the devil, when the spirit of the world is cherished. Those who act thus resemble the Sanballats and Tobiahs of the time of the restoration, who hindred the rebuilding of the temple and the restoration of order and prosperity. When the Holy Spirit would urge consecration, separation from the world, holy exercises, active service, our indolent and worldly hearts are liable to rebel and vex him. To grieve a parent heedlessly is a great sin; how much more to grieve the Spirit of God? In whom ye were sealed unto the day of redemption. The Spirit being rather the Seal than the Sealer, who is the Father (see Ephesians 1:13), it is better to translate in whom than by whom; besides, this preserves the force of the ἐν, which, whether used of Christ or of the other persons of the Godhead, is so characteristic of the Epistle. To grieve the Spirit is to help to obliterate the seal, and thus weaken the evidence of our redemption.
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