1 Thessalonians 5:19
Quench not the Spirit.
I. SOME DISTINCTIONS OF THIS SIN.
1. Total and partial.
(1) Total, when the Spirit's impressions are quite erased so that no spark is left among the ashes. "My Spirit shall not always strive with man," and this Spirit departed from King Saul.
(2) Partial, when the Spirit is weakened and brought to a very spark, as was the case with David (Psalm 51).
2. Wilful and weak.
(1) Wilful, when men resolutely set themselves to put out the holy fire, being resolved not to part with their lusts, they go on in opposition to their light, strangle their uneasy consciences, murder their convictions that they may sin without control (Acts 7:51).
(2) Weak, which is the result of carelessness rather than design (Ephesians 6:30; Song of Solomon 5:2-5).
II. HOW THE SPIRIT IS QUENCHED. This holy fire is quenched —
1. By doing violence to it, as when one puts his foot on the fire or casts water on it, or blows it out. Thus the Spirit is quenched by sins of commission. As when one raises an oftensive smoke in the room where his guest sits, he is grieved and departs; so the Spirit is grieved by the offensive smell of our corruptions.
2. By neglecting it, as the lamp will be extinguished if you feed it not with more oil, so the Spirit is quenched by neglecting his motions, and not walking in the light while we have it.
III. WHY WE SHOULD NOT QUENCH THE SPIRIT.
1. Because it is the holy fire; and, therefore, it ought to be kept carefully, and it is dangerous to meddle with it (Leviticus 9:24).
2. Because we can do nothing without it. So far as the Spirit goes away, all true light and heat go with Him, and then the soul is in death and darkness.
3. Because when once quenched we cannot rekindle it, We "cannot tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth." Were it the fire of our own hearths we might kindle it again; but it is from heaven, and we have no command there.
4. Because the quenching of this fire is the raising of another tending to the consuming of the soul. This is a fire of corruption within us. When the Spirit departed from Saul he went to the devil. And some people never come to a height of wickedness till the Spirit has been at work in them, and they have quenched Him. Conclusion:
1. We may quench the Spirit in others —
(1) By mocking them.
(2) By speaking evil of the way of God (Acts 19:9).
(3) By diverting them from duty.
(4) By tempting them to sin.
2. Quench it not in yourselves but cherish it.
(1) By diligence in duties — Bible reading, Christian conversation, private prayer.
(2) By keeping up a tender frame of spirit.
(3) By strict obedience.
(4) By making religion the one thing.
(T. Boston, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Quench not the Spirit.