1 Thessalonians 5:19
Quench not the Spirit.
The word does not mean to resist, damp, or partially to smother, but to put out completely, as a spark when it falls into water.
I. THE SPIRIT CAN BE QUENCHED. Else why the injunction?
1. The antediluvians quenched the Spirit. He strove with them to do them good, they strove against Him to their destruction, and the flood swept them away.
2. In Nehemiah 9 you will see how God strove with the Jews, and how they quenched the Spirit and were left to perish.
3. The same law is in operation still. God gives His Spirit to instruct men. They refuse to hear and God leaves them to their worst enemies — their sins. It is foolish to frame theories with which these facts will not harmonize. The striving does not, of course, refer to God's power; there could be no striving with that. But it is man's sins striving with God's love; and God tells us that He will not always strive with man's sins, but will relinquish the contest, leave the field, and allow him an eternity in which to learn the fearful misery of what it is to have quenched the Spirit. As unbelief tied the Saviour's hands so that He could not do any mighty work, so it can cripple the agency of the Spirit.
II. HOW CAN HE BE QUENCHED. Fire may be extinguished —
1. By pouring water upon it. The most direct way of quenching the Spirit is sin and resistance to His influence. He may act as a friend who, having been wantonly slighted, withdraws in grief and displeasure.
2. By smothering it. So the Spirit may be quenched by worldliness. The process may be a slow and partially unconscious one, but it is real and sure.
3. By neglect. Timothy was exhorted to "stir up" His gift. And as a fire will die out unless it receives attention, so will the Spirit if we indolently do nothing to improve the gift.
4. For want of fuel. And the Spirit will be quenched unless the Spiritual life is fed by the Word of God, "Sanctify them through Thy truth."
5. Through want of air. There may be abundance of fuel, but it will not burn. Not less essential to the flame kindled by the Spirit is the breath of prayer.
(E. Mellor, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Quench not the Spirit.