The function and purpose of the Holy Spirit cannot be overstated.
As a matter of fact, the Holy Spirit is often minimized and overlooked.
Throughout time and eternity the Holy Spirit has had an essential and indispensable function in the activities of the Divine Trinity.
Nothing has been achieved, created, or made alive without the active function and essential work of the Holy Spirit.
He is the Spirit of life who brings life to mankind and resurrection life into Christ and the church.
He is the spring, fountain and river of life that flows throughout your innermost being.
He gives fullness of joy in the presence of God.
Psalm 104:24-30(NIV) How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small. There the ships go to and fro, and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.
The Holy Spirit’s activity has been incomprehensible and immense.
The Holy Spirit was the active agent in creation (Genesis 1:2, inspiration of the Scripture (2 Peter 1:21), generation of Christ (Matthew 1:20), and regeneration of believers (Titus 3:5).
He inspired the message, equipped the prophets, and brought about the fulfillment of the message.
They prophesied as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit was active in the generation of the Christ child in Mary’s womb.
The Holy Spirit is the active agent in the regeneration and renewal of believers.
In the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be the Comforter, Helper, Guide, and Teacher.
The office and administration of the Holy Spirit is of such great significance that it is difficult to fully address.
The Holy Spirit is responsible for gifts and fruit in the church.
He equips, empowers and inspires the church.\
John 15:26 (NKJV) “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
John 16:13 (NKJV) However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
We are just beginning to see the necessity and importance of the Holy Spirit to the world and the church.
Due to His importance, we should exercise extreme caution about offending the Holy Spirit.
Notice the warning that Jesus gave about even speaking a word against the Holy Spirit.
Luke 12:10 NKJV “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.
There are six offenses against the Holy Spirit mentioned in the New Testament.
1. Resisting the Holy Spirit – Acts 7:51; Genesis 6:3; Acts 6:10
As Stephen was about to be martyred by the Jews, he gave a lengthy address to them about their history and condition.
Acts 7:51 NKJV “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.
Notice their rebellion involved their heart and ears. They refused to hear or understand what the Holy Spirit spoke to them. They resisted the Holy Spirit by killing and persecuting the prophets and refusing to receive the law that came by the direction of angels.
In Genesis 6:3, As a result of their rebellious behavior, God said: “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever.”
Due to that rebellion, man’s days were shortened to 120 years.
After shortening their days, the Lord saw that their wickedness was so great and that every intent of the thoughts of their heart was only evil continually. Then God sent the flood and destroyed both man and beast, creeping things and birds of the air. Only Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
“My Spirit shall not strive with man forever.”
Stephen was full of faith and power and did great wonders and signs among the people.
Those who rose up against him were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke. (Acts 6:8-10) Although they could not stop Stephen, they secretly induced other men to speak against him.
What are the consequences of resisting the Holy Spirit?
When one resists the Holy Spirit, they cut themselves off from God’s intended blessings and bring judgment upon themselves.
2. Insulting the Holy Spirit – Hebrews 10:29
In Moses’ law, at the testimony of two or three witnesses a person would die without mercy.
Hebrews 10:28 NKJV Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
Hebrews 10:29 NKJV Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
Look at verse 29.
What is insulting the Spirit of grace?
Insulting the Spirit of grace is counting the blood of Jesus Christ as common and insignificant. The Holy Spirit is responsible for presenting the grace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone who rejects Jesus Christ insults the Holy Spirit and the love of God. If anyone refuses to accept the Holy Spirit’s appeal, they insult God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is an insult to the Holy Spirit to reject His prompting and mercy. By insulting the Holy Spirit’s appeal and grace, the hope of salvation is lost.
3. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit – (the unpardonable sin) – Matthew 12:31-32; Mark 3:28-30
Matthew 12:31-32 NKJV Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
In this chapter, the Pharisees accused Jesus of working miracles by the power of the Devil.
Jesus made it clear that every miracle, healing and message was a result of the Holy Spirit’s work in Him. Jesus only did what was in the Father’s heart and mind.
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to the devil.
Mark 3:28 NKJV “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter;
Notice God’s grace and mercy to forgive all sins and blasphemies that are uttered.
This indicates the depth of God’s grace and mercies.
Then Jesus gave this sharp and focused warning.
Mark 3:29-30 NKJV but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”— because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”
Since the consequences are so great, it is important to look at this closely.
Jesus had been casting out demons by the power of the Holy Spirit. The scribes said He was casting out demons by Beelzebub. They attributed Jesus miraculous power to an evil spirit.
Both Christians and non-christians can blaspheme the Holy Spirit. This can be done today by attributing the works of the Holy Spirit to Satan. When anyone attributes the work of the Holy Spirit to an evil spirit they are blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
John tells us to not believe every spirit, but test the spirits.
1 John 4:1-2 NKJV Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
Not all prophets and teachers are of God. We should not be naive about claims of spiritual authority or revelation. If what is said or done does not align with Biblical truth and the nature and character of the Holy Spirit, we should not believe it.
Even in this area we must be careful to not attribute the true works of the Holy Spirit to an evil spirit.
4. Grieving the Holy Spirit – Ephesians 4:30-31
Ephesians 4:30-31 NKJV And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
Ephesians 4:25-31 gives examples of things that grieve the Holy Spirit.
- Foul or abusive language
- The way we live
- Harsh words
Why would these things grieve the Holy Spirit?
To avoid grieving the Holy Spirit, we are told to do these things.
- Speak the truth (for we are members of one another).
- Do not sin with your anger.
- Do not allow the sun to go down on your wrath.
- Give no place for the devil.
- Work so that you may have to give to the needy.
- Only speak what is good and edifying.
- Be kind to one another.
- Be tenderhearted.
- Forgive one another.
5. Lying to the Holy Spirit – Acts 5:3-4
Acts 5:3 NKJV But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?
When anyone consecrates, dedicates, or gives anything to the Lord and does not fulfill their pledge or promise, they are lying to the Holy Spirit.
Our consecrations, dedications, and gifts are not just to men.
This can be either money, labor, or time.
6. Quenching the Holy Spirit – 1 Thessalonians 5:19
1 Thessalonians 5:19 NKJV Do not quench the Spirit.
Quenching means to put out the fire.
We may quench the Spirit by resisting or stopping His actions.
We quench the Spirit by not giving room for Him to work.
We quench the Spirit by not responding to His prompting.
We quench the Spirit if we offer a chilled response or disruptive response to His action or works.
The consequence to quenching the Holy Spirit is a lack of the function of the gifts of the Spirit. Quenching the Spirit has a lasting impact on the fervency of our Christian life.
Jesus warned the Laodicean church about their lukewarm condition. He told them that He was ready to spit them out of His mouth. They arrived in that spiritual condition by not recognizing their cold condition.
All of these warnings about offending the Holy Spirit help us see the essential quality of His work.
The consequences of every offense is severe.
We must develop a true sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.
We need His help.