Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Quench Not the Spirit

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 NKJV)

How Do We Quench the Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is a person without His own body, although He does inhabit the bodies of believers. The Holy Spirit brings about saving faith by using the Word of God (Romans 10:17 and John 3:5-8).  The Holy Spirit seals those who believe in the Lord (Ephesians 1:13).  The Holy Spirit can be grieved (or made sad) just like a normal person by the things Christians do and by the things that they say (Ephesians 4:30).  The Holy Spirit is supposed to fill us which means to take control of us (Ephesians 5:18).  The Holy Spirit wants to be the guiding force in saving us and in guiding us after we are saved.  So how can we quench His work?

The Holy Spirit and the Word of God

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63 NKJV)

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; (Ephesians 6:17 NKJV)

All through the Bible, the Spirit and the Word work together.  In the story of creation, first the Spirit moved and then God said.  The Lord says in John 6, that His words are spirit and life.  Paul says the sword of the spirit is the word of God.  So how do we quench (or make the work of the Holy Spirit ineffective)?  We do that whenever we allow Satan to convince us that God’s instructions as found in the Bible should be abandoned in favor of something else that seems to work.  For example:

We teach that salvation is by grace through faith.  It is not by doing but by believing or trusting that brings about salvation.  Yet nearly every testimony today dealing with how the person came to saving faith emphasizes what the person did to be saved rather than emphasizing how they came to depend on what Christ did to save them.  

God makes it clear that there are certain things that please Him.  The first is faith in Christ alone for salvation.  The second is being immersed in water publicly to declare our faith in Christ.  We formally identify with the Savior rather than with the world.  Baptism is not a degree conferred for good behavior but the first step of obedience after we are saved.  When people do not want to be baptized God’s way, they are certainly hindering or quenching the work of the Holy Spirit.

When we follow the business or the entertainment models that are being used today to establish new churches rather than the Biblical model which allows the Holy Spirit to gather believers (usually new believers) and to equip them for the needs of the church, we certainly quench the work of the Holy Spirit.  He is the One Who calls people to the service of overseers, who equips teachers and who develops prophets (who speak for God).  Whenever we allow the world to dictate what a church should be like, rather than letting the word of God dictate our practices, we are quenching the Spirit.  Whenever men organize what the Holy Spirit should be organizing, the Holy Spirit is quenched.

So are We Personally Quenching the Spirit?

Probably!  But I leave that to my reader to figure out.  if we are doing what God is asking us to do, when God is asking us to do it, where God is asking us to do it we are likely being controlled by the Holy Spirit who is not being quenched.  Are we telling God how to do His work or are we letting Him tell us?  If we tell God instead of letting God tell us we are quenching the Holy Spirit.

I wonder what Christianity would look like in our society if we neither grieved the Holy Spirit nor quenched His work.  I suspect it would look a lot more attractive to those that are not believers.  

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the weeks of October 8, 15, and 22, 2023

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