30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Christians are exhorted here not to act in a way that would cause the Holy Spirit to be sorrowful. The word “grief” denotes pain or sadness felt in the heart of someone who deeply loves another. This is a reminder that we should always seek to please the Holy Spirit, who so affectionately and assiduously works in us.
The apostle Paul has mentioned the Holy Spirit about a dozen times in his epistle to the Ephesians, in connection with what He does for Christians. The Spirit of God has been at work within us to impart spiritual life, and to sanctify, strengthen, secure us for the Lord. By the Spirit, we are sealed unto the day of redemption (1:13; 4:30). He is “the spirit of wisdom and revelation” that gives us the knowledge of the Lord (1:17; 3:5). It is by the Spirit that we have access unto the Father through Jesus Christ (2:18). Through the Spirit, believers are built “together for an habitation of God” (2:22). We are strengthened with might in the inner man by His Spirit (3:16). The Holy Spirit helps us to keep the unity of the church in the bond of peace (4:3, 4). He fills us that we may sing and give thanks unto the Lord (5:18ff). He equips us with the Sword of the Spirit (6:17), and aids us in our prayers (6:18). When the Holy Spirit does all these and so much more to guide, empower and preserve us, how can we grieve Him?
Let us be cautious of our conduct lest we grieve and pain the blessed Spirit of God who dwells within us. An attitude of ingratitude and sin certainly would sadden Him. Paul had already warned in this epistle against theft, falsehood, anger, unwholesome words, etc. Our open and gross sins will grieve the Holy Spirit. Our carnal thoughts and desires will grieve Him. The Spirit of God is pure, ever working to create within us virtuous passions and goals. So, how can we expect Him to dwell in our soul if it is filled with desires and thoughts that are abominable to Him?
The words of Paul remind us of the prophet Isaiah’s words, “But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit” (Isaiah 63:10). Let us not vex the Holy Spirit if we are genuinely thankful that He has “sealed” us for the final “day of redemption”. To seal the soul unto the day of redemption is to make our salvation sure. The only appropriate conduct in view of all that the Holy Spirit does for us is that we yield ourselves to please Him.