Sabbath, March 14, 2015
“It is not necessary that anyone should yield to the temptations of Satan and thus violate his conscience and grieve the Holy Spirit. Every provision has been made in the word of God whereby all may have divine help in their endeavors to overcome.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 574.
Doubt and disobedience
1. When God clearly reveals His will for our salvation, what will happen if we compromise with sin or indulge even one sin?
Deuteronomy 30:15-18 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; 18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
“Men have the power to quench the Spirit of God; the power of choosing is left with them. They are allowed freedom of action. They may be obedient through the name and grace of our Redeemer, or they may be disobedient, and realize the consequences. Man is responsible for receiving or rejecting sacred and eternal truth. The Spirit of God is continually convicting, and souls are deciding for or against the truth. How important, then, that every act of life be such that it need not be repented of, especially among the ambassadors of Christ, who are acting in His stead!” –Gospel Workers, p. 174.
“God does not compel men to give up their unbelief. Before them are light and darkness, truth and error. It is for them to decide which they will accept. The human mind is endowed with power to discriminate between right and wrong. God designs that men shall not decide from impulse, but from weight of evidence, carefully comparing scripture with scripture.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 458.
2. What are people practically doing when they distrust God’s promises and doubt His love?
John 3:16, 18, 19 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life…. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
“When we seem to doubt God’s love and distrust His promises, we dishonor Him and grieve His Holy Spirit…. How can our heavenly Father regard us when we distrust His love, which has led Him to give His only-begotten Son that we might have life? The apostle writes, ‘He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?’ Romans 8:32. And yet how many, by their actions, if not in word, are saying, ‘The Lord does not mean this for me. Perhaps He loves others, but He does not love me.’ ” –God’s Amazing Grace, p. 216.
Fear, complaining, and refusal to serve the Lord
3. How is the Holy Spirit grieved by our fears and discontent?
Lamentations 3:37-40 Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? 38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceed-eth not evil and good? 39 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? 40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.
Exodus 16:2, 7 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:… 7 And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the Lord; for that he heareth your murmurings against the Lord: and what are we, that ye murmur against us?
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
“Many look back to the Israelites, and marvel at their unbelief and murmuring, feeling that they themselves would not have been so ungrateful; but when their faith is tested, even by little trials, they mani-fest no more faith or patience than did ancient Israel. When brought into strait places, they murmur at the process by which God has chosen to purify them. Though their present needs are supplied, many are unwilling to trust God for the future, and they are in constant anxiety lest poverty shall come upon them, and their children shall be left to suffer. Some are always anticipating evil or magnifying the difficulties that really exist, so that their eyes are blinded to the many blessings which demand their gratitude. The obstacles they encounter, instead of leading them to seek help from God, the only Source of strength, separate them from Him, because they awaken unrest and repining.
“Do we well to be thus unbelieving? Why should we be ungrateful and distrustful? Jesus is our friend; all heaven is interested in our welfare; and our anxiety and fear grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 293, 294.
4. How did the rich young man grieve the Holy Spirit? How can we apply his story to our own cross bearing and walk with Jesus?
Matthew 19:20-22 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
“It is a serious thing to grieve the Holy Spirit; and it is grieved when the human agent seeks to work himself, and refuses to enter the service of the Lord because the cross is too heavy, or the self-denial too great. The Holy Spirit seeks to abide in each soul. If it is welcomed as an honored guest, those who receive it will be made complete in Christ.” –God’s Amazing Grace, p. 216.
“The Holy Spirit is a divine teacher. If we heed its lessons we shall become wise unto salvation. But we need to guard well our hearts, for too often we forget the heavenly instruction we have received and seek to act out the natural inclinations of our unconsecrated minds. Each one must fight his own battle against self. Heed the teachings of the Holy Spirit. If this is done, they will be repeated again and again until the impressions are as it were ‘laid in the rock forever.’…” –Counsels on Health, p. 561.
5. How can our conduct grieve the Holy Spirit?
Ephesians 4:29-32 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
“When trials arise that seem unexplainable, we should not allow our peace to be spoiled. However unjustly we may be treated, let not passion arise. By indulging a spirit of retaliation we injure ourselves. We destroy our own confidence in God, and grieve the Holy Spirit. There is by our side a witness, a heavenly messenger, who will lift up for us a standard against the enemy. He will shut us in with the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. Beyond this Satan cannot penetrate. He cannot pass this shield of holy light.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 171, 172.
Bad influence and neglect
6. How does the Holy Spirit react when we have received Jesus’ commission and then remain indifferent, negligent, and lethargic concerning it?
Matthew 28:19, 20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
“Those who know the truth are responsible for those who know it not. As a part of God’s great firm, we have a work to do in building up the interests of that firm. As instruments of righteousness, we are to build up the kingdom of God, according to the plans He has laid before us. All who are connected with God will be imbued with His Spirit. The light that has been given them they will communicate to those who are in darkness. They will never cease their efforts to win souls to Christ. This is the work before all who claim to believe in Jesus. And in this work they will give themselves to God, soul, body, and spirit. They will bear their burden of soul in prayer to God, that those who know Him not may be convicted and converted. To neglect this work is to insult Jehovah, to grieve the Holy Spirit, and to prove disloyal to Christ.” –Review and Herald, July 18, 1899.
“The work is before us; will we engage in it? We must work fast, we must go steadily forward. We must be preparing for the great day of the Lord. We have no time to lose, no time to be engaged in selfish purposes. The world is to be warned. What are we doing as individuals to bring the light before others? God has left to every man his work; everyone has a part to act, and we cannot neglect this work except at the peril of our souls. O my brethren, will you grieve the Holy Spirit, and cause It to depart? Will you shut out the blessed Saviour, because you are unprepared for His presence? Will you leave souls to perish without the knowledge of the truth, because you love your ease too well to bear the burden that Jesus bore for you?” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 126.
7. What happens when someone knows God’s will but does not respect it in every aspect of life?
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Timothy 2:9, 10 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
Romans 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
“To grieve the Holy Spirit which would make you a witness of Christ is a terrible thing. You know not when you may grieve the Spirit for the last time. The Holy Spirit does not work upon the human heart to compel you to give yourself to Christ, to force you to yield your conscience: but [the Spirit] shines into the chambers of the mind in a way to convict of sin, and to entice you unto righteousness. If you do not confess Christ now, the time will come when, overwhelmed with a sense of the great things that you have lost, you will make confession. But why not confess Christ now while mercy’s voice invites you?” –(The Youth’s Instructor, August 1, 1895) Ye Shall Receive Power, p. 300.
“Any habit or practice that would lead into sin, and bring dishonor upon Christ, would better be put away, whatever the sacrifice. That which dishonors God cannot benefit the soul. The blessing of heaven cannot attend any man in violating the eternal principles of right. And one sin cherished is sufficient to work the degradation of the character, and to mislead others.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 439.
“The True Witness says, ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.’ Revelation 3:20. Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the word of God or through His messengers is a knock at the door of the heart. It is the voice of Jesus asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, the disposition to open becomes weaker. The impressions of the Holy Spirit if disregarded today, will not be as strong tomorrow. The heart becomes less impressible, and lapses into a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of life, and of the great eternity beyond. Our condemnation in the judgment will not result from the fact that we have been in error, but from the fact that we have neglected heaven-sent opportunities for learning what is truth.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 489, 490.