First Thessalonians Message Fourteen
1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Christians have a unique relationship with the Holy Spirit and we are commanded to be very careful how we interact with Him. In this letter, we have been given instructions about quenching the spirit, but we have also been warned in God’s Word, the Bible, about lying to Him and grieving Him. We will begin this morning by learning –
I. The Difference – lying, grieving, quenching
A. We know what it is to lie and we need little instruction about this except to remember that we are not to lie to anyone –
Colossians 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
Why? Because when we lie we identify ourselves, not with God, but with Satan –
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
B. We know that we are commanded not to “grieve the spirit” –
Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
In order to obey this command, we must know what is meant by “grieving the Spirit”.
We must understand –
1. The Purpose of God – The Lord saved us from our bondage in sin –
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
And He placed us into His service –
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
He saved us and we serve Him that the world may know –
2. The Praise of God unto His glory
Ephesians 3:20-21 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
How are we to glorify Him? He has not left this for us to figure out. We note –
3. The Plan – God has prepared men to preach His Word –
Ephesians 4:11-12 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
That we may be perfected, changed from what we were to what we should be in Him –
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
4. The Problem – The believer can rebel against the will of God –
Ephesians 4:21-24 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
When believer’s choose to live according to the old life in the bondage of sin, they live a life in sin grieving (hurts) the Holy Spirit of God whose desire is to glorify God in us.
Knowing what grieving the Holy Spirit is, we need to know what the command to not “quench” the spirit means. Let’s look at the –
Following a course of action in agreement (not rebelling against) with the Holy Spirit, but failing to submit completely to accomplish His intended purpose.
A. The suppression of the will of God.
1. Through opposition. Jeremiah
The faithful servant of God was almost overcome by the opposition in the ministry of the Word of God. Day to day, week to week, month to month it continued until he thought he could not continue. He tried to forget the fire of God in his heart.
Jeremiah 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name.
2. Through expectation. Elijah
This faithful prophet had called forth a fire on Mt. Carmel that brought fear to the hearts of all of Israel, and yet when his expectations were not realized and the people did not repent in sackcloth and ashes, he forgot the faithfulness of God and tried to drown the fire in tears of self-pity in the wilderness.
The lord is longsuffering, patient and merciful in reviving these men, encouraging them to continue in the ministry of His Word.
To Jeremiah – “…But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.”
To Elijah – “…1Ki 19:15 And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus:…”
We thank the Lord that many are recovered (ourselves included) and serve in the zeal of the Lord, but we must note –
B. The success of the will of man in quenching the spirit.
The Lord warns us here that it is possible to quench the Spirit. Paul was careful in his own life of holding back the power of God.
1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
You see, physically God is omnipotent and we have no power against Him, but spiritually He has given us a choice. He has made us able to hold Him back! What an amazing statement, yet it is true. Another thing is true also – we will receive the consequences of our actions.
We will be judged by what we choose to do. The believer cannot lose his salvation but he certainly can lose his service and the rewards which come from serving.
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
This brings us to the exhortation from Paul to enable and encourage us to reject quenching the Spirit.
III. The Duty
1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
A. Respect the Word. “…despise not prophesyings.”
B. Review the Word. “Prove all things..”
And our decision should be to –
C. Receive the Word as the guide to life. “…hold fast that which is good.”
It is amazing as we preach through this letter to see how much Paul learned through the ministry to the church in Thessalonica. Think about the references that have been noted to the letters written to the churches as these missionaries continued their ministry. The Lord used this ministry to instruct them in His truth, doctrine to be established for the church. What has the Lord taught us today, what has He taught you that He will use in your lives in serving Him?
Have you put off the old man and walk in the newness of life? A new heart pursuing holiness. Have you decided to serve Him faithfully unto the end? Are you reading the Word of God, reflecting upon it, and receiving it as the authoritative guide to your lives?