“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” This somewhat obscure statement occurs in Ephesians1 regarding the Holy Spirit. Understanding that this passage also speaks to something that the Holy Spirit does for the Christian today (e.g. seals), how can a Christian grieve the Holy Spirit?

How Scripture answers "How does one grieve the Holy Spirit?"

The Christian can “grieve the Holy Spirit”1 by not being obedient to God2,3 and true to their calling by doing away with works of the flesh1,4. There seems even to be a progression shown in Scripture whereby a believer with the Holy Spirit that engages in sinful/unholy behavior can first grieve/upset the Spirit1,3, further outrage the Spirit2, and finally extinguish completely the Holy Spirit4, even having God working against them in their rebellion3.

Answer built on scripture-blocks below

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
The Holy Spirit, who has sealed us for the day of redemption, can be grieved (distressed, sorrowful). Therefore, don’t engage in bitterness, wrath, anger, screaming, and backbiting, along with all hatred. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted and forgiving, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

Paul is in the midst of instructing against various things like corrupt speech, bitterness, anger, slander, etc.  Instead, he is encouraging the saints to be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving (vs 32).

Scripture-block application to this question

It is possible for a Christian to “grieve the Holy Spirit”, and Paul goes on to describe how a Christian can do that by not putting away (or continuing to engage in) behavior that is ungodly instead of being kind, tenderhearted, forgiving, etc.

Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

Anybody [a Hebrew/Jew] that sets aside the law of Moses justly dies based on the evidence of two or three witnesses.  How much worse than death do you think will be the end for the one [Christian] that has turned his back on Jesus and cursed His blood sacrifice which he had been sanctified by and outraged the Holy Spirit?

The Hebrews writer is beginning the conclusion of his letter imploring the Jewish Christians to remain faithful and not forget all of the “better” things they have in Christ.

Scripture-block application to this question

The Holy Spirit’s grief1 can turn to “outrage” when a Christian completely rejects God and His sacrifice that he once had accepted.

But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore he turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them.

But they [God’s people] turned [from God] and grieved His Holy Spirit. As a result, He [God] became their enemy and fought against them.

This chapter is divided into three sections that seem to be speaking both of the days of Moses as well as the promised new covenant, “last days” time so often spoken of in the prophets generally and Isaiah particularly (though we can’t be sure).

  1. Vss 1-6 describe God’s Messiah coming in “crimsoned garments” that spoke “in righteousness” (vs 1) and brought with Him a “day of vengeance” (vs 4).
  2. Vss 7-14 describe God’s “compassion” and “steadfast love” (vs 7) for His people, their rebellion (vs 10), and the promise that God might still make “a glorious name” (vs 14).
  3. Vss 15-19 is a prayer (presumably of Isaiah) that God might remember His people in spite of the fact they had become “like those who are not called by your name” (vs 19).
Scripture-block application to this question

God’s people had “rebelled” and thus “grieved His Holy Spirit”.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

Don’t extinguish the Spirit. Don’t disregard prophecies, but test them and keep what is proven true. Abstain from all sin.

The closing admonitions of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians that begins back at the beginning of chapter four (“Finally, then, brothers…”). Among other things, Paul turns to remind them that the “day of the Lord” has not come yet, but will still come “like a thief in the night” (vs 2).
Scripture-block application to this question

Paul connects quenching (or extinguishing, like water on fire) the Holy Spirit with not abstaining from every form of evil.

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