In our study of the ministry of the Holy Spirit we understand that every believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation. We also find that there are several direct commands from the Scripture concerning the Spirit of God and believers. Tonight we want to look at one of them. This command comes at the close of Paul's first epistle to the Thessalonians. Notice chapter five and beginning with verse twelve. We see the apostle pulling together the final part of his letter. As he begins to close it seems that many exhortations came to mind as he completed the epistle. One of those closing exhortations is "Quench not the Spirit".
What was Paul talking about? Some would use this verse to try to prove that one can lose their salvation and that the Spirit of God can be put out of their lives. We know that this is a misinterpretation as we compare scripture with scripture. Paul wrote to the Ephesian believers admonishing them to be careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit who has sealed them until the day of redemption. We will discuss that more at a later date.
The dictionary gives four basic definitions of the word "quench". It means to put out or extinguish; to suppress or squelch; to slake or satisfy one's thirst; and to cool by thrusting in water or some other liquid.
Within the context of this verse we understand it to mean suppressing or squelching the influence of the Holy Spirit of God in the life of a believer.
I. Some Observations:
A. The Spirit of God can be "quenched".
1. If it were not true then the Holy Spirit would not have had Paul include this admonition.
2. This action is only attributed to the believer.
3. The Holy Spirit cannot be quenched from without, only from within.
B. What is it that the believer can do to quench the Spirit of God in his life?
1. It is not done by committing sin...for it is the Spirit of God who convicts us of our sin.
2. To understand how believers quench the Spirit in their life we have to remind ourselves of how the Spirit ministers to us individually.
3. Note: John 16:13
4. He is here to teach us, guide us, direct us, rebuke us, and to show us the way to unfold the Scripture to give us joy, peace and love.
5. His ministry is to transform our lives our character, and our experience
C. We quench the Spirit's influence in our lives when we resist His ministry to us.
1. When we fail to yield ourselves to God.
2. Note: Romans 6:13
3. We quench the Spirit when we say "NO" to God.
4. Nothing could be more misdirected than a self-directed life.
5. When God created us He purposely left out the ability for us to direct ourselves.
a. "Man's goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?" cf Pr. 20:24
b. "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." cf Jer. 10:23
c. God sent the Holy Spirit into our lives that He might lead and direct us.
II. Jesus Christ is our Example.
A. He was willing to GO where His Father chose.
1. The Creator was willing to come to this earth.
2. He left His glorified position in heaven to come and be rejected on earth.
3. He came into this world with a mission and message of grace.
4. Are we willing to go wherever the Lord might choose to lead? 5. If not, we quench the Spirit in our lives.
B. He was willing to BE whatever His Father chose.
1. Not only was He willing to lay aside the garments of glory.
2. He was willing to be incarnate...become flesh...the Creator taking on the form of the creation.
3. He "made Himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:" cf Ph. 2:7
4. Are we willing to be what God wants us to be?
5. If not, we quench the Spirit of God in our lives.
C. He was willing to DO whatever His Father chose.
1. He became obedient unto death.
2. He was willing to give His life on Calvary that you and I might live eternally.
3. He suffered the most cruel of deaths, not because He deserved to die, but because He chose to take our place that we might go free!
4. Are we willing to be obedient to do what God wants us to do with our lives?
5. If not, we quench the Spirit of God.
III. What does it mean to be yielded to God?
A. It means being willing to:
1. Go anywhere the Father might choose to lead.
2. Be anything that the Father might choose for us to be.
3. Do whatever the Father might choose for us to do.
B. It means being in God's will.
1. This is not a question of being willing to do some one thing.
2. It is a question of being willing to do anything, when where and how it may seem best to God.
3. God doesn't expect us to make promises to Him about what we will or will not do.
4. The believer in the flesh says, "If God wants me to do something, let Him tell me and I will decide whether or not I will do it."
5. The yielded believer says, "I am willing to be made willing to do His will."
6. Whatever it takes!
Quench not the Spirit. Don't say no to God. Don't seek solutions apart from His leading or treat Him with indifference. We must be willing to be led. Be willing to go, to be, and to do whatever God might choose