1 Thessalonians 5:19
Quench not the Spirit.
I. THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
1. The Holy Spirit is God, and so has all the strength of God. What He pleases to do He can do. None can stand against Him. This is of the greatest possible comfort to us, because we have enemies that are too strong for us; but no enemy is strong enough to hurt us if the Spirit of God is on our side. And again, as the Holy Spirit is God, so He has that wonderful power of working on the heart which belongs to God, and in purifying it, and making it holy like Himself.
2. The Holy Spirit dwells in the Church. His work is done upon those who belong to the Church. "He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." What the soul of each one is to our body, so the Holy Spirit lives in the Church, and gives spiritual life to each member of the Church. He works through the ordinances of the Church, and what He gives, He is pleased to give through those ordinances.
3. The Holy Spirit is like a fire in the heart of man. Fire gives warmth and light. Is not this exactly the character of the work of the Holy One. What is colder than the fallen heart of man toward God? Who warms it into real love to God but the Spirit by whom the love of God is shed abroad in the heart? Again, what is darker than the heart of man? Who pours light into it, and makes us to see that God is the true portion of the soul? It is the Holy Ghost. "We have an unction from the Holy One, and we know all things."
II. THE QUENCHING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
1. The power we have to do this. We have already said that the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church is like a fair shining light. Its rays fall on all hearts. It touches, it gilds, it beautifies all souls. It gives them a new fairness, like the golden rays which bathe the whole landscape, making each separate leaf to glisten as it dances on its branch, and hill and valley, wood and meadow, to wear a holiday aspect. Do not choose darkness rather than light by quenching the Spirit. We have power to do this. If we choose, we may say — I will not be changed, I will not give up my icy coldness of soul, I will go on in the hard-bound frost of my own selfishness, I will care for myself, live for myself; the fire may burn around me, but I will quench it. So we may put out the light which would lead us to God and heaven.
2. The way in which we may exercise this power. The Spirit of God may give us light in the Holy Scriptures, and we may refuse to read them at all, or read them without learning to know God and ourselves. The Spirit of God may give us light in the Church, which is the pillar and ground of the truth, and we may determine not to see what the Church would have us to believe and to do. The loving Spirit of God is longing to work among you, His heart is set upon you, He is opening out the treasures of His goodness before you. Oh! take care you do not check Him by your indifference. He will act to you as you act to Him. Just as fire cannot burn in a damp, unwholesome atmosphere — as there are places underground where the air is so foul that the brightest candle will go out at once, so if you choke the heavenly fire it will go out. The Holy Spirit will not work in the midst of cold, worldly, unbelieving hearts. By all that is dear and precious, "Quench not the Spirit!"
(R. W. Randall, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Quench not the Spirit.