Quenching the Spirit. What an odd statement. How do I as a Christian “put out the Spirit’s fire” as the NIV puts it? Does this mean that I can loose my salvation? When John the Baptist was preaching and baptizing in the Jordan River some of the religious leaders came out to see what was going on though they did not participate in his ritual or heed his words.
Matthew 3:7 “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, ‘Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 9 and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.'”
There are two fires mentioned here, one that cannot be quenched which is the fire of hell and another that we are commanded by Paul not to quench in 1 Thessalonians 5:19, which is the Holy Spirit. He is a purifying fire in the life of the true Believer. His influence is felt in our lives as we submit to God through His Word and our lives are changed. His purifying presence can be quenched just as when King David through his great disobedience put out the Fire of Jehovah when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and killed her husband Uriah the Hittite. The name Uriah means the “Fire of Jehovah.” There was a rekindling of that fire when Nathan the prophet came to him with a word from God and exposed his sin and brought him to repentance.
We too, as Believers in Jesus Christ sin regularly against God and His goodness toward us. We fail to honor God’s Word with proper reverence and as Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:20, “Despise” it. We do not listen to it and allow it to govern our lives. It is in this way, that we stifle the Spirit’s leading and ultimately “quench” Him in our lives. This is not the losing of our salvation rather it is walking out of fellowship with God. It is allowing our sin to take precedence in our lives. If we are truly saved we cannot live like this forever.
1 John 1:5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
All Christians sin. God is perfect and we are to walk in fellowship with Him. Sometimes we like to walk on the edge, like a dog on a lead we are tugging against the restraints. In our case the restraints are God’s goodness toward us and His Spirit living inside of us. We cannot “walk” that way. Walk means that it is our way of life. If we do walk that way, John says we don’t really know Him. “If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves,” We will never deal with that we fail to recognize. Confession and restoration of fellowship is the key. Sin is the issue in all of life. If we fail to recognize that we make God a liar as we see in verse 10. If sin was not an issue, even THE issue, God would never have taken on human flesh and died to save us.
Is His Spirit in you? Do you believe that Jesus is God in the flesh who lived and died that we might be forgiven and live in a right relationship with the God who created us even tough we had violated His laws and greatly offended Him? If so then the Spirit of God is living in you and prompting you to heed His Word. “Do not quench the Spirit! Do not despise prophecies,” which is God’s Word preached and applied to our present situation. Submit, obey and deal with your sin and walk in fellowship with your God.
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Do Not Quench the Spirit – 1 Thessalonians 5:19-20