Ephesians 4:25-32 gives a list of practical recommendations on how Christians should conduct themselves so as to avoid grieving the Holy Spirit.

25 Therefore, ridding yourselves of falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, because we are parts of one another. 26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 The one who steals must no longer steal; but rather he must labor, producing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with the one who has need. 29 Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but if there is any good word for edification according to the need of the moment, say that, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 All bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. [Ephesians 4:25-32 NASB]

Now, I was pondering on the verse in bold and thought: how does Paul know that the Holy Spirit is grieved when Christians fall into sins such as the ones listed in the passage above? Is Paul saying this from an intellectual/theoretical understanding of how the Holy Spirit is supposed to feel when we sin? Or is Paul saying this from first-hand experiential knowledge? In other words, when the Holy Spirit is grieved because of sin, does the Christian get to share in the grief? Does the Christian feel inside the weight of the sin and the grief he/she has inflicted upon the Spirit? Or does the Spirit suffer the grief in the background, with the Christian unawares, and that's why Paul has to explicitly teach us this valuable piece of information so that we become intellectually aware (rather than experientially aware)?

  • Most likely the Holy Spirit told Paul He is grieved. But let’s see how this will be answered and documented. Mar 5, 2021 at 4:52
  • The question is asking for something that is not present in the text, that is to say the experience of the Christian is not mentioned here. Paul admonishes not to do something (grieve the Holy Spirit) and then he speaks of the agency of the Holy Spirit in redemption. The question is asking about something other than what is present in this particular passage.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 5, 2021 at 5:31
  • 2
    I cannot see how to answer this question - it has no been revealed.
    – Dottard
    Mar 5, 2021 at 8:43
  • @Dottard - I'm afraid the question will remain unanswered then ... I'm betting that the answer is yes in some sense, the following test I came up with relies on that being the case.
    – user38524
    Mar 5, 2021 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


Ephesians 4:30 New International Version

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

This is our indwelling Spirit given to us as a guarantee for eternal life. We are tightly sealed with Him.

John 14:26

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you.

John 14:17

the Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you do know Him, for He abides with you and will be in you.

It is the job of the indwelling Spirit to teach us and we do know him.

When a Christian sins and grieves the indwelling Spirit, is the grief experienced by the Holy Spirit only or by the Christian as well?

If it grieves our indwelling Spirit, it should grieve us as well.

John 17:22

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one

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