Ephesians Sentence by Sentence: 4:30

καὶ μὴ λυπεῖτε τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ᾧ ἐσφραγίσθητε εἰς ἡμέραν ἀπολυτρώσεως. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God in whom you were sealed on the day of ransoming.

Paul, continuing his section on the life of the new person, exhorts his readers with what seems to be a rather vague command. He says, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” This verb, λυπεῖτε, may mean “to cause pain or distress,” or it could mean “to make sad.” This verb could also mean “to vex or annoy.” The command is “do not hurt the Holy Spirit of God.” Behavior matters to the Holy Spirit, which is why Paul gives this section on behavior in Ephesians, so that he can remind them how to please and not grieve the Holy Spirit.

This concern arises out from the fact that the believers have been sealed in the Holy Spirit. To be sealed (ἐσφραγίσθητε) is to be marked with approval. This approval was given on the day of ransoming, which is the day of salvation, the day that Christ died. Through Christ’s death, God ransomed us from our transgressions, and his Holy Spirit marked us with a seal of approval, declaring us to be genuinely His.

And do not hurt the Holy Spirit of God in whom you were sealed on the day of ransoming.

We ought to be careful how we live, not for the sake of living rightly, but for the sake of pleasing the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit marks us as God’s. We should live in such a way that we seek to please God, especially as a result of what he has done through Christ. He has freed us from our sins by ransoming us with Christ’s blood. Should we not live to please the one who has done this gracious work? Our aim should be to please God out of a sense of gratitude and thankfulness.

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