This week on the Everyday Jesus podcast, we started a discussion on the Holy Spirit. We talked about who He is and the fact that he is actively working in our world today. We also mentioned that the Holy Spirit can be resisted, quenched and grieved. If you missed the podcast, be sure to catch up with us by pressing the play button on the player below:
So let’s focus a little closer on the phrase resisting the Holy Spirit. As Christians, we believe that God’s grace is irresistible, meaning that when God chooses for you to be saved, he makes his grace so appealing that your heart cannot help but to submit to Him. So when we get to this phrase about resisting the Holy Spirit, it would be easy for us to get confused. So let’s look at the context of the phrase.
51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.” – Stephen in Acts Chapter 7 when addressing the Sanhedrin.
Here we see Stephen addressing the High Priest. Stephen was in trouble for preaching the gospel and this is part of the speech he delivered to those persecuting him. As a matter of fact, this is the very part of the speech that when the religious leaders heard this, they were gnashing their teeth. A few minutes later, they pulled the Stephen outside of the city and stoned him to death.
So what does the phrase, “You always resist the Holy Spirit” mean? Let’s look at the previous verse. Stephen calls the Sanhedrin stiff-necked people, whose hearts and ears are uncircumcised. In the Bible, when you hear that someone’s heart is uncircumcised, you know that they are unregenerate or unsaved.
“And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. —Deuteronomy 30:6
Resisting the Holy Spirit is the state that we all find ourselves in before we come to know Christ. Our hearts are resisting the circumcision needed for us to love God. When we heed the call to repent and put our trust in Christ, that is the point that we stop resisting the Holy Spirit.
“He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,” Titus 3:5-6.
When we are saved, we are washed and renewed by the Holy Spirit. This is one of His tasks to preform on us in salvation. Our old life passes away and we are brought to life by the Spirit to live for Christ.
So if you are reading this and you are resisting the Holy Spirit, repent and put your trust in Christ. Receive the good news that Jesus died for your sins. Live your life for him. If that’s you, then praise the Lord! Find yourself a church and get involved. If you need help finding a church in your area, shoot me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.