Sunday: Resisting the Holy Spirit

Read Acts 7:51. What warning was given here, and how does it apply to us today, as well?

There are a number of sins specifically mentioned in Scripture as sins against the Holy Spirit.


Image © Jeff Preston

Many of those sins are on the individual level. However, there is also a corporate dimension involved, as we can conclude from Acts 7:51. Stephen points out that his accusers are stiff-necked, as were the rebellious Israelites when they worshiped the golden calf (Exod. 33:3). They resisted the Holy Spirit because they refused to listen to what the Holy Spirit would impress through God’s prophets upon their hearts. This pattern of opposition to God and His plan ultimately led some to reject the claims of the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of following Jesus, they made external worship a substitute for obedience to the living Word of God.

It is an amazing thought that frail human beings, created by God and dependent on Him, are able to resist the work of the Holy Spirit and ultimately the grace of God. As powerful as God is, He does not force Himself upon our free will. He respects our choices.

After all, if God wanted to force us to obey Him, why didn’t He do it in Eden, with Adam and Eve, and thus spare the whole world the crisis of sin? God has made us free beings, with the power to make moral choices, either for life or for death, either for good or for evil. What a sacred-and costly-gift we have each been given.

While everyone is responsible for his or her own decisions, we also have a corporate responsibility: we should encourage one another to be faithful, to obey God’s Word, and to stay close to Jesus (Heb. 10:24-25). We resist the Holy Spirit today when we resist the Word of God and when we do not heed the message of His prophets.

It’s so easy to look back at ancient Israel and judge and criticize them for all their mistakes. But what about our own poor choices? How would you feel if they were made as public as were the mistakes of ancient Israel?

What are ways we can help others toward “love and good works”? What is your responsibility to foster “love and good works” in others?


Sunday: Resisting the Holy Spirit — 10 Comments

  1. Following the word of God for me has been a good struggle for personal growth but at times a lonely journey as friends drop off and choose a more convenient approach to Christianity ; Settling for a more emotional experience than being grounded in the whole gospel.

    • Even within the SDA church... but we are at all different places and it is an opportunity to pray. Which is one answer for the question at the end of Sunday.

  2. We as God Church must encourage each other to heed God words, but to remember each and everyone has a free will and this is what the Holy Spirit will allow us to do to choose but Jesus will never force us to serve Him.
    Let us continue to live for Jesus so when He comes He will take us home with Him in His Kingdom

  3. When we are baptised of the Holy Spirit we can lead others also to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, by demonstrating the transformation that has taken place in our life. True conversion is only possible through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

  4. When we are conscientious and intentional about bringing joy to the heart of God, we will have the full power of the Holy Ghost to carry out that desire in all aspects of our daily living, especially in how we treat each other.

  5. If I was to go fishing, I thought I should put an elephant at the end of the hook. The fish would say to himself ;" I have enough protein for the rest of my life." But no, he prefers a hairless worm. Even then if I try and force it on him he will back up instead of rushing to eat it. We cannot impose our love for God on others. Even as much as they need it. We are left to simply live it and pray. So here you go fishers of men.

  6. Resisting the Holy Spirit*

    a) *Acts 7:51*
    If the Holy Spirit is omnipotent, how is it possible to resist

    b) Stephen was speaking to a group of religious leaders who were always resisting the Holy Spirit.

    What should we do if we find ourselves in a group that is always resisting the Holy Spirit?

  7. It is important to understand who precious we are to God. His love for his creation is shown in His willingness to allow us to be free creature. I am glad I have made the choice to choose to be obedient to His Word. This lesson helps to remind me to accept my gift that is freely giving to me out of love.


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