What does Ephesians 4:30 mean?
ESV: And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
NIV: And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
NASB: Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
CSB: And don't grieve God's Holy Spirit. You were sealed by him for the day of redemption.
NLT: And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
KJV: And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Verse Commentary:
Paul adds an interesting note here not to cause the Holy Spirit sadness. The Greek word is lypeite, which means to "cause grief," or "make sorrowful." Paul's point is fundamental to the entire Christian understanding of sin. In short, believers can make the Spirit sad by our sinful actions.

This ties together several critical ideas. First, it means saved Christians are still capable of sin. Second, it means that God does, in fact, care about how we live our lives once we are saved. Third, it ties into eternal security; Paul is not warning us about being cast aside as a result of sin. Fourth, this is part of the motivation Christians have for godly living. Eternal security is not a license to sin, because true believers don't want to make our Savior sad!

Along those same lines, Paul reminds us the Holy Spirit has "sealed [believers] for the day of redemption." Paul also developed this idea of being sealed by the Spirit in Ephesians 1:13. This "sealing" takes place at the point of salvation. Though we can bring grief to the Spirit, we cannot lose the Spirit. The Greek word translated "sealed" is from the root word sphragizo, which means being closed up, and marked. A classic example is the wax-pressed symbol applied to a letter. This implies both security and identification. We are marked by the Holy Spirit in anticipation of the day when we meet with Christ.

We need not fear losing the Spirit (Romans 8:37–39), but should fear grieving the Spirit. Jesus is described as "grieved" in Scripture (Mark 3:5), but this is the only place in which the Spirit is mentioned as being able to grieve. In the case of Jesus, He was grieved by the "hardness of heart" in other people. Likewise, we can make the Holy Spirit sad, or disappointed, when we are stubborn and refuse to follow God's will in our lives.
Verse Context:
Ephesians 4:17–32 is a valuable, highly practical explanation of how to live out a Christian life. Paul notes the difference between a life wallowing under the power of sin, as opposed to a life thriving in the power of Christ. Christians are called on to ''put away'' the things which entangle unbelievers. This includes sins such as malice, slander, commotion, and bitterness. Instead, we should demonstrate a Christ-like attitude of love and forgiveness.
Chapter Summary:
Truly understanding saving grace, as Paul explained in prior chapters, is the Christian's first motivation for living a godly life. Here, Paul encourages believers to live in way which honors that gift. All saved Christians are part of a single, unified family, part of the ''body'' of Christ. At the same time, different believers are given different talents. Some are called to positions of leadership and authority. All Christians should turn away from the ''old self'' we were prior to being saved. Paul's explanation of the ''new self'' includes some basic, practical steps.
Chapter Context:
The first half of Ephesians focuses mostly on doctrine, setting up ideas related to the Christian faith. The last half, beginning in chapter 4, puts those theories into practice. Paul begins by emphasizing the ultimate unity of all Christians, regardless of individual spiritual gifts. Paul also begins to explain how knowledge of the truths should translate into action. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 feature specific, real-world applications of Christianity to daily life.
Book Summary:
Ephesians follows a theme common in Paul's writings: connecting theory with practice. In this book, however, he goes into greater depth before making the transition. As a letter meant to be read by more than just the believers at Ephesus, this is an important look at how Christian belief should translate into Christian action. The first three chapters lay out spiritual ideas, the last three chapters show how these truths should be applied in the life of a mature believer. Paul focuses heavily on love, the unity of the Christian church, and the incredible value of our salvation through Christ.
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