OLD FEAR VS NEW FEAR
"Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God" Eph. 4:30
Two ideas are brought prominently before the mind in this command, and their interrelationship is very suggestive. The first is that of THE CHARACTER OF THE SPIRIT, in that Paul here, with evident intention, employed the full and solemn description, "the Holy Spirit of God," every word of which is full of meaning, while laying the utmost emphasis upon the HOLINESS OF THE SPIRIT. The other is that of THE DEEP LOVE-NATURE OF THE SPIRIT, in that Paul speaks of Him as being capable of SORROW, for the simple meaning of the injunction is, "Cause not sorrow to the Holy Spirit of God." The interrelation of the ideas reveals to us the effect which sin produces on the Spirit of God. It causes SORROW. Perhaps no Apostolic injunction, if its force be rightly apprehended, constitutes a more prevailing incentive to a walk which is in HOLINESS AND TRUTH. Thus is created that NEW FEAR which is of the very essence of safety. The OLD slavish FEAR of God, which was fear of His anger, and of suffering which such anger might bring to us, is completely done away by the manifestation of His love in Christ; but now a NEW FEAR takes possession of us; and that is a fear lest anything we do or say should cause sorrow to Him. The OLD FEAR produces no high spiritual or moral results. This NEW FEAR keeps the soul in living touch with the loving Lord, and so ensures its growth in strength and purity and beauty.