How Not To Frustrate The Grace of God

How to Stop Hindering the Work of the Holy Spirit of God in their Lives

Galatians 2:21


I.         Introduction - This message is critical to understanding our lack of spiritual power as believers


A.      There is a Spiritual Battle Going On (Gal 5:17)


1.        The Holy Spirit and human flesh just don’t get along

2.        It is OUR response to the influence of the Holy Spirit that makes the difference. Either we honour sin and the works of the flesh, or we honour the Spirit, and the works of God in our life!

3.        The “grace of God” is God’s work on my life to make me more like Jesus (Gal 2:20,21)

4.        We HAVE to stop frustrating/hindering that work!


B.       The Work of the Holy Spirit – Seven steps to Changing us (2Cor 3:17,18)


1.        He Convicts - Convinces us of sin, righteousness, judgment (Jn 16:7,8)


a.        The first work of the Holy Spirit of God is to cut us down, and humble us, and break us, and condemn us – amen!

b.       Makes us aware of just how guilty we are before God

c.        Bring us to the place of repentance – sorrow - brokenness

d.       Uses the law of God to do that (Rom 7:7) “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”


2.        He Converts - Transforms condemned sinner into forgiven saint (Jn 3:3-7)


a.        Not patch them up, or smooth over the rough edges

b.       But completely convert/change our souls from lost, and condemned, and ruined to found, and forgiven, and restored!

c.        People fear conversion – but it is the work of the Holy Spirit to convert our souls – even Peter had to be converted (Lk 22:31,32)


3.        He Comforts - Re-assures of our salvation, abides with us (John 14:16,26; Rom 8:16; Act 9:31) holds us up!

4.        He Conforms - He works very hard to get us more and more like Jesus Christ (Philp 1:6)


a.        Less and less stubborn (Isa 63:9,10)

b.       Less and less selfish

c.        Less and less deceptive – lying, stealing

d.       Less and less bitter and cold and unfeeling


5.        He Completes - He takes over when we have exhausted our abilities (Act 1:8). God never asks us to do the impossible. He just wants us to do what we can do, and He will always do the rest – He will finish every spiritual task He needs done

6.        He Casts out Devils (Mt 12:22-28)


a.        People call these things demons

b.       We face demonic attacks and oppression

c.        Only by the filling of the Holy Spirit in the place of these devils can they finally be gone from affecting us

d.       Replaces our past with forgiveness

e.        Replaces our pains with joy

f.         Replaces our weaknesses with mighty power and strength

g.       Replaces our failures with victory, step by step!


7.        Channels Christ through us (Rom 5:5): His love; His compassion; His patience; His words


C.       Three Wrong Responses To The Holy Spirit’s Work


1.        Grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30; Ps 78:40) – Upset Him, and disappoint Him because of sin (Gen 6:5,6). It causes God to become our enemy (Isa 63:10)

2.        Quench (shut up, or cover-up, put out, extinguish, stifle) the Holy Spirit (1Thes 5:19) - Because of apathy, unconcern, wrong priorities (Mark 10:48) - wrong music, wrong words, wrong thoughts, wrong loves

3.        Frustrate (tie the hands, Resist and even Reject) the Holy Spirit (Gal 2:21) - Because of envy (Acts 7:51) - Self-centred and selfish, when God is “others”-centred!


II.       Message - How Not To Grieve/Quench/Frustrate the Grace of God


A.      To Grieve Not The Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30)


1.        Glorify God in your spirit and in your body (1 Cor 6:19,20; 10:31)


a.        Most of us grieve God for weeks on end!

b.       We ourselves are grieved by how others are treating us - that's how God feels!


2.        It simply means, now that you are a child of God, live like it

3.        Don’t live differently on Mon - Sat, than you do on Sunday

4.        Live a life worthy of the name “Christian” - God hates frauds!

5.        Don’t FIGHT (don’t strive with) Him when He works on you – and convicts of a sin that may be dominant in your life!

6.        Instead of worrying about disappointing your friends, or your parents, or your kids, or your boss – worry about disappointing your Saviour (Mt 23:37)


B.       To Quench Not the Holy Spirit (1Thes 5:19)


1.        We quench Him by constantly ignoring Him, and shutting up that still small voice, and arguing with Him, and having a critical spirit, and inviting anything to influence us more than He does!!!

2.        A Christian HAS to reject anything that would suppress His gentle influence in your life (Cf Matt 5:29)

3.        Get Fed-up with spiritual-emptiness.


a.        Most Christians are spiritually as dry as a desert – no love joy or peace

b.       God wants to throw us up simply because on the outside we are clean, but on the inside we are empty – no softness, and no fire!!!

c.        God help us to yearn to be literally “on fire” for the Lord – fervent in spirit (Rev 3:15,16; Rom 12:11)


4.        Fuel the work of the Holy Spirit - with the word of God - Jeremiah had stored away God’s word in his heart, and even when he got away from God and discouraged, it was fuel for the Spirit to burn in his heart (Jer 20:9) and get him back on track for God!!!

5.        Get Full of the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18). Allow Him to saturate


a.        Your life

b.       Your conversations

c.        Your facial expressions

d.       Your responses to problems.


C.       To Frustrate Not the Holy Spirit (Gal 2:21) – Stop resisting His work in your life


1.        The Holy Spirit wants to save people, but they won’t let Him because they want things to happen their way, on their terms – that is very frustrating

2.        They tie His hands when…


a.        People trust their ceremonies and traditions of “religion”, and “philosophy” and the keeping the Law

b.       People spend all their lives trying to “impress God.”

c.        People think the preaching of the cross is foolishness

d.       God cannot save anyone who is not a sinner in desperate need of Jesus Christ talking their place on the cross


3.        What should Christians do to keep from frustrating/blocking the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives?

a.        Get interested in what HE is interested in - eternal things


1)       Not just feeding the poor, but getting them the life-changing Gospel!

2)       Not just knowing what the Bible says, but LIVING it!


b.       Get close to Him - Pray WITH Him (Rom 8:26). Listen for His voice

c.        Obey Him – this will be the start of our revival is we only obey the Holy Spirit


III.     Conclusion - How SHOULD You Respond to the Work of the Holy Spirit?


A.      The BEST Way to enable the work of the Holy Spirit in your life is to Yield, Surrender, Submit, Give Up (Acts 9) and STAY that way!!!


1.        Yield to getting saved - Yield to the saving power of Jesus Christ today!

2.        Yield to the work of changing you into more and more like Jesus every day

3.        Yield to serve Christ with your whole heart once you are saved!

4.        Put all your efforts into rejecting, and resisting anything that might hinder and block that precious, sweet, and gentle work in your life!


B.       Remember, the Holy Spirit works through preaching, the reading of your Bible, through praying, and through other Christians - how do you respond to those things?

C.       When He is working - which is ALL the time - you need to


1.        Glorify God in your spirit and in your body (1 Cor 6:19,20; 10:31)

2.        Get Fed-up with spiritual-emptiness.

3.        Fuel the work of the Holy Spirit - with the word of God

4.        Get Full of the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18). Allow Him to saturate you

5.        Stop resisting His work in your life – it is the best and most rewarding work


Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church