|| Bible Question:
does it mean "Do not quench the Spirit?"
passage you are quoting is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:19.
not quench the Spirit . . .
1 Thess 5:19
Meaning of the Greek. The actual Greek words
read "the Spirit not quench." The Greek language places
the most important part of the sentence first. So verse 19 is
emphasizing "the Spirit." We also need to note that
the root Greek word for "quench" is SBENNUMI which
means "to extinguish" or "to go out." The
word was used to refer to putting out fires, sparks, or the
putting out of a lamp. The word is used in Matthew 25:8,
the foolish said to the prudent, Give us some of
your oil, for our lamps are going out.
Now we have part of the information required to understand the
verse. So far the verse says that we are not to "put out
the Holy Spirit." The ministry of the Holy Spirit was evidenced
by flames of fire (Acts 2:3). We must not forget that God is
called a "consuming fire" (Heb. 12:29) and His angels
are flames of fire (2 Thess. 1:7). The Holy Spirit is never
actually called a flame or fire, but His ministry was like fire.
Context of the Verse. Now we need the context
to give us the meaning of the verse.
pray without ceasing;
in everything give
thanks; for this is Gods will for you in Christ
not quench the Spirit;
do not despise prophetic utterances.
examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which
abstain from every form of evil.
1 Thess. 5:16-22
This passage is wonderful. It deals with three aspects of holiness:
talking to the Lord, allowing the Spirit to minister to us,
and pursuing righteousness. In the Greek, the passage is broken
into four statements. I have highlighted every other grouping.
Each statement is like a proverb. Each group has similar ideas.
The first grouping is rejoicing, praying and giving thanks.
The third group is examining everything in order to hold to
that which is good, and the last group is "abstaining from
evil." The second group, not quench and not despise, is
the one we are interested in. They go together. So how do not
quenching the Holy Spirit and not despising prophetic utterances
go together? The grouping is about the ministries of the Spirit.
of the Verse.
Both the meaning of the Greek and the context of the passage
tell us the ministry of the Spirit is Paul's concern. We are
not to quench the ministry of the Spirit! Is Paul talking about
not hindering the ministry of the gifts of the Spirit, or the
convicting ministry of the Spirit, or the teaching ministry
of the Spirit, or His ministry of leading and filling? The answer
is "Yes" to all of them.
are many ways one can hinder ministry of the Holy Spirit. First,
we hinder His work in our life when we sin, because we grieve
Him (Eph. 4:30-31).
do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were
sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and
wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from
you, along with all malice.