Sermon Detail

The Holy Spirit Do Not Quench the Spirit

June 23, 2024 | Buster Brown

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good."  1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

In this closing section of 1 Thessalonians, Paul addresses the fashion in which the believers were to relate to one another (verses 12-15), the importance of the inner life of the believer (verses 16-18), and gives five exhortations regarding practices which bring light, energy, and passion to the individual and the local church.

We may, quench the Spirit by resisting or undervaluing his work and by declining to yield to his influence. The picture is of putting out a fire by pouring water on it. It is noteworthy that in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 the words ‘do not quench the Spirit’ are flanked, on the one hand, by exhortations to follow the good, and to rejoice, pray, and give thanks at all times, and on the other hand, by warnings against disregard for ‘prophesying’ (meaning, God’s messages, however and by whomsoever declared), against failure to discriminate, and against evil involvements. It is natural to suppose that these things were linked in Paul’s mind and that he meant his readers to understand that heedlessness of these exhortations and warnings was likely to quench the Spirit both in personal and in corporate life. It should be noted, too, that while one may effectively put out a fire by dousing it, one cannot make it burn again simply by stopping pouring water; it has to be lighted afresh. Similarly, when the Spirit has been quenched, it is beyond our power to undo the damage we have done; we can only cry to God in penitence, asking that he will revive his work with the Spirit.”  J.I. Packer, Keep in Step With the Spirit, p. 252 


1.   Either we are in a state of limiting or quenching the Spirit, or pleading for God to blow it into a white hot flame.

"I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands...2 Timothy 1:5-6

Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you."  1 Timothy 4:14

2.   By treating, with a dismissive disdain, those who are advocating that they have a word from the Lord (v. 20).

We should realize that prophecy has actually been exhibited in every sermon or informal 'message' that has a heart-wrenching, 'homecoming' application to its hearers, ever since the church began. Prophecy has been and remains a reality whenever and wherever Bible truth is generally preached – that is, spelled out and applied, whether from a pulpit or more informally. Preaching is teaching God’s revealed truth with application; such teaching with application is prophecy, always was, and always will be.”  J.I. Packer, Keep in Step With the Spirit, p. 217

"God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are...1 Corinthians 1:28

"For they say, 'His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.'"  2 Corinthians 10:10

3.   When we do not carefully test everything by scripture.

"Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things ... And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.Acts 20:28-30; 32

4.   When we do not, “hold on to the good” (v. 21). To hold on to the good means that we retain it with the intent of letting it shape and fashion our lives.

"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."   Hebrews 4:12

5.   When we do not abstain/avoid/run from every form of evil (v. 22).

The Bible makes it plain that the work of God can be stopped and set back by sin or a lack of pleading for fresh empowerment from the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 11:6, Luke 11:9-13). In a concept that is difficult to understand; it is evident that the work of God may be hindered or destroyed by our conduct (Romans 14:20, Galatians 5:15). Therefore, the exhortations of 1 Thessalonians 5 are incredibly important. 

Zeal for the church, however pious it may appear to be, is abominable hypocrisy if it goes hand in hand with neglect of spiritual warfare against such enemies of God as lying, uncleanness, self-righteousness, coldheartedness. Some there are who pretend to be faithful watchmen upon Zion’s walls but harbor such sins in their own hearts, or overlook them in their children and fellow church members. They are unfaithful.”  Abraham Kuyper, The Practice of Godliness, p. 58