Don’t Quench The Spirit! 7 Things a Christian Should NEVER Participate In!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

Do you know what it means to “quench the Spirit”? And do you know how to avoid doing this very dangerous thing?

Here are 7 things a Christian should never participate in to avoid quenching the Holy Spirit in their life.

1. A Christian Must Never Participate in Communities or Religious Gatherings that Despise the Supernatural Power of the Holy Spirit

To “quench” means to extinguish or stop. Thus, when you “quench the Spirit,”you are missing out on blessings he wants to give you and minimizing the good fruit he wants to produce through you.

The primary Scripture text that talks about “quenching the Spirit” is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22. It reads:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”

Here we see that “despising prophecies” is directly linked to quenching the Spirit. One reason Christians are tempted to despise the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, like with prophecies, is because so many people fake it and abuse this type of thing. This is why Paul then also says, “but test everything.”

So Christians can easily fall off the edge in two ways here. We can believe everyone who pretends to be used by the Holy Spirit. Second, we can begin to despise all works of the Spirit because we have seen so many people abuse these types of things.

Therefore, as a Christian, never participate in conversations with people who are bitter towards people who seem to be used by the Holy Spirit. Likewise, don’t blindly follow everyone who seems to be used by the Holy Spirit.

2. Christians Must Never Participate in Conversations that Corrupt the Group and Tear Others Down

Another key passage about extinguishing the Holy Spirit’s work in your life is Ephesians 4:29-31. In this passage, the exact phrase is “do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,” which is closely related to “quenching the Spirit.” It reads:

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And 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.”

What is corrupting talk? It is anything that does not do “good for building up” those who hear it. What we say can have a positive or negative affect on those who hear us. For example, Proverbs 18:8 (NIV) states, “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.” If you participate in conversations that tear people down, you are grieving the Spirit.

3. A Christian Must Never Participate in Something that Would Require Them to Neglect the Holy Spirit’s Personal Leading in Their Life

One of the primary works of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to bring loving conviction. Conviction is different than condemnation. Condemnation is what you feel when you don’t have the blood of Jesus washing away your sins and thus you feel the price of your wrongs on your conscience. Conviction from the Holy Spirit, however, is not just about pointing out past sins so you can repent but it is also about pricking your conscience in the moment so you don’t participate in something God doesn’t want you to participate in.

This is especially clear when it comes to blatant sins. If you ignore the Spirit’s leading and you walk into sin, you are quenching the Spirit. But sometimes there are grey areas in life that are not so clear. Some Christians may not have the same conviction as you. If you sense the Holy Spirit leading you to avoid something but you do it anyways because other people are, this too is quenching the Spirit. 

As Romans 14:23 states, “But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”

4. If You Are Participating in Anything that Is Distracting You from Using the Spirit’s Gifts, This Is Quenching the Spirit

Throughout the New Testament, it’s clear that one of the acts the Holy Spirit performs is giving God’s saints gifts meant to be used for the advancement of the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 12:7, 1 Peter 4:10).

However, the Holy Spirit and his gifts don’t possess us like demon possession. Rather, we must willing participate in our development and service to God. Thus, you can neglect your gift. For example, if you are spending too much time with friends online as you play video games together, if you are gossiping with friends, or if you just being lazy as you follow the trends in our society to worship entertainment, you could be quenching the Spirit because you are neglecting your spiritual development and service to God.

Notice how Paul instructed Timothy about these matters in 1 Timothy 4:12-16. It states:

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

In verse 12 he warned against succumbing to older people who “despise him,” which would cause Timothy to not lead the church there and thus resist the Spirit’s leading because of what others wanted him to do. In verse 13 he tells him to “devote” himself to God’s work. In verses 14, he directly commands him to not “neglect the gift” he had been given.” And then he tells him to keep practicing and being diligent in his service to God and people.

In 2 Timothy 2:3-4, Paul also said, “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” If you are participating in anything that is hindering you from using your God-given gifts, you are quenching the Spirit.

5. A Christian Must Never Participate in Anything that Steals God’s Glory for the Good the Holy Spirit Produces

Perhaps the fastest way to offend the Holy Spirit is to take God’s glory for yourself. Isaiah 42:8, “I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other . . . .” Just look at what happened to Herod in Acts 12:22-23. It states:

And the people were shouting, ‘The voice of a god, and not of a man!’ Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.”

Going back to our key text in 1 Thessalonians 5:18-19, it states, “. . . give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.” Here we have a warning about the importance of giving thanks to God for the good he gives followed by a warning not to “quench the Spirit.”

When we participate in anything that takes God’s credit and thus minimize the glorification he deserves, we are quenching the Spirit. 

6. Abusing Mind and Mood Altering Substances

Ephesians 5:18 states, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit . . . .”

This verse does not condemn alcohol, but it does condemn getting drunk. When you get drunk, you are altering your mind and mood in an unnatural way. It often causes you to lose self-control and feel things that are not reflective of reality. Getting drunk can make you feel happy when your sinful life should make you feel sad, and it can make you feel sad when you have plenty to be thankful for. It skews reality.

This verse about alcohol gives us a principle that can guide us in our use (or are non-use) of any substance. God can use medications and natural remedies to assist us to feel like ourselves and to gain more self-control. But if you are using a substance to alter your mind and mood in a way that causes you to lose self-control and feel less like your true self, you are quenching the Spirit. 

7. Producing the Works of the Flesh Rather than the Fruits of the Spirit

When you read Galatians 5:16-26, you see a list of “the works of the flesh” and “the fruits of the Spirit.” God isn’t just saying “Don’t do the works of the flesh and do the works of the Spirit.” Rather, he gives us these lists to let us know how we can know if we are truly following the Spirit or not.

If you are not following the Spirit, you will know it by the works of the flesh manifesting in your life. If you are following the Spirit, you will know it by the fruits of the Spirit manifesting in your life.

In summary, the main way you quench the Spirit is by neglecting his leading in your life. As a Christian, never participate in anything that the Spirit is leading you away from and always seek to participate in those things the Spirit is leading you to do. As Paul said, “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).

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Mark Ballenger is the writing ministry of Mark Ballenger. To reach Mark, send him an email anytime: