Wounds From a Close Friend

“That is, do not grieve the indwelling One from whom we have received so many and great blessings, especially the keeping of our souls till the day of redemption! He is grieved by our sin as a tender and loving friend is grieved by wounds from a close friend. The Holy Spirit has chosen our hearts for a dwelling place, and He is there to do for us all that our souls desire. He is therefore grieved by harboring His enemies, and that which He is seeking to destroy in our hearts.

‘He does not afflict willingly or grieve the children of men’ (Lam. 3:33). Shall we then daily grieve Him? If there is any gracious character in our soul, if it is not entirely hardened by the deceitfulness of sin, then not grieving the Spirit is surely a great motive for purity. Consider who you are, and who the Spirit is whom you are grieving. Consider what He has done for you already and be ashamed! Among those who walk with God, there is no greater motive or incentive to universal holiness, and the preserving of our hearts and spirits in all purity and cleanness, that is, that we keep our hearts undefiled for the blessed Spirit Who dwells in us as the temple of God, and keeps us for the Lord. Zimri aggravated his sin when he displayed it in the sight of Mose and rest (Num. 25:6). Is it not also a serious aggravation of the guilt of our sin when it is (as it must be, if we are believers) performed under the eye of the Holy Spirit who desires His dwelling place to be pure and holy?

– John Owen, The Mortification of Sin, p.73-74