Q. There are some Christians at my Church who still tell coarse jokes more often than not, they lust openly, and talk about things they shouldn’t. They always want me to hang out with them, and have “fun”. Now, I have just recently came back to Christ, and they still expect me to be the old man I was. My question is this: I know we are saved by grace through faith, not based on works but on Jesus’s obedience alone, and once we are saved, we cannot be lost. However, shouldn’t they be showing some remorse here? Shouldn’t they who claim to be Christians, act like Christians?
A. In Ephesians 4:29-30 Paul said,
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
The main reason Paul was so insistent that believers should live up to what we have already attained (Phil. 3:16) is that’s how we express our gratitude for the free gift of salvation. But in Ephesians 4:29-30 he gave us another good reason. Many Christians don’t think about the fact that the Holy Spirit is sealed within us and is forced to observe all our behavior. He hears everything we say and sees everything we do. Out of respect for Him we should not purposely engage in any kind of behavior that He considers to be offensive.
This is not meant as a “big brother is watching” kind of thing. The Holy Spirit knows we’re human and have a sin nature, and that all of our sins have already been forgiven, so we don’t have to walk around like we’re on eggshells. But we should be more aware of how what we say and do comes across, if only out of courtesy to Him.