The command has been given that we are not to “quench” the Spirit, or said in a slightly different way, extinguish the Spirit’s work. Evidently, in the young church at Thessalonica, this was happening. We don’t know exactly what went on. We can only ascertain that there were some that were pouring cold water on the spiritual flame generated by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was working in the hearts of some and others were squelching them. Since we don’t know the details, let’s survey the whole of Scripture to understand how we may “quench the Spirit.”
#1 We quench the Spirit by ignoring His conviction.
Just notice the context of today’s verse. The preceding five verses tell us to stop lying, being bitter, stealing and having a foul mouth. The point is all these things “grieve the Holy Spirit.” The following verse speaks again of “bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking” and says let these things “be put away from you.”
You see the primary work of the Holy Spirit is to convict us of sin. In John 16, Jesus told the disciples about the “Helper” or Comforter who was to come. He said in verse 8, “And when He is come, He will reprove (convict) the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.”
When we are tempted, the Holy Spirit warns us. We’ve all experienced that. He pricks our conscious. He is that still, small voice telling us to watch our step. Have you ever been about to tell a lie, spread a bit of gossip or watch something you shouldn’t watch on TV and you just have this sense about it being wrong and sinful. You feel guilt even before you commit the sin. That is the Holy Spirit warning you.