Q. How do people lose the Holy Spirit?
A. Believers cannot lose the Holy Spirit, but they can quench His power through sin.
We do not earn the filling of the Holy Spirit, so we cannot be expected to earn the keeping of the Holy Spirit.
At the moment of salvation the Holy Spirit is given to believers, and He is there to stay. He doesn’t leave us when we sin, or else we would be forced to get saved all over again to get the Spirit back. That is an amazing promise!
But just because we can’t lose the Spirit doesn’t mean our sin doesn’t affect the relationship. The Bible speaks of quenching and grieving the Holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 plainly says, “Do not quench the Spirit;” Ephesians 4:30 says, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed until the day of redemption.”
To quench means to suppress fire. The Holy Spirit wants to work through the believer to do great things for God, but when we sin we throw water on that fire. Read Ephesians 4 to see specific sins that will grieve the Spirit.
So while the Spirit will never leave us, we can choose to diminish His power and effectiveness in our lives. If you want to be led by the Spirit, have the boldness to witness for Christ, and be in close communion with the Father, it is imperative that we do our best to abstain from sin. As often as we do sin, we only need to repent to enjoy a fresh outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit.
We may have quenched or grieved Him, but He has never left us.