Tuesday, November 11, 2014

BLASPHEMY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit
Our church is reading through the book of Mark this week.  We are reading 3 chapters a day (and one on Saturday).  Yesterday as we read through chapters 1 - 3, the question concerning blasphemy of the Holy Spirit came up.  

Mark 3:28-29. Jesus said, “28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

When we read there is a sin which cannot be forgiven, it causes our anxiety level to rise up!  However, if you find yourself concerned with whether or not you have committed this sin, I think your concern is a good indicator you are not a blasphemer.  

To blaspheme is to show blatant disrespect towards God.  Blasphemy is a defiant irreverence.  You are speaking evil of God.  

What’s interesting to me is both the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul were blasphemers.  Peter cursed and denied Christ 3 times.  Paul wrote to Timothy and said, “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.” (1 Timothy 1:13)  

Blasphemy is forgivable... but Jesus says blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not. Which makes this a very serious matter.  

The context of Jesus’ comment on blasphemy makes the difference in understanding what is forgivable and what is not.  

We’ve just been reading about Jesus doing incredible miracles, with huge crowds coming to see and listen to Him.  Included in these crowds were the religious leaders from Jerusalem.  They were threatened by Jesus’ popularity, which leads them to claim it was Satan’s power causing these events to take place.  It did not matter to them how much evidence there was to prove the opposite, they were claiming Satan as the source of power, rather than the Holy Spirit.  

And they knew better.  They knew Jesus was from God.

This is when Jesus points out (starting in verse 23) how ridiculous it would be for the power source to be Satan. After all, why would Satan attack himself?  A house divided cannot stand!  But regardless of the faulty logic, Jesus knows the hardness of the religious leaders hearts will make them refuse to believe in Him.  

So in verse 29, Jesus announces if you blaspheme the Holy Spirit, which is claiming Satan as the source of power, you would not be forgiven.  Then we read why Jesus said this in verse 30:  “He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”

Jesus is telling the crowd, “With everything you’ve seen Me do, there is no question about who I am. The only people who think otherwise are rebellious people who do not believe I am the Son of God. And if you arrive at that place of unbelief, when you know the opposite to be true, even to the point where you’ll speak against the Holy Spirit, there is no forgiveness available for you.”  

Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?  
Or do you want to show irreverent defiance to God?  
Your answers will reveal where you are with this issue.  

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