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What does it mean to blaspheme the Holy Spirit?

To blaspheme the Holy Spirit creates fear in many sincere believers. For some ministers and leaders of movements, it is used as ammunition to warn (threaten?) those who question their doctrine and practices.

MARK ANDERSON 18 FEBRUARY 2015 15:35 h GMT+1
anxiety sadness Photo: Brice Reual (Flickr, CC)

To blaspheme the Holy Spirit creates fear in many sincere believers. For some ministers and leaders of movements, it is used as ammunition to warn (threaten?) those who question their doctrine and practices. Sincere believers live in despair believing they are guilty of committing this offence. But what exactly is blaspheming the Holy Spirit?



‘And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come’ (Matthew 12:32).



It is essential that we understand the role ‘context’ plays in establishing what this unforgivable sin is.



When Jesus spoke the above words, He was physically on earth. People could see Him, hear Him and touch Him. Folks could observe His conduct and the mighty works that God did through Him. Having seen these and then knowingly attribute the works of Christ to the power of Satan was blasphemy. Jesus is no longer here on earth physically, so the context changes somewhat. It would be akin today to wilfully and deliberately attributing the work of a servant of Christ who is graciously used to do signs and wonders through the power of the Holy Spirit, as being the work of Satan.



Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not a remark made in ignorance. Paul admitted that he was a blasphemer, but obtained mercy, because he did it out of ignorance and unbelief (1 Tim.1:13). To blaspheme the Holy Spirit is a willful act which merits no forgiveness.



Consider Mark’s rendering of Jesus’ words:



‘but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’ (Mark 3:29). 



According to Mark’s Gospel the one who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never experience forgiveness - not just of this sin, but any sin. Consider what Jesus says prior to this remark.



‘Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter’ (v. 28).



Jesus says that all sins and all blasphemies will be forgiven. Note the word ‘all’.



How are all sins and blasphemies forgiven? The answer is by confessing them. 



What are we to conclude from this? Those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit will never experience forgiveness, because they will never truly confess that sin. They will not be convicted in their conscience and so will never confess any sins, and receive forgiveness and cleansing. Their conscience will be so seared and their heart calloused that they will not be aware of their sin.



There is hope for the troubled and tormented who believe they have crossed a line with blasphemy written on it; minds that are tormented and in turmoil, racked with worry and anxiety, wanting God, but fearful that it’s too late. 



Dear friend, why would the Holy Spirit create within you a desire for God (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6) and make you aware of sin if you had blasphemed Him? If you truly were guilty of blaspheming Him, He would be so wounded that never again would He allow you to sense God’s love and presence.



The one who blasphemes the Holy Spirit doesn’t even know it nor could care less.



 



Article submitted by Mark Anderson to Reader's Blog.


 

 


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