Thursday, June 19, 2014

What is Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?

The Passage

In Matthew 12:22-32 Jesus is a presented a man that is demon possessed, blind and mute. Jesus heals this man and the crowds are impressed. The Pharisees hear the praises of the crowd and declare concerning Jesus, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” (Matt.12:24). Jesus spends time in verses 25-29 showing them the absurdity and contradictory nature of such a claim, as well as declaring to them it is the “Spirit of God” working in Him to preform such a feat.

After presenting His argumentation against the Pharisees, Jesus makes this powerful declaration:
 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 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 (Matt. 12:31-32).
May people, including Christians, look at this passage and its parallel in Mark 3:22-30 and conclude that if anyone says anything against the Holy Spirit, they are eternally doomed to Hell.

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit Explained

In this passage, the Pharisees clearly observed the Spirit of God working in Jesus and enabling Him to heal this man. There was no doubt to any open-minded person that what Jesus was doing had to have come from God. The Pharisees were so closed minded, that instead of affirming the power of God working in Christ they they declared that the power of the Holy Spirit working in Him was actually the power of the Devil. They committed “blasphemy of the Holy Spirt”.

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit in its most basic form is witnessing the Holy Spirit perform a miraculous action and then attributing that action to the Devil. The Pharisees hearts were so calloused that even though they witnessed the power of God with their own eyes, they were so hardened that they refused to admit it. In fact, they instead said that the miracle was done by Satan. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is seeing a miracle performed by the very hands of Jesus and then claiming that it was Satan that preformed that miracle. Once a person is that hardened in their heart, there is no turning back to God.

Can this “Unpardonable Sin” be Recreated

Jesus is no longer walking on this earth in human form and performing miracles with His own hands in front of large crowds. It is true that God, Christ and the Holy Spirit are working in the world, but not in the same was as they did during Christ’s time on earth. Thus, no one is witnessing today with their own eyes the power of the Holy Spirit displayed through the actions of the incarnate Christ. If no one is witnessing with their own eyes this power, then they cannot commit this sin (ie. attribute a miracle of Jesus to the Devil).

By Cliff Sabroe - Quotes from New American Standard Bible 1995