What Is Blasphemy Against The Holy Spirit?
What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? Blasphemy is one of people’s most common and intriguing questions about the Holy Spirit. This question results from the belief that such an offense is an unforgivable crime, which leads some people to believe they have committed it. Understanding Jesus’ statement about blasphemy, its connection to an exorcism he performed, and the Pharisees’ reaction will give you a better understanding of the offense.
Blasphemy is committed when a person intentionally attributes the works of God and Satan to each other, distorting the distinction between good and evil while fully aware of Jesus’ true identity. This sin is unforgivable because it is deliberate and purposeful and involves a conscious rejection of the Holy Spirit and an attempt to undermine his divine influence.
Have you ever wondered if you have blasphemed the Holy Spirit? Do you feel fear and anxiety about your possible guilt in this matter? Understanding the Pharisees’ reaction to an exorcism by Jesus will help you understand why He called them blasphemers. Understanding why blasphemy is unforgivable against the Holy Spirit but not against Jesus provides further insight into the theological topic. You will find answers to these and other thought-provoking questions by digging deeper below.
Also check out ‘What is Holiness In the Bible?‘ for more reading
Understanding and Overcoming the Fear of Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit
To proceed with the discussion of blasphemy, it is essential to acknowledge that God forgives those who respond with faith and repentance to the gospel message of Jesus Christ (Mark 1:15; John 3:16). There is no reason for them to be afraid or anxious (see Rom. 8:15; John 4:18.
Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross, believers can be cleansed from all kinds of behaviors, including the ones mentioned above and many others (Isa. 53:5; Rom. 4:25). The assurance of forgiveness can be found in 1 John 1 verse 9, which states: “If we confess, he will be faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from any unrighteousness.” (Psalm. 32:5, ESV).
Many pastors, theologians, and scholars have stressed that if honest Christians are concerned that they may have committed an unforgivable transgression in the past, they did not commit it. In contrast, those who have committed this unpardonable sin usually show no remorse and are indifferent. Understanding this distinction will help you navigate the complexities of blasphemy.
By exploring this topic, one can understand the reasons for this assurance of forgiveness and the attitudes of those who have committed the offense. It is vital to approach this subject with sensitivity and to seek guidance from fellow believers and spiritual leaders who can provide clarity and support based on their understanding of Scripture.
Finding Assurance: Addressing Concerns about Committing the Unforgivable Sin
Christians often fear that they have committed a transgression that is irreversible. This leads them to explore the meaning of blaspheming God’s Holy Spirit. This fear results from Christians’ fears that their past mistakes may render them unworthy of salvation, which leads them to doubt the efficacy of Jesus’ redemptive powers. The passage in Matthew 12.31 instills fear in their hearts.
Matthew 12:31 “Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.”
Many Christians ask, “What if I had committed unforgivable acts before embracing Christianity? For example, sexual immorality or divorce, drunken driving, murder, using God’s name in vain, or harboring resentment towards Christians and churches?” Blaspheming God’s Holy Spirit is a sin that cannot be forgiven. To think blasphemy against the Holy Spirit has been committed can cause guilt, shame, and anxiety for some people.
It becomes clear why blaspheming the Holy Spirit is a troubling topic when you recognize Christians’ unique concerns and feelings. You can help those struggling with these unsettling thoughts by compassionately addressing these fears and providing reassurance.
Why is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit unforgivable?
The significance of the exorcism, as explained by Jesus, lies in the arrival of the kingdom of God. (Matthew 12 28). Jesus demonstrated his power to defeat Satan through exorcism (Matthew 12.29). This event was a call for people to choose between Jesus and Satan. Neutrality wasn’t an option, as even indifference was against the work of God. (Matthew 12:30).
Jesus also taught that the blaspheming of the Holy Spirit was an unforgivable crime (Matthew 12.31-33). Remembering that people are forgiven if they blaspheme the Son of Man is essential. Scholars believe this statement refers to rejecting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not everyone is immediately receptive to the gospel message. Some people may need multiple exposures or more time to overcome hesitation, doubt, and uncertainty. Even if you have doubts or hesitations, they can be forgiven.
The Greek word for blasphemy “blasphemia” (pronounced “blasphemia”) is. It is derived by combining the words “blapto”, which means “to harm” or “to hinder”, and “pheme”, which means “speech” or “expression”. Blasphemy is uttering or expressing insults, slander, irreverent or contemptuous words against God, sacred objects, or religious beliefs. It involves disrespect, dishonor or defiance toward divine beings or spiritual concepts. Blasphemy is a grave sin in Christian theology. It implies a willful and deliberate rejection of the Holy Spirit’s influence and work.
Why is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit not forgivable?
In his commentary on Matthew’s Gospel, Leon Morris argues that God’s refusal of forgiveness in the case of blasphemy is not because He is unwilling to extend forgiveness. It is the person who, because of their distorted view of good and evil, becomes incapable of repenting and approaching God with humility to ask for forgiveness. Only genuine repentance and unwavering belief can lead to forgiveness.
Matthew 12:31-32 reveals that those who curse Jesus may do so out of ignorance and disbelief. These individuals can seek forgiveness, repent and receive the salvation Jesus offers. Those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit are aware of Jesus’ identity. They publicly and willfully reject Him.
D.A. Carson explains further that those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit are aware of the truth and light, but turn away from them willfully. This distinction between their actions and Paul’s persecution against the church wasn’t considered unforgivable. In another passage of Hebrews, a reference is made to what is probably the unpardonable crime.
Hebrews 6:4-6 says that those who have fallen away from God’s word and His power cannot be restored to repentance, even if they were once enlightened. They do this because they crucify the Son of God and treat Him with contempt, harming themselves . Hebrews 10:26 – 29 expresses a similar idea.
In Numbers 15:30, we learn that those who deliberately and defiantly engage with a high-handed action, regardless of whether they are natives or sojourners, are reviling God. These individuals will be cut-off from their community. This verse emphasizes the deliberate and rebellious nature of the sins committed.
Numbers 15:30 – “But the person who does anything with a high hand, whether he is native or a sojourner, reviles the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from among his people.”
In 1 John 5:16, the passage talks about observing another brother commit a sin that does not result in death. In such cases, God will grant eternal life to those who do not commit sins that lead to death. The verse introduces a concept of a sin leading to death. This has sparked scholarly debates about its connection to the unforgivable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
1 John 5:16, “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life–to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.”
Andreas Kostenberger suggests in his commentary on 1 John that “sins not leading to death” refer to sins that believers commit that do not lead to spiritual separation from God. The “sin leading to death” can refer to a particular sin or a pattern of unrepentant sins that lead to physical death.
Also see ‘Grow in the Knowledge of God‘ For further reading
Jesus exposes the illogical blasphemy of the Pharisees.
When learning about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, it is essential to acknowledge that God forgives those who respond with faith and repentance to the gospel message of Jesus Christ (Mark 1:15; John 3:16). There is no reason for them to be afraid or anxious (see Rom. 8:15; John 4:18.)
Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross, believers can be cleansed from all kinds of behaviors, including the ones mentioned above and many others (Isa. 53:5; Rom. 4:25). The assurance of forgiveness can be found in 1 John 1:9, which states “If we confess, he will be faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from any unrighteousness” (Psalm32:5, ESV).
Many pastors, theologians, and scholars have stressed that if honest Christians are concerned that they may have committed an unforgivable transgression in the past, they did not commit it. In contrast, those who have committed this unpardonable sin usually show no remorse and are indifferent to it. Understanding this distinction will help you navigate the complexities of blasphemy.
By exploring this topic, one can gain an in-depth understanding of the reasons for this assurance of forgiveness and the attitudes of those who have committed the offense. It is vital to approach this subject with sensitivity and seek guidance from fellow believers and spiritual leaders who can provide clarity and support based on their understanding of Scripture.
Apostasy: Is It an Unforgivable Sin?
Apostasy is the act of someone that once professed their faith in Jesus Christ, made positive changes in their lives, attended church, and appeared to be a Christian. However, they later abandoned their relationship and renounced it. Apostasy is a complex issue. People may have different reasons for abandoning their faith in Jesus, the Bible, or the gospel.
Theologian Sinclair Ferguson admits that apostasy occurs. In some cases, it can be triggered by blatant sinning, where an individual refuses to repent and is convicted, leading to a total rejection of Christ. Apostasy may also result from a more subtle drift away from the Cross.
Apostasy is viewed from different theological perspectives. Ferguson and others who follow Reformed or Calvinistic Theology believe these individuals were never truly saved but only appeared to be. On the other hand, Arminian theologians suggest that someone who experiences apostasy may have been a true Christian initially but lost their salvation.
10 Bible Verses That Talk About Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, Reviling, and Resisting:
- Matthew 12:31-32: “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.”
- Mark 3:28-30: “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—for they were saying, ‘He has an unclean spirit.'”
- Luke 12:10: “And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”
- Hebrews 6:4-6: “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.”
- Hebrews 10:26-27: “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”
- 1 Timothy 1:13: “Though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief.”
- Isaiah 22:22: “And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.”
- Acts 7:51: “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.”
- Acts 13:45: “But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him.”
- 1 John 5:16: “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.”
Bible Axiom is partnered with Ministry Voice’s most trusted non-profit ministry that is reaching the unreached and caring for the poor: His Feet International. Check out how you can be a partner and support all that God is doing. Pressing Needs