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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Holy Spirit: How He Works

Don Stewart :: How Does Someone Today Blaspheme the Holy Spirit?

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How Does Someone Today Blaspheme the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit: How He Works – Question 15

When Jesus Christ was on earth, He spoke of an unpardonable sin called the “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.” Jesus said this sin could not be forgiven in this life or in the next life. Indeed, it is also called an “eternal sin.” The religious leaders of His day were guilty of committing that sin.

The word blaspheme has the idea of “cursing, insulting, or rejecting.” Specifically, the Holy Spirit was blasphemed when the works of Jesus Christ, performed through the power of the Holy Spirit, were attributed to the devil. Since the ministry of the Holy Spirit gave clear testimony to Jesus being the Messiah, those who rejected this truth could not be forgiven. Indeed, apart from Jesus Christ there is no forgiveness of sin.

This brings up an important question. How does one blaspheme the Holy Spirit today? What does a person have to do to commit the “unpardonable sin?” A number of observations need to be made.

Jesus’ Historical Situation Was Unique

We must first understand that this particular situation, where Jesus spoke of the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, was unique. Jesus Christ was physically present on the earth, performing miracles through the Holy Spirit’s power to testify that He was the promised Messiah. The religious leaders rejected His miraculous deeds as coming from the Lord. Instead, they attributed them to a demonic source. Thus, the way in which they insulted or blasphemed the Holy Spirit was clear.

But Jesus Christ is not with us today in a physical presence like He was in the first century. Indeed, Christ is not on the earth to personally work His miracles through the power of the Holy Spirit. How then does blasphemy of the Holy Spirit occur in our day and age without Jesus’ presence? Can a person still commit the unpardonable sin?

The World Still Needs Forgiveness

To begin with, we find that the work of the Holy Spirit is still the same. Indeed, nothing has really changed. His mission is to testify about Jesus Christ and to show the world it needs His forgiveness.

On the night of His betrayal, Jesus said the following concerning the ministry of the Holy Spirit to the unbelieving world.

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged (John 16:7-11 NASB).

Among other things, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict the unbelieving world of sin. His mission is to show them their need for Jesus Christ as Savior.

The Sin against the Holy Spirit Today Is Unbelief in Jesus

Therefore, the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unbelief in Jesus Christ. It is insulting or rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit which testifies that Christ is Savior and Lord.

This is confirmed by what Jesus said on another occasion. Indeed, He equated the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit with the preaching of the message by His disciples. We read.

I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever publicly disowns me will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say (Luke 12:8-12 TNIV)

The message of Jesus as the Messiah, or Christ, is still to be proclaimed today. Those who reject it are actually insulting the God of the Bible. Indeed, those who continually reject the Holy Spirit’s ministry of portraying Jesus Christ as the only Savior of humanity are blaspheming the Holy Spirit. If this state of sin continues they will not receive forgiveness for their sins but rather the wrath, or judgment, of God will remain on them. The Bible makes their fate clear.

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him (John 3:36 NIV).

Those who reject God the Son, Jesus Christ, can only expect to experience God’s wrath. They cannot ever receive forgiveness for their sin; neither in this world nor in the next.

It Is a Continuous State of Unbelief

Thus, today, as in Christ’s time, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is a continuous state of unbelief rather than the commission of one particular sin. Unless that state of unbelief changes, the person will suffer eternal separation from the Lord. The Bible speaks of the state of condemnation unbelievers now find themselves.

Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God (John 3:18 NRSV)

Those who have rejected Jesus Christ are in this state of unbelief. This unbelief will result in eternal condemnation unless a person turns to Christ for forgiveness.

In sum, rejecting the message of Jesus Christ is how one blasphemes the Holy Spirit in our day and age.

Summary – Question 15
How Does Someone Today Blaspheme the Holy Spirit?

During His public ministry, Jesus spoke of the sin of the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. He referred to it as the unpardonable sin; a sin which never could be forgiven. In Jesus’ day, the Holy Spirit testified to Jesus Christ as being the promised Messiah. The miracles of Jesus were performed through the power of the Holy Spirit to give evidence of Jesus’ identity. The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit consisted of attributing this particular work of the Holy Spirit to the devil. In other words, instead of acknowledging God was with Jesus doing these miracles, the religious rulers attributed His miraculous works to demonic power.

However, Jesus Christ is no longer physically present on the earth. Therefore, nobody, in exactly the same manner, can blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Indeed, nobody can attribute His miraculous works to the devil since Jesus is not with us in the same manner as He was in the first century. So can a person still blaspheme the Holy Spirit? Yes, they can.

Today one blasphemes the Holy Spirit by rejecting the ministry of the Holy Spirit that speaks of the necessity of accepting Jesus Christ as Savior. Indeed, Jesus specifically said the Holy Spirit was to come into the world and convict unbelievers of their sin. If they did not respond to His work, then there is no hope for them. There would be no forgiveness in this life or in the next.

Jesus made this clear when He spoke of the ministry of His disciples. Those who rejected their testimony about Jesus were also blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

Thus, the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the state of unbelief in Jesus Christ as Savior. It is more of a continuing and persistent rejection of the Holy Spirit than one particular sin. The only way to avoid the sin of the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is to turn to Jesus Christ for forgiveness since apart from Him there is no forgiveness whatsoever.

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