October 9, 2021
Scripture: “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.” Matthew 12:31-32 ESV
Observation: Under challenging passages as the above, it is always helpful to first consider the context. Jesus pronounced his severe warning to the Pharisees because they contended his supernatural power to heal a blind and mute man came from Satan (verse 24). They attributed the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit to demonic forces. Ironically, having full use of their faculties (unlike the demonically oppressed man), the Pharisees witnessed Jesus cast a demon out of this poor man and yet denied the reality of what they saw (verse 24).
Takeaway: If you have fretted over whether you have committed the unforgivable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, then fear not. The Holy Spirit is still convicting and guiding you toward sanctification. The only unpardonable sin stems from a hardened heart, from one who has heard and understood the truth of our Gospel but has willfully chosen to pervert the truth and extinguish the flame of the Holy Spirit’s work in their life. In the words of the author of Hebrews:
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 6:4-6 ESV
In short, the only unforgivable sin is the willful rejection of the One who leads us to repentance and points us to the One who forgives sins.
Prayer: Father God, in your mercy, guard our hearts and minds against the fear of losing our salvation. Please help us to rest in the knowledge that nothing or no one can snatch us from your hand (John 10:28-29) and remain attuned to the work of your Holy Spirit in our lives. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling