Today’s question came from Naveen. Thank you Naveen. Let us see his question: Jesus said in Matthew 12.31 All manner of sins and blasphemies shall be forgiven unto men but those who shall blaspheme against the holy spirit have no forgiveness. What is blasphemy against the holy spirit? Is it same as swearing the name of holy spirit?Because we see many people nowadays swearing the name of God also, especially the name of the holy spirit with profane names.Is it what Jesus meant by blasphemy against the holy spirit?
Very interesting question. Here in Matthew chapter 12, Lord Jesus Christ talks about the sin against the Holy Spirit of God which shall not be forgiven. Let me give you some backdrop to the Holy Spirit before we discuss the sin against Him.
The Holy Spirit is one of the three persons in divine trinity. He is as important as God the Father and God the Son. As we read in Genesis chapter 1, the Holy Spirit has been active in the world since the creation of this universe. He actively participated in the ministry of Christ. The Apostles were told to wait for the Holy Spirit. When they were filled with the Holy Spirit, the apostles boldly proclaimed the Word of God, as we read in the Book of Acts. Christ cooked the meal and the Holy Spirit is the one who invites us to the dinner. D.L.Moody said,
“There is not a better evangelist in the world than the Holy Spirit.”
So, the Holy Spirit is the evangelist who informs us that Jesus is the Lord and Savior. Let me show you a verse from John chapter 16 which elaborates the work of the Holy Spirit.
8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
The Holy Spirit will reprove the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. And what is the sin? Verse 9, of sin, because they believe not on me.
So, what is the sin? Not believing Jesus as God and Lord is the sin against the Holy Spirit. Here in Matthew chapter 12, the Pharisees committed the sin against the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus Christ, the God Incarnate is standing right before them. They saw how the prophecies of the Old Testament were fulfilled in him. They heard about his virgin birth. They heard the divine claims of Jesus with their own ears. They saw miracles performed by Jesus. They saw his holy life. Yet, they hardened their hearts against the pleadings of Jesus and the testimony of the Holy Spirit. They knew that Christ came from God and still denied him and refused to obey him. They heard about his virgin birth, yet they labeled Christ as a product of adultery. That is sin and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
What is blasphemy? It is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God. Rejecting Jesus is blasphemy because He is God in the human form. The sin of the Pharisees is more egregious and horrible because they intentionally rejected Christ after knowing the truth. Their sin is more serious because no other group of people witnessed more power of God in human history yet rejected the gospel.
Let us say, you are recruiting members for flat earth society. The more members you recruit, the more money you make. Let us consider two scenarios. In one scenario, you really believe that earth is flat. Even in the middle of the night, if someone wakes you up and asks you about the shape of the earth, you will say, the earth is flat. It is not about money. You want people to believe what you earnestly believe.
In the second scenario, in your heart you don’t believe that earth is flat but you are making people believe that lie so that you can sell more memberships to flat earth society and make more money in the process.
This second scenario is a very grave sin in the eyes of God. You are intentionally misleading people into falsehood.
The Pharisees knew that Jesus came from God yet they were leading people away from Christ because their assets in the temple lose their value immediately. As Lord Jesus once said, they turned the temple into a business venture. They don’t want the kingdom of God nor do they allow others to enter into it. Read Matthew chapter 23 to understand the nature of the Pharisees and the scathing criticism Lord Jesus Christ unleashed on them.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying. Matthew 23:13
Pharisees turning people away from Christ and making them follow the traditions of men rather than the Word of God. They shut the kingdom of God in men’s faces. They don’t enter it, nor do they let others enter it.
Taking people into the kingdom of God is the ministry of the Holy Spirit. So, they are sinning against the Holy Spirit.
Now, Apostle Paul was a Pharisee. He persecuted Christians. He was a blasphemer. But he was ignorant of the true nature of Christ. He thought, ‘this Christianity is false and I must destroy it’. But when he was traveling to Damascus, he saw the living Christ and changed his ways. He repented of his sins, then not only did he stop persecuting Christians but went all over the known world preaching the gospel.
He saw just one miracle and repented. The Pharisees saw so many miracles and never repented. So, their sin is against the Holy Spirit and there is no forgiveness for that sin.
To summarize, the sin against the Holy Spirit is the sin of denying Christ when the Holy Spirit presents Christ to you with clear evidence.