This is a great question. I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked this question over the last two decades of ministry. I wish I could tell you that my answer has always been the same. Early in ministry, I tended to go with what I was taught by my pastors ... which you would think would be safe ... but as I have learned, pastors often, to our admission, find ourselves repeating things we thought we knew for ourselves only to find it flawed. This is why we should always be questioning our positions and taking questions from those we minister before. Without challenge, we only develop ruts.
The phrase, "Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit," comes from the following scriptures:
Mat 12:31 "Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
Mark 3:28 "Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation"—
Luke 12:10 "And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.
In the past, I have always answered the questions asked of me ... which I am always ready to do. But the goal behind this blog was to open a dialogue for everyone, including yours truly, to have the opportunity to learn. As I stated before, my position on this has changed over the years ... and what do you do when the experts disagree? Well, I say you get them talking. So I am going to change the format a little ... I would like to know your positions on this vague set of scriptures, that are never expounded on again in any teaching directly in the Bible.
I do ask you to do this ... put aside what you have been taught. Look at the whole context of what is going on. Apply your conjectures to scriptural laws ... one cannot undo another. Remember, there are no flawed scriptures, only the interpretations thereof. Do not allow yourselves to get drawn into heated debate ... simply state your positions. I am very interested in your thoughts. In a couple of days I will release my answer ... and if you know anything about me, I always have one.
So ... it's been a few days ... here goes:Blasphemy literally means to intentionally slander or speak against. It derives from the literal to provide false testimony in order to injure the reputation of... So blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is to intentionally speak against the work of the Holy Spirit knowing it to be truly Him.
When the Jewish leaders in this case accused Jesus, they did so spitefully. They knew what He had done and they knew whose authority He was doing these miracles in. They accused Him of the worst of evils to intentionally slander Him. They were sick of the attention He was getting. Jesus' response to His accusers was a perfect gut punch. Under Mosaic Law, which they would have known verbatim, there was one category of sins for which there was no sacrifice ... presumptuous sins.
Num 15:30 'But the person who does anything presumptuously, whether he is native-born or a stranger, that one brings reproach on the LORD, and he shall be cut off from among his people. 31 Because he has despised the word of the LORD, and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt shall be upon him.' "
It is important to remember that He was speaking under the Old Covenant. We like to throw this verse around as a threat under the New Covenant. This mindset causes the borderline insanity people face when confronting the supposed prophetic. If someone speaks a word of knowledge by the spirit and it is embarrassing .. and you lie .. say it's not true .. there's no repentance granted?? That would seem a major contradiction to the finished work of the cross.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
So ... all must mean all. Remember, there are no contradictions or flaws in scripture, only in their interpretations.
So is there a New Testament parallel? Well, first of all ... the world will be judged under the Original (Old) Covenant. The Law is what all peoples will be judged by. The just shall live by faith (Rom 1:17, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38)... bc it is our faith that caused us to accept Jesus as our payment for accepting our guilty verdict ... under the Law, justice has been met for our sin. Our sin is still sin ... but it is paid for. So it is still very relevant. The Bible teaches us that no one can confess their sin unless convicted by the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-15).
John 16:8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me;
It is therefore completely agreeable for me to believe that when a sinner denies the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, that sinner will then be left with no hope for Salvation ... and to die without responding to that work would leave the sinner ruined in his sins ... hopeless. We see this all throughout history. People passively or violently rejecting the Gospel message ... people in rebellion to God and to the voice of His Spirit ... denying His godhood, blaspheming His Spirit.
How can a person enter into Heaven unless that person confess his or her sin and receive the Lordship of Jesus Christ. If that person closes the only Voice that shows us our sin, than what other hope is there?
This is why we are to pray for the lost.
So can a believer blaspheme the Holy Spirit?
I have a much more important question (yes, I'm answering a question with a question!): Why would any believer slander the Holy Spirit ... what would be the purpose of that? I think situations like 1 John 5:16-17 and 1 Cor 5:11-13 have some relevance here. Both are situations where people who define themselves as Christians but are walking in rebellion towards God ... that would, at a minimum, demand some level of a hardened heart towards the sin convicting work of the Holy Spirit.
So is that believer damned? 1 Cor 5:5 says no. Remember, under grace, there is no sin ... no unrighteousness ... that is excluded in the word "all" in 1 John 1:9. If we confess our sin, He will forgive our sin and cleanse all unrighteousness.
Therefore, logically I say, yes, a believer can blaspheme the Holy Spirit .. but by the infinite love of God's goodness and grace can find his or her way back through Jesus.
That's my take anyways.
Don't be confused. LEARN STUFF!!!
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