Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Unpardonable Sin

28 Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” (Mark 3:28-29)
What is blaspheming the Holy Spirit? Can a Christian do it accidentally and thereby lose his or her salvation? Can a Christian be drawn into  or tricked into committing blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?   Bringing dishonor upon the Holy Spirit should make the thinking person tremble in terror. There are people who are terrified that they accidentally blasphemed the Holy Spirit and cannot be forgiven. Some fear that they blasphemed the name of Jesus and due to the triune nature of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit they blasphemed the Holy Spirit and cannot be forgiven. Is this something we need to be losing sleep over? Or as Christians are we safe from this?

To answer these questions we need to know two things, what is blasphemy and what is the role of the Holy Spirit.

Blasphemy is a Greek word that was never actually translated into English, it was transliterated meaning it was made to sound English without actually going through the effort of translating it. The true form is of blasphemy is blasphemia. which means abusive speech in the intensified sense of personal mockery and ridicule. It can either be overt speech or it could refer to one's attitude. Either way, verbal or attitudinal, it's very overt, it goes to a person's core beliefs, so an accidental slip of the tongue in a moment of duress is not blasphemy. It's not polite, respectful, or proper, but it's not blasphemy.

Another form of blasphemy is the act of claiming the attributes of deity. This is not something that cannot be done accidentally or inadvertently, and it seems to be the most popular form of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit today.

I've found that the Holy Spirit is a subject that's not addressed much, and I wonder if it's because of a fear of accidentally committing blasphemy. If we speak of God and we speak of God with love we shouldn't be afraid of committing blasphemy, we don't go to hell because God sends us there, we go to hell because we chose to go to hell.

Within the true triune nature of God He is three unique "persons" in one, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and each "persons" plays a unique role. The Holy Spirit is introduced to us in John 14: 16-17
16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
 The word John uses to describe the Holy Spirit is parakletos a word derived from para ("along side") and kaleo ("to call"), parakletos is rarely used in classical Greek and in the New Testament it's only used by John in his gospel. The Holy Spirit is called alongside us to "convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment" (John 16:8), to create a sense of conviction regarding the reality of sin and the holiness of God and the judgement to follow. (if there is sin and God is holy then God must, by His nature, judge sin).

In addition to teaching the world about the holiness of God, the nature of sin, and revealing to us that we are all born into a condition of sin (and the fact that we cannot take one step toward salvation until we realize that condition) the Holy Spirit also has two roles in the Church; 1) to guide, shape and nurture the Church down through the ages and 2) to take up residence inside each member of the Church and provide the talents, gifts, and abilities used in the service of the family of God.

So when Jesus talks about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit he talks about the Holy Spirit's purpose in relation to the world. The Holy Spirit shows us how God sees us: fallen, wretched, sinful creatures, lost and in desperate need for a savior. If we respond to the Holy Spirit and accept the reality of our condition we have taken the first important step toward God and salvation. If instead we mock and ridicule the entire idea and reject His testimony we stay were we are; lost in a hell of our own making on a fallen world.

To use an analogy, if I have a fatal illness and my doctor has the cure for that illness, I must first recognize that I have a fatal illness to begin with. Someone tells me "Hey, you look like you have XYZ disease. Go see a doctor." so I go see my doctor and he gives me the cure and I'm saved. However if someone came to me and says "Hey, you look like you have XYZ disease. Go see a doctor." and I respond with "You're crazy, get out of my face." guess what - I'm going to die. The doctor can't cure me because I don't recognize my illness and I never talk to him. He's not going to track me down, tie me up and cure me against my will.

In much the same way God is not going to subject me to salvation and eternal reward against my will. If I turn my back on my doctor he can't cure me, and if I turn my back on my Savior he can't save me. If I ridicule that person who told me I have XYZ disease the doctor can't cure me, just as when I reject the Holy Spirit when He tells me that I'm a wretched sinner then God cannot save me.

But wait! There's more!

Remember the other definition of blasphemy - claiming the attributes of deity. Let's look at the New Apostolic Reformation. It's not new, it's not apostolic and it's not reformation. As John MacArthur says "It is like Grape Nuts, it’s not grapes and it’s not nuts, it’s like Christian Science, it’s not Christian and it’s not scientific." Yet the New Apostolic Reformation claims that a new apostolic age started in 2001 and the long-lost offices of New Testament prophet and New Testament apostle have been restored, that the Holy Spirit has given the power of prophecy and the power and authority of an apostle to them. The New Apostolic Reformation travels the globe claiming to take "authority" over demonic activity. They've visited every masonic lodge in Texas claiming to have driven Baal out of the Masons. They make false prophesy, they teach a false gospel and they claim that they do it all by the Holy Spirit. Or as I mentioned - claiming the attributes of deity.
31 Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matthew 12:31-32)

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