The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”
+ The Unpardonable Sin +
The Unpardonable Sin is the Sin of Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. It is the ultimate and deliberate denial and rejection of the Spirit’s call to salvation through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Son of Almighty God.
“Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name.” Psalms 74:18
The word blasphemy means to “speak evil of”. For example, in the Old Testament, the enemy of God blasphemed the name of God (Psalm 74:18). That is, they spoke out against God’s Holy name according to Leviticus 24:16. Also, the nation of Israel blasphemed the name of God among the Gentiles according to Romans 2:24 and Isaiah 52:5. In Revelation 16:9, 11, 21, men blasphemed the name of God because of the plagues brought upon them. The Lord Jesus Christ, Stephen, and Paul were all accused of blasphemy by those who opposed the truth (Matthew 26:65, Acts 6:11). In the Old Testament, blasphemy was punished by death, showing that it was a serious crime (Leviticus 24:16).
Blasphemy is a speaking sin. This is clearly brought out in Matthew chapter twelve. For, in verse 31, the word blasphemy is used and in verse 31, the word speaketh is used. These two words are interchangeable in the context (also check Mark 3:28, and Luke 12:10).
So, the unpardonable sin of Matthew 12:31-32 is not adultery, murder, suicide, fornication, drunkenness, playing cards, going to the movies, or dancing. It has to do with the denial of who Jesus Christ claimed to be. The Pharisees of Matthew 12:24-32 accused Jesus Christ of having a devil. That is, they rejected His claims of being the Messiah, the Son of God who was prophesied to come throughout all the Old Testament Scriptures.
Israel’s Blasphemy Against the Son of Man
According to Matthew 12:30-32, the sin against the Son of Man was forgivable. The reason for this was that the Son of Man came to give His life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). The Lord Jesus Christ’s purpose at his first advent was to die on Calvary’s Cross. According to Acts 2:22-23, Christ was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. Jesus Christ was made lower than the angels for the suffering of death (Hebrews 2:9). He said in John 12:27, “…for this cause came I unto this hour.” According to I Peter 1:19-20, Christ was “foreordained before the foundation of the world” to die for sins. “It behoved Christ to suffer” (Luke 24:46).
According to Acts 2:23, it is clear that Israel, by wicked hands, killed Jesus Christ, (other Scriptures to consider are Acts 5:28, 30; Matthew 23:35, 27:25; Zechariah 12:10-14). Even though Israel had Christ put to death, they could be forgiven of this sin, for His first words from the cross were, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). The apostle Peter told Israel that they had killed the Prince of Life in Acts 3:14-15. He also told them in verse 17, that through ignorance they did it. Then, in verses 18-26, he called on them to repent and be converted, believing on Jesus Christ. Israel at this time had a renewed opportunity to be saved even after they had killed their Messiah. Remember, the blasphemy against the Son of Man was forgivable because without Jesus Christ dying for the sins of the world, nobody could ever be saved.
Israel’s Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit
The unpardonable sin of Matthew 12:31-32 was God’s final warning to Israel. Just how did Israel sin against the Holy Spirit, and why was this sin unforgivable? Well, the following Scriptures will help in understanding this important issue.
The Holy Spirit was to begin a particular ministry on the Day of Pentecost which was to be a witness of the resurrected Saviour, (John 14:16-26, 15:26-27, 16:7-14; Acts 4:10, 5:30-31, 13:30-40). The Holy Spirit was sent to reprove (convict) the world of sin, “because they believe not on me”, (John 16:7-9). The Holy Spirit was sent to testify “that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye [Israel] have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). Jesus Christ said in John 15:26, that when the Holy Spirit comes he would testify of me. The disciples were to be witnesses throughout all the cities of Israel and the Holy Spirit would speak through them about the resurrected Messiah (Matthew 10:17-20).
God allowed the nation, in unbelief, to crucify their King and Messiah, but after His resurrection they must believe He is the Son of God in order to be saved (Acts 4:12).
But Israel, as a nation, committed the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit when they rejected the testimony of the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the disciples. According to Acts 7:51-52, they were accused of killing the prophets, murdering Christ, the Just One, and resisting the Holy Spirit. The Lord said in I Thessalonians 2:16 through the pen of the apostle Paul that, “…to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.” The Bible also tells us in Romans 11:11-20 that Israel had fallen from their privileged position before God because of unbelief. They had become Lo-ammi (Lo-ammi meaning, not my people) according to Hosea 1:9. The Lord Jesus Christ said Himself, before His crucifixion in Matthew 23:39, “For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” The parable of the Fig Tree that many believe is representing Israel in Luke 13, also shows God giving Israel another chance of being saved after they put the Son of God on the Cross. Only after Israel continued to resist the Holy Spirit’s testimony concerning the resurrected Messiah (Acts 13:45), did God send that testimony to the Gentiles through the ministry of the apostle Paul.
Please notice God’s wonderful grace in I Timothy 1:11-16. Paul, a Pharisee of the Jews, was a blasphemer. That is, he spoke out against the name of Christ and persecuted the believers. But he did this all in ignorance according to verse 13. Once the truth about Jesus Christ was revealed to him in a Heavenly vision, he received it. Paul did not stay in a state of rebellion as did many of the Jews, but he believed on Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. The salvation of this man reveals the abundance of grace and that God will give salvation to anyone who believes. Anyone can be saved today, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation has appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11).
According to I Timothy 1:15, “…Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…”. His death at Calvary provided forgiveness to all that believe.
Ultimately, blasphemy is unbelief. It is the rejection and denial of the testimony of the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, Saviour, and Lord.
If you die in unbelief, rejecting Christ as Savior, there will be no forgiveness, and you will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. For God says in Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
“And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.” Revelation 16:9
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523