Thursday, March 09, 2006

Question - What is Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?

I am currently working on a sermon, and was planning on covering Matthew 12:22-37. I was interested in your view on the question of what is "blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?" There are about three different understandings that I am aware of. What would be helpful is if you can tell me your view, and a basic understanding of how you get it out of the text. If you don't have time to show me how you get it out of the text, you can simply tell tell me your view.

Another question you could answer that would be helpful is, what direction would you take a sermon on this text. We always want to end up at the cross of Christ, but how would you get there?

Any comments would be appreciated.



At Thursday, March 09, 2006 8:39:00 PM, Blogger Rose~ said...

Hi Doug,
The way I understand that sin is to be a sin that could only be committed at one time in history. It was a national sin of the Pharisaical representatives of Israel in rejecting their Messiah as He offered Himself to them. He was giving them the proof of His divinity. They attributed the work of the Spirit in the person of Christ (2 members of the eternal Godhead) to Beelzebub.

This sin cannot be committed today.

At Friday, March 10, 2006 3:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me, that the sin is committed by all who hear the gospel message of Jesus Christ. They attribute the message as foolishness, thus not of God. Of course, anyone rejecting Jesus as Lord and Savior is destined for Hell. There is no way for you and I to know who these are. It will only be seen in their death.
In a sermon you could use it as a warning of the plight of rejecting Jesus. That is the only sin for which there is no forgiveness.

At Friday, March 10, 2006 3:18:00 AM, Blogger no_average_girl said...

this is a question i've been wanting to search deeper, so i'm of little help to you at this point in time - but please post your outline or something so we can read more! thanks!

At Friday, March 10, 2006 10:02:00 AM, Blogger Doug E. said...

No average Girl,

I had already written the sermon before posting this question, but I'm doing some refinement with this post. I see about getting something about it on my blog at a later date.

God Bless,


At Friday, March 10, 2006 10:06:00 AM, Blogger Doug E. said...


I tend to agree with you position the most. But it seems we have all thought the message of the cross as foolishness at one time in our life. So does that mean we've all committed the unpardonable sin?

I know you don't believe this, but I'm looking for clarification, And if you don't have time to answer I understand. Pastor's lives are usually full.

At Friday, March 10, 2006 10:14:00 AM, Blogger Doug E. said...


I am familiar with the position you hold but it seems hard for me to get it out of the text. Especially when Jesus says in Mark 3:29 Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness. Whoever does not seem only to apply to the time of Christ, especially since the Holy Spirit is still active doing His work of showing people that Jesus is who He said He was.

God Bless,


At Friday, March 10, 2006 10:42:00 AM, Blogger Kyle said...

Hi Doug,

To my understanding, the sin has to do with actively seeking to undermine the work of the Spirit by maliciously attributing His work to the devil. It's more than mere unbelief, otherwise we'd all be guilty and there'd be no forgiveness for us. Instead, this is a specific sin for which Christ's death absolutely does not atone.

At Friday, March 10, 2006 11:28:00 AM, Blogger Doug E. said...


Thanks that was a very good answer and I think that because it tends to be the view I hold. :-)

But just for a little further clarification, do you believe a person can do this without truly knowing that Jesus is God, and that the Holy Spirit is working in His behalf.

In other words does there have to be some kind of mental assent to the truth of who Christ and the Holy Spirit are before they can commit this sin? Much like the demons who know that He is God yet work to undermine them.

God Bless,


At Friday, March 10, 2006 12:08:00 PM, Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

I tried to leave a comment earlier, for some reason it didn't stick.

Anyway, I tend to agree with Kyle. I also believe that a person who is guilty of this sin, will never have a desire to be saved.

At Friday, March 10, 2006 5:10:00 PM, Blogger missmellifluous said...

I always thought it to be denying that Jesus is who hesays he is: the Son of God. Only the Holy Spirit can convince of this, to deny it is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit, in my understanding. The nly thing you can not be forgiven for is rejection of Christ as God's Son.

At Saturday, March 11, 2006 12:07:00 AM, Blogger mxu said...

As a whole, i think my view of it is similar to that of James White's. (Though I'll be honest I don't know where I'd reference it).

Essentially it states that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is directly attributing what we know to be God's active work to Satan. This is unpardonable not because God's grace is unable to redeem it, but because one cuts himself off from the convicting power of the Holy Spirit in doing this. It requires a concious knowledge of God and what He does and an active rejection of Him. (aka, one could not do this intentionally).

I see it akin to the sin that one should not pray for in 1st John 5:17.

At Saturday, March 11, 2006 12:08:00 AM, Blogger mxu said...

errr, I mean unintentionally instead of intentionally.

At Saturday, March 11, 2006 5:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A person who lives with the rejection of the cross, as foolishness, and dying then would be condemned.
On the other hand a person having rejected the cross, as foolishness, until near the end of his life, but then, has their eyes opened to the truth of the cross of Christ and believes would not be condemned, having believed.
I hope this answers your question. The need is to believe before it is too late.

At Saturday, March 11, 2006 4:53:00 PM, Blogger Bhedr said...

Hey Doug,

Guess what I found. An old Spurgeon surmon on this. Before you read this understand that Spurgeon in his time was not popular among Calvinists nor Arminian although he was considered Calvinist. He was an outcast and led a very lonely life, bless his heart. Even some of the guys that like him today I don't think would much like him if they lived back then and this quote is one of the reasons why.

Did you know Spurgeon would go into long boughts of depression and sometimes not show up for 8 weeks?

I think I will post his quot in the next comment so as to not make this one to long.

At Saturday, March 11, 2006 4:55:00 PM, Blogger Bhedr said...

Here it is...what do you think?

"That man is no Christian who is not the subject of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; he may talk well, he may understand theology, and be a sound Calvinist; he will be the child of nature finely dressed, but not the living child. He may be a man of so profound an intellect, so gigantic a soul, so comprehensive a mind, and so lofty an imagination, that he may dive into all the secrets of nature, may know the path which the eagle's eye hath not seen, and go into depths where the ken of mortals reacheth not, but he shall not be a Christian with all his knowledge, he shall not be a son of God with all his researches, unless he understands what it is to have the Holy Ghost dwelling in him and abiding in him; yea, and that for ever.
Some people call this fanaticism, and they say, "You are a Quaker; why not follow George Fox?" Well, we would not mind that much: we would follow any one who followed the Holy Ghost. Even he, with all his eccentricities, I doubt not, was, in many cases, actually inspired by the Holy Spirit; and whenever I find a man in whom there rests the Spirit of God, the spirit within me leaps to hear the spirit within him, and we feel that we are one. The Spirit of God in one Christian soul recognizes the Spirit in another. I recollect talking with a good man, as I believe he was, who was insisting that it was impossible for us to know whether we had the Holy Spirit within us or not. I should like him to be here this morning, because I would read this verse to him, "But ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." Ah! you think you cannot tell whether you have the Holy Spirit or not. Can I tell whether I am alive or not? If I were touched by electricity, could I tell whether I was or not? I suppose I should; the shock would be strong enough to make me know where I stood. So, if I have God within me—if I have Deity tabernacling in my breast—if I have God the Holy Ghost resting in my heart, and making a temple of my body, do you think I shall know it? Call it fanaticism if you will, but I trust that there are some of us who know what it is to be always, or generally, under the influence of the Holy Spirit—always in one sense, generally in another. When we have difficulties, we ask the direction of the Holy Ghost. When we do not understand a portion of Holy Scripture, we ask God the Holy Ghost to shine upon us. When we are depressed, the Holy Ghost comforts us. You cannot tell what the wondrous power of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost is; how it pulls back the hand of the saint when he would touch the forbidden thing; how it prompts him to make a covenant with his eyes; how it binds his feet, lest they should fall in a slippery way; how it restrains his heart, and keeps him from temptation. O ye, who know nothing of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, despise it not. O despise not the Holy Ghost, for it is the unpardonable sin. "He that speaketh a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him, but he that speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall never be forgiven him, either in this life, or that which is to come." So saith the Word of God. Therefore tremble, lest in anything ye despise the influences of the Holy Spirit"

CH Spurgeon in 1955 on the Personality of the Holy Spirit

At Saturday, March 11, 2006 6:16:00 PM, Blogger Doug E. said...


Thanks for that, It is a great quote. I may even add portions of it in my sermon.



At Saturday, March 11, 2006 9:39:00 PM, Blogger missmellifluous said...

Would you please post your sermon for us to read when you have finished it and presented it? I would like to see the results of your study and read what you have to say on the matter. After all this discussion I feel I need some closure.

At Saturday, March 11, 2006 9:52:00 PM, Blogger Doug E. said...


Sure, I would be glad to. I am giving the sermon on Tuesday night so maybe sometime after that.


At Saturday, March 11, 2006 10:00:00 PM, Blogger Doug E. said...

To anyone concerned,

This topic has caused a lot of fear for some people. They wonder if they themselves have committed this sin.

Ultimately, if anyone is concerned that they have committed it, then they haven't. Because almost all theologians agree that this sin can only stem from an extremely hard heart, and someone with this hard of a heart would not be concerned that they have committed it.

The text says, "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Ultimately it is a heart sin, an outright hatred and denial of the things of God as witnessed by the Holy Spirit.

A hardness of heart that will not be softened in this life.


At Sunday, March 12, 2006 11:00:00 AM, Blogger Bhedr said...

I agree with you Doug. As long as we are alive and man is concerned and sensitive to the Spirit of God then he has not commited this sin.

At Sunday, March 12, 2006 9:21:00 PM, Blogger Puritan Belief said...

Spurgeon gave the best explanation of the unpardonable Sin I have heard because he related it all to Christ in my favourite sermon on a Savior to the uttermost. (Right at the end and was his warning)

From what I gather the unpardonable sin or blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is committed by every single person in hell. I would say it is different from person to person.

This sin can never be done by the elect. Sometimes it is trampling a foot the Son of man, Other times it is blaspheming the holy Spirit. Other times it is having a reprobate mind. The bible asks us not to even pray for a person who has committed this sin. Yet Jesus says that mocking him can be forgiven but not the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit in Christ being rejected when He is lifted up or rejecting the gospel just one to many times or Seeing the miracles of the Lord and despising them.

What we do know is that the Lord gives these people over to a reprobate mind or their own delusions and no longer constrains them.

This sin is perhaps the biggest warning in scripture for those that know of the glorious gospel of Jesus and continue to reject it. They are without excuse.

It can be committed in church just as much as it can a gambling den. May the reader beware for many sins will be forgiven to man but not this one.

I would have to disagree with theologians when they are saying that people don't know when they have committed it. Look at the reprobates of scripture Esau who sought repentance with tears. Cain who begged of God for his blood not to be spilt. Judas who hung himself and knew he had given up an innocent man.

I think there are people out there who know they have committed this sin. I also think that we can know by the Spirit who has committed this sin for we have the mind of Christ.

The elect can never commit this sin however the warning goes out: Work your election and calling out with fear and trembling.

At Monday, March 13, 2006 12:17:00 PM, Blogger Jada's Gigi said...

Question, why do you "aways want to end up at the cross of Christ"? I died there, you died there, everything died there, that is true and good and critical, but there would be nothing else had He not raised to New Life. I was raised with Him...there is more, much more! Life conquers death! How about ending up with Life?

At Monday, March 13, 2006 12:18:00 PM, Blogger Jada's Gigi said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Monday, March 13, 2006 3:21:00 PM, Blogger Kyle said...

Hi Doug,

Sorry for taking a few days to respond again. I've been busy!

I'm inclined to say that in order to blaspheme the Spirit, one would have to be aware that the work being done is the Spirit's work.

However, Jesus says, "But I tell you that every careless [or useless?] word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment" (v. 36). If the Greek implies what the English implies, it would seem that one needn't necessarily be mentally aware. Nevertheless, the words of the Pharisees (careless or calculated) revealed their hardness of heart and malicious opposition to the Gospel.

At Monday, June 19, 2006 10:46:00 AM, Blogger godsfriend365 said...

you can read my blog that deals with this topic extensively here


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