Yesterday, I began writing on the unpardonable sin. Yesterday’s post provided some context to one of Jesus’ most well known sayings and pointed out what the unpardonable sin was not.
As Jesus is talking with the scribes (the certified religious teachers of the day), He says, “whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.” ” (Mark 3:29–30, ESV).
So what is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? What is the sin that never is forgiven? What does one do that makes him or her “guilty of an eternal sin?”
Here’s my answer. It is the ongoing, continual rejection of the witness of the Holy Spirit to the deity and to the work of Jesus Christ. It is a perversion in the heart that calls good evil and evil good. It is an ongoing, continual and ultimate rejection of the Holy Spirit’s testimony which is displayed in the miracles and signs Jesus performed as well as in our conscience and through the knowledge of the Word of God.
So to commit this sin, one has to refuse to acknowledge and be defiantly hostile toward the truth that God is working and has worked in Jesus Christ who was empowered by the Spirit and whom the Spirit bears witness that He is God.
It is a sin then that requires a knowledge of who Jesus says He is, a knowledge of the substantial evidence which He presented while on this earth as to His person and work and then an utter rejection of these truth. Who was committing this sin? It was the accredited, certified theological teachers of God’s people―the scribes. Their daily responsibility was to study and teach the Scriptures which were the witness of the Spirit. So the ones who need to be most concerned I think about committing this sin are those who are well schooled in the Scriptures―even the approved teachers and official leaders in churches―the vast majority of which today reject the witness of the Spirit as to to the deity of Jesus Christ. And I would hasten to add, it is a warning to those who have grown up in the church and may even have a pretty solid foundation in theology and yet willfully now reject Christ in their hearts!
That’s what these scribes were doing or would ultimately did. Jesus is warning them. They studied all the evidence, they sifted through all the teaching, they saw the miracles and his power over demons and after it was all in they concluded that Jesus was doing it all by Satan, not by the Spirit.
You see, when Jesus came, He was sent by the Father and He was empowered by the Spirit of God. He was very clear about. He didn’t come to do His will. He came to do His Father’s will. And He did everything He did by the power of the Spirit. The Spirit came upon Him at His baptism after which the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness to triumph over Satan’s temptations and then the Holy Spirit anointed Him to preach and work His miracles. And these men rejected all that! They had full exposure to the truth, to the gospel, to the revelation of God and their final answer was, “It’s not true! We reject Christ! He’s a fraud!”
Jesus warned the scribes of this unforgivable sin? May this warning be extended even today? Tomorrow I will answer, “Is it possible for people to commit this sin today?”