The Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

As we prepare our hearts for Easter, people in the church are reading the Gospels.  Yesterday we read Matthew 12.  Questions about the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit have come up.  Has anyone else wondered about the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? In a little over 300 words, let me help you out. First, always look for context.  Note verses 18-21.  Matthew is reminding the reader that the coming Messiah would be endowed from on high with the Holy Spirit.  Next, notice too that this passage is dealing with evil and good. It is dealing with things of God and things of Satan.  He talks about a good tree and an evil tree. He talks about an evil generation and unclean and evil spirits.  This entire chapter is a picture of the work of Satan and the work of the Holy Spirit. Consider verse 24.  “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” Do you notice anything there?  The Pharisees are speaking to Jesus with such contempt calling Jesus simply “this fellow” or “this man.” You can see and hear their hard hearts (See 12:34).  They had seen the work of the Holy Spirit, but instead of embracing Jesus as the proven Messiah, they credit the miracles of God to Beelzebub.  It’s not that God is unwilling to forgive, but the person is rejecting God. Therefore, anyone who has willfully and blatantly opposed the work of the Holy Spirit, and misidentifies His work as that of Satan, this person has rejected, not only the Holy Spirit, but he has rejected God’s Messiah. Jesus is the only way to heaven.  Reject Him, and only eternal condemnation remains. Henry Alfred is helpful: “It is not a particular species of sin which is here condemned but a definite act showing a state of sin, and that state a willful, determined opposition to the present power of the Holy Spirit; and this as shown by its fruit, blasphemy. The declaration, in substance, often occurs in the New Testament” (The New Testament for English Readers, from Desiring God).

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