Q. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your web site and all the wealth of wisdom and information that you teach. I can’t remember how I got to your site but I have been enjoying it since.
My question is regarding Matthew 12:31,32, and is more of a personal nature. I would like to understand it more fully because that passage has always brought on many attacks from the enemy. I was raised in a catholic background and have always believed in God and Jesus and always trusted in Him for my needs, but one day upon reading this passage I stopped to ponder on what it meant to blaspheme the Holy Spirit and in my mind came all sorts of terrible thoughts against the Holy Spirit. I thought that I committed that sin and could not get past that it would not be forgiven in this life or the next.
I know that back then(20yrs), I didn’t understand the full meaning of that passage. It still creates some uneasiness for me when I read it even though I trust The Lord for my salvation, I have a hard time forgiving myself for allowing the thoughts to have taken such a hold on me. Could you explain that passage for me so that I can move beyond the fear once and for all, and is it common for believers to think that they somehow have committed that sin. it was once explained to me that one who commits such a sin isn’t aware nor cares. Your insight and wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
A. When Jesus came to Earth, He put aside His Godliness and did only those things that man can do. All His miracles were performed through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is why He could tell us that we’d do greater things than He had done. (John 14:12)
In Matt. 12, Jesus had just healed a blind, mute, demon possessed man. When the Pharisees said that He had done this by the power of Satan, Jesus condemned them for blaspheming the Holy Spirit, the true Author of the miracle.
Blasphemy is giving the glory due to God to someone or something else, either by giving another source credit for His work or claiming to be Him, as these same Jews would later accuse Jesus of doing. The punishment for blasphemy was death, and it led them to seek His execution.
The argument Jesus used in Matt.12:25-26 to demolish the Pharisees’ claim is also applicable to us in the reverse. Just as Jesus showed that it was ludicrous to accuse Him of using the devil’s power to drive out a devil, it’s just as ludicrous to think that a believer would commit blasphemy against the indwelling Holy Spirit. Both indicate spiritual forces working at crossed purposes.
The enemy plants all kinds of evil thoughts in believers’ minds. It’s not until we accept these thoughts and allow them to influence us that they become sin. For example, he can try to stir me up against a brother by planting a thought in my mind that this brother has betrayed me or in some way tried to harm me. But I won’t be sinning unless I allow that thought to influence me by becoming angry or jealous.
One day, the enemy prompted some men to stir up a spirit of contention between Jesus and John the Baptist by pointing out that the Lord’s disciples were baptizing more people than John and his disciples were, even though John had started the idea. But John refused to take the bait and said he felt only joy at the Lord’s popularity. (John 3:22-30) To respond, John had to consider the men’s taunt in his mind, but by refusing to “buy into” it he avoided the sins of envy, jealousy or anger.
It sounds like you wondered how someone would blaspheme the Holy Spirit, and the enemy showed you a number of ways. But since you refused to “buy into” them no sin was committed.
For the reasons above, I don’t believe it’s possible for a believer to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. After 20 years, it’s long past time for you to forgive yourself for this. The fear and guilt you feel are tools the enemy is using against you to steal away your joy in the Lord. He will only use them as long as they work on you. The next time this comes up rebuke them and recall James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”