Tag Archives: spiritual acts

The Unpardonable Sin

Frequently as Christians, we try to make a point about someone else’s sin. To do that we frequently say that the person that does … has committed ‘the unpardonable sin’

And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matthew 12:31-32(NIV)

The Bible makes it clear that sin is sin. there are no first degree sins, second degree sins, third degree sins, etc. We can group sins into various categories but the consequences of sin are the same for each category.

Henry Brandt & Kerry L. Skinner in their book: The Heart of the Problem, (page 73) group sin into four categories which are helpful in understanding our sin. Sin can be committed in our mind, our emotions, our mouth, and our behavior.

1 John 3:15(NIV) says:

Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

In this verse we see ‘hate’ would take place in our emotions and ‘murder’ would take place in our behavior. You see, both hate and murder are sin but they take place in different parts of our body. The consequence is the same. They are sin.

Going back to the passage in Matthew 12:31, we see that sin of every kind can be forgiven, except blasphemy against the Spirit.. And in verse 32 we find an explanation of ‘blasphemy against the Holy Spirit’. It is when a person speaks against the Holy Spirit. This is a very strong statement! In other words, it is the failure to accept the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is the failure to act on the conviction of the Holy Spirit regarding our sinful nature. It is our desire to make ourselves out to be God. God will never force us to become Christians against our own wishes.

Often as Christians we attempt to deal with the symptoms of sin rather than the sin itself. Sin is simply living for our own fleshly desires. The symptoms of living for our fleshly desires are found in Galatians 5:19-21:

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21(NIV)

 

When we reject the Holy Spirit,  we live our lives according to our fleshly desires. Our fleshly desires will cause us to perform these sinful acts. If we continue doing sinful acts, (continually reject the working of the Holy Spirit) we will not go to heaven.

There is one other qualifier regarding the unpardonable sin. Committing the unpardonable sin is a deliberate rejection of the Holy Spirit. To reject the Holy Spirit, we must be aware of what God did for us when He gave His Son for a sin offering for our sin.  Committing the unpardonable sin doesn’t take place by accident.

17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. James 4:17(NIV)

We cannot replace our sinful acts in our own strength.  We must surrender these sinful acts to God so that the Holy Spirit can give us the power to replace them with spiritual acts, the acts we will perform if we are surrendered to the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-26):

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:22-26(NIV)

God illustrates this principle in the lives of Adam and Eve. In Genesis, when God talked about creating the animals, including mankind, He said that man was made in God’s image. From man, he made woman. Then God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

When he placed them in the garden, he also gave them instructions not eat of the tree in the middle of the garden. They were obedient to God’s instructions until Satan came into the picture. He convinced them that they could be like God if they ate the fruit. So Eve ate of the fruit and gave some to Adam also. Their desire was to become like God.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:1-4(NIV)

Immediately they realized they were naked. When God came looking for them, they hid themselves. When God found them, He knew what they had done. He explained the consequence of what they had done, then barred them from the Garden of Eden so they would not eat of the tree that would cause them to live forever.

 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:21-24(NIV)

You see, when man tries to make himself like God by placing his personal desires above those of God, he is banned from experiencing eternal life in heaven. Likewise, Adam and Eve were banned from spending eternity with God in Garden of Eden when they put their desires above God’s.

Every person has two options in life. They can either surrender their lives to God, or they can surrender their lives to self. When they surrender to God, we call them ‘Christians’. When they surrender to their fleshly desires, they commit an unpardonable sin and are call  ‘sinners’.

However, becoming a Christian, does not make us perfect. Christians will have those weaknesses that cause them to perform sinful acts but when the Holy Spirit convicts them of those sinful acts, they will turn from their sinful ways and willingly follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

 

Note: All scriptures used in this article have been downloaded from http://www.biblegateway.com/?version=NIV unless otherwise noted.

 

Contrasts in the Bible

The Bibles is filled with statements of contrast. Statements that demonstrate the effects of the sinful life as opposed to the Spirit filled life. For examples look at the Book of Proverbs.

Thus you will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it;  but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.  Proverbs 2:20-22 (NIV)

The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.  But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.  Proverbs 4:18-20 (NIV)

Jesus also made contrasts in the sermon on the mount. He talked about light and darkness; salt and no salt; abolishing the Law and fulfilling the Law; praying like a hypocrite and praying like a humble follower of God; and loving your neighbor and hating your enemy.

Romans 8:1-11 tells about the law of the Spirit as contrasted with the law of sin and death. The writer also tells about living “according to the flesh” or living according to the “Spirit of God who lives in you.”

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.  And so he condemned sin in the flesh,  in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.  And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Romans 8:1-11 (NIV)

The Law of sin and death was the law that was put into effect when God created Adam.

And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:16-17(NIV)

Later in the events of Adam and Eve, the serpent convinced Eve that she wouldn’t die if she sinned and ate from the ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’. Eve submitted to her fleshly desires and ate from the tree and gave some to Adam to eat. At this point, man became separated from God. Adam and Eve were driven from the garden and no longer able to enjoy God’s presence in the Garden of Eden.

Throughout the Old Testament, God was promising a Messiah. This was the only way that mankind’s relationship could be restored to the relationship like Adam and Eve had with God in the Garden of Eden.

God did send his Messiah to the earth but man didn’t realize who he was. Matthew 1:1(NIV)  This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham.

In the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; we are told about the life of Jesus the Messiah, and how He took on human form so he could experience the same situations that we would face in our lifetime. We read about God instructions to us about the Messiah.  We read that Jesus was rejected by his own people. In fact, He was crucified by the people he came to save. But this was just the beginning.

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”  Matthew 28:1-7 (NIV)

God raised Jesus from the dead; He became victorious over death!

Because Jesus was victorious over death, God was able to send his Holy Spirit to dwell in believers; giving them victory over death.

In the Book of Acts, it tells about the followers of Jesus being gathered together and the Holy Spirit coming to rest on each of them, filling them with the Holy Spirit.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:1-4 (NIV)

People follow one of two natures; They either follow the leading the Holy Spirit and have eternal life, or they follow the flesh like Adam and Eve, and be subject to death.  People can live according to the Holy Spirit, and live eternally with God; or they can live according to their fleshly desires and be subject to death and separation from God.

If you are led by the flesh, you will perform fleshly acts.

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:29-21(NIV)

If you are led by the Holy Spirit, you will perform spiritual acts

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:22-26 (NIV)

When people look at your actions will they say you are led by the flesh; or would they say you are led by the Spirit?

NOTE: All scriptures quoted in the blog were taken from http://www.biblegateway.com October 13, 2013.