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A Study of the Holy Spirit (7)

Sinning Against Holy Spirit

Jim Davis

In our first lesson we noted that the physical world was created by the authority of God. We noted that God, Christ and the Holy Spirit were involved in its creation. Creation took place by God's authoritative command, Christ's creative power in creating the raw elements and the Holy Spirit's regenerative powers that imparted life to God's new creation. God was the creator; Christ was the agent through whom God created and sustains and the Holy Spirit organized creation through his regenerative powers.

The same is true with God's Spiritual kingdom. God's spiritual kingdom is established by his power and authority and is established upon the sacrifice of Christ, and the all-powerful Holy Spirit imparts life to those who believe.

It is not enough to just know the function of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. Just knowing their function without availing oneself of the benefits of what they offer is senseless. It would be as senseless as buying a new car and walking everywhere you go. We must experience their work in sanctifying our lives. It is the empowering of the Holy Spirit that leads us to experience the reality of God's work on our behalf. Knowledge of the Holy Spirit and his work is of little avail if we fail to allow him to regenerate our own lives.

It has been suggested that Christian's operate 90% of the time without any concern about the Holy Spirit. If this is correct the church is not availing itself of the regenerative power of the Spirit. The Spirit of God is perfectly willing to assist us in a powerful way, but we must tap his power to be regenerated.

Jesus told his disciples "You know Him because He abides with you and will be in you." (John 14:17) The idea of knowing here goes beyond factual knowledge to include experiential knowledge. It doesn't make it better felt than told, but it does make it real.

Refusing to experience the Holy Spirit's leading in our lives is blasphemy.

I. The Danger of Blasphemy

A. Refusing to allow God's Holy Spirit to lead us to Christ is blasphemy for which there is no forgiveness.

Matthew 12:30-32
"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 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. (NIV)

Mark 3:28-30
I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin." He said this because they were saying, "He has an evil spirit." (NIV)

1. Jesus said, "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."

a. To reject Christ in the age in which Jesus lived was blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. For God's Holy Spirit was upon Christ approving his work.

b. To reject Christ in our age is to also blaspheme against the Holy Spirit.

c. The Holy Spirit offers the only means to salvation. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is to refuse his directions by not allowing him to lead us to Christ. We can blaspheme him by refusing to allow him to work in our lives. If we continue in our blasphemy there is no hope of salvation because there is no other heavenly means for salvation. To reject the Messiahship of Christ is a sin unto death. As long as we remain in rejection there is no forgiveness.

I John 5:15-17
And if we know that he hears us-- whatever we ask-- we know that we have what we asked of him. If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death. (NIV)

d. I believe the sin that does not lead unto death in this passage are the sins we are guilty of because we haven't fully matured in Christ and the sins we are struggling to overcome, but we have not conquered.

2. We can blaspheme the Holy Spirit through an intellectual study of who he is and what he does without responding to his work in our lives. God is willing to forgive all our sins that we are willing to repent of. If we gain knowledge of Christ and willfully refuse the Spirit's guidance to bring about repentance there is no other sacrifice for our sins.

Hebrews 10:26-27
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. (NIV)

B. We may believe we have sinned in such a way that we can never be forgiven. Or, we may believe that we have never really done such a terrible thing. But blasphemy is as simple as failing to recognize Christ as Lord. To refuse Christ is to refuse God's grace and mercy, which the Holy Spirit seeks to teach us about.

II. Sins Against the Holy Spirit.

There are a number of ways in which we can sin against the Holy Spirit.

A. We can despise or insult the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 10:26-29
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? (NIV)

B. We can lie to the Holy Spirit. Ananias and Sapphira decided to lie to the Holy Spirit about how much they received for a piece of property.

Acts 5:3-4
Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God." (NIV)

C. We can resist the Holy Spirit. Stephen charged those who crucified Christ with resisting the Holy Spirit. Their killing Stephen was further evidence of resisting the Holy Spirit. A sin for which Saul later repented and received forgiveness of.

Acts 7:51
"You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! (NIV)

D. We sin against the Holy Spirit by defiling the temple of God. Paul stresses the importance of the temple of God, which is our physical body.

1. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (NIV)

2. The church is also the temple of God, therefore when we defile the body of Christ at large we also sin against the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple. (NIV)

E. We can quench the Holy Spirit's influence in our lives by resisting the teaching of God.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22
Be joyful alway; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. (NIV)

F. We sin against the Holy Spirit by grieving him. We grieve the Holy Spirit when we fail to live together in love.

Ephesians 4:29-32
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (NIV)


When you look at the words "resist", "quench" and "grieve", they suggest the nearness of Holy Spirit. When we do either, we refuse to allow the Holy Spirit entrance into our lives for the purpose of regeneration. To do either is to drive him away. As long as we refuse his entrance we will be lost. It is easy to understand why sinning against the Holy Spirit is and eternally destructive sin. It robs us of the very means of salvation through refusing the sanctifying work of the Spirit.

Those who have rejected the leading of Holy Spirit in the past can repent and begin to follow his instructions by bringing their lives to Christ and be saved.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (NIV)

Keep in mind that the sins against the Holy Spirit are not those we are struggling to overcome. The struggle itself testifies that we are listening to the Spirit, otherwise there would be no struggle. It is the struggle of refusal of the Holy Spirit that God is concerned about.


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