There are some doctrinal maxims in the Bible that seem to mystify us. The question of what the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is happens to be one of them. I have read several articles of authors attempting to explain it, but their conclusion s have not satisfied me. They ranged from the very simple to extremely complex. One idea is that not accepting Christ as one’s savior is the blasphemy. Other ideas are so complex, I don’t even want to get into them here for concern they will just confuse you.
The following is my personal approach to answering this question. You may come up with a different studied conclusion. I want to begin with the most well-known passage in the Bible that describes one of the manifestations of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 12:22-24, we read, “Then a demon-possessed man, who was blind and couldn’t speak, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see. The crowd was amazed and asked, “Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?” But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons.” NLT Carrying on in verses 31 and 32, Jesus tells the Pharisees, “So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven. Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.”
The Jewish Pharisees could speak ill of Jesus – one who had come out of (in heir eyes) lowly Nazareth; one who held company with publicans and prostitutes; one who spoke words of wisdom to the people that they, the religious leaders, took no stock in. These things could be forgiven if they were to repent. But what could not be forgiven is a railing against the power by which Jesus performed His miracles. For it was the power of the Holy Spirit – Christ’s Spirit – that declared Him as the divine Son of God. Such a miracle that Jesus performed was an accreditation of the Messiah to come. The Pharisee’s accusation against Jesus was not a casual one. It was malicious and filled with anger and contempt. Mark 3:30 clearly states that they accused Jesus of being possessed by an evil spirit. For all we know, Jesus may have known they were never going to change, thus the harsh warning... not even be forgiven “in the world to come”. (The Jews believed in some form of new world order where their Messiah would rule the world and conquer their enemies. They had no idea Jesus was speaking of eternal spiritual life.)
We find a very similar word from Jesus in John 10: 22 “And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. 24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.”... Jesus replied, 30 “I and my Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.”... Again Jesus replied, 37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.” KJV Notice Jesus says, “...though ye believe not me...” This is the same message to the Pharisees when He told them, “Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man may be forgiven...” The real message here is “believe the works”.
All throughout history , before and after Jesus’ time on this earth, there have been false prophets. No doubt, before Jesus, some claimed to be the Messiah. So it stands to reason that someone with a good working knowledge of the Torah and prophets could fake their way into garnering followers with only words. Jesus knew this. He knew the works He performed by the power of Holy Spirit would be the conclusive evidence to humankind He was who He said He was. Are you beginning to see how important it is to understand the power of the godhead? It is the power of the Holy Spirit that puts into motion the will of God. When the Bible refers to the “power” of the Spirit, the Greek word is dunamis, “inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature”.
Everything that God has willed by sovereign authority is accomplished by this dunamis. All that Jesus told His disciples the Comforter Holy Spirit would do when they would receive Him would be done by His power. John 16:7-10 tells us the Spirit would be sent to “...convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God) and about judgment:” AMP The Spirit was given to the world out of God’s desire that none should perish. If recognizing the Spirit’s power in our lives is so important, and that power is the same power that convicts and judges us, then how seriously should we take the Spirit’s conviction and Christ’s judgment? I would say very seriously.
I fear that there are many Christians (yes, even including myself) that are “skating by” from time to time. We let the distractions of the world take up so much of our time and energy that, before we know it, they become idols in our lives. Or we may let a recurring sin go unchecked, because we haven’t fully realized just how holy of a life God wants us to lead. Or we may actually think, “Well, it’s not too bad. After all, God knows I’m only human”. There can be a myriad of reasons unique to each one of us in which we can convince ourselves that, after all, we’re saved, so our relationship with God is status quo. Friends, this is exactly where Satan wants us to be! When our lives are filled with so much garbage and twisted thinking, we make ourselves extremely vulnerable to not only continual human addictive behavior and bad, unspiritual habits, but also demonic attacks of attractive self-gratification and selfishness. That still, quiet voice of the Holy Spirit gets more and more faint until we run the risk of not hearing His conviction at all. Don’t tell me it doesn’t happen. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
Some may say that God will not let that happen to us. But I have verses for them: “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.” Hebrews 10:26,27 NIV The word “knowledge” here is epignosis and means “full, experiential knowledge”. The readers of the letter are Christians who are not just simply familiar with the gospel, but have had actual proof of its truth in their lives. The message is, if we consciously, forcefully and habitually fill our lives with sin after having that sort of God experience, we are ignoring the power of the Holy Spirit’s conviction. I don’t know about you, but ignoring and denying and rejecting His power is a fine line to walk. Furthermore, this passage suggests that a Christian can commit blasphemy of the Holy Spirit by rejecting the knowledge of the truth, thus utterly turning their back on the covenant of grace. Of course, the writer of Hebrews was referring to Christians turning back to the Law and its statutes and ordinances. But there are many reasons that could cause a Christian to utterly and ultimately reject Christ. The amazing thing is that our all-knowing God knows who will be faithful to the end. And to those, He has already granted eternal life!
It’s interesting how the devil can work even on the minds of well known theologians. I read an article where the author said it is not possible for anyone to commit blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Their argument was that the blasphemy only held true for the Pharisees accusing Jesus (the Son of God) of His miracles being of beelzebub. The author was completely blinded to the fact that after Jesus, the apostles did many miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit, in which they could have been accused of performing them by the power of the devil. And what about modern day miracles? What do you think God thinks about a person that accuses a modern day preacher or faith healer of performing by the power of Satan?
That’s why when we see such things in church or on TV, etc., we had really better be careful about judging where the power is coming from! God uses imperfect people to do amazing things. He always has. I have seen incredible, true, instantaneous healings by the hands of men who were spiritually flawed. As I have said many times, it is so important to pray every day for spiritual discernment...now more than ever as the days draw darker and darker in this world. I pray that God will reveal to you and remind you of the incredible power He has given to you to conquer the world with His divine help. His dunamis lies within you every second of your life, just waiting for you to shed the distractions of this world so you can bathe in His faithful and everlasting love and work in harmony with Him to accomplish the incredible things He has in store for you! Let us embrace conviction. That’s how we will know we have a crystal clear path to God through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.