I’ve heard several explanations and theories on this subject. Some say the blaspheming against the Holy Spirit is rejecting Him over and over or grieving the Spirit or rejecting Jesus as Lord. The best way to understand the Bible is to let the Bible explain itself. By searching the scriptures we can find the answers to help us understand a certain subject. But, in this case, the answer is found in the same chapter as the subject.
First, there is a misconception concerning grieving the Holy Spirit. That term is only found once in the Bible, in Ephesians 4:30. It says “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Some people have ADDED the word AWAY and subtly changed the meaning. They say “Grieving Away the Holy Spirit is rejecting him over and over again and that is Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.”
In this verse, the word grieve means to cause grief or sorrow or to make sad. Sure, blaspheming the Holy Spirit would make him sad, but the surrounding verses explain what Paul is saying here and he is not saying that grieving the Holy Spirit is rejecting him and he is not saying that it is blasphemy. He is giving the Ephesians instruction in how to be “truly holy.” (verse 24)
Nowhere does the Bible say that Grieving the Holy Spirit and Blaspheming the Holy Spirit are the same thing. And there is no passage that says anything about Grieving Away the Holy Spirit. With that in mind let’s see what the Bible does say.
In the book of Matthew, chapter twelve, Jesus is confronted by the Pharisees because his disciples ate without washing their hands. Then again for healing a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. Then again for casting a demon out of a man on the Sabbath. Here’s what the Pharisees said then….
Mat 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “This fellow casts out devils, only by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.”
Mat 12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
Mat 12:26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?
Mat 12:27 And if I cast out devils by Beelzebub, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
Mat 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
Mat 12:29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man and then spoil his house?
Mat 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad.
Mat 12:31 Therefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
Mat 12:32 And whosoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
Mat 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
Mat 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
Mat 12:35 A good man, out of the good treasure of the heart, brings forth good things: and an evil man, out of the evil treasure of his heart, brings forth evil things.
Mat 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account of in the day of judgment.
Mat 12:37 For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words, you shall be condemned.
There you have it. Blaspheming against the Holy Spirit is done by SPEAKING WORDS against Him. Nothing else. In the case of the Pharisees, they attributed the Work of the Holy Spirit to Satan. This is not just an act that only the Pharisees could commit as some have suggested. In other words, Jesus was not just talking to the Pharisees. He said men and that word means mankind or People.
The meaning of blasphemy in both the old and new testaments is to curse, vilify or speak evil of. There are other ways to blaspheme, but we are talking about blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Jesus said to blaspheme the Holy Spirit is to speak against Him. So we need to be careful what we say and how we say it. We need to think before we speak.
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