Blasphemy Against The Holy Spirit Explained

Matthew 12:1-37

What is blaspheming the Holy Spirit? I’ve heard several explanations and theories on this subject. Some say the blasphemy 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 Bible, and comparing scriptures, we can find the answers to help us understand any 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,

Ephesians 4:30
30. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Some people ADD the word AWAY when quoting this verse and subtly change 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 grieving the Holy Spirit is blasphemy. He’s giving the Ephesians instruction in how to be “truly holy.” (verse 24)

Grieving the Holy Spirit, and Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is not the same thing. You won’t find that anywhere in the Bible. 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…

Matthew 12:24-37

24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “This fellow casts out devils, only by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.”
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:
26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?
27 And if I cast out devils by Beelzebub, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
28 But if I CAST OUT DEVILS BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
29 Or else how can one enter a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he binds the strong man first and then spoils his house?
30 He that is not with me is AGAINST me, and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad.
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.
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.
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.
34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, SPEAK good things? for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth SPEAKS.
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.
36 But I say unto you, That every idle WORD that men shall SPEAK, they shall give an account of in the day of judgment.
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.

Mark shares this same story in his gospel, and at the end, he tells us exactly why Jesus said all this.

Mark 3:30
30. Because they SAID, He has an unclean spirit.

Jesus said to blaspheme the Holy Spirit is to SPEAK against Him. According to the Strong’s Concordance, the meaning of blasphemy in both the old and new Testaments is “TO CURSE, VILIFY, or SPEAK EVIL OF.”

Blaspheming against the Holy Spirit 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.
So we need to be careful what we say and how we say it. We need to think before we speak. Always.

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