"THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD" The Sins Against The Holy Spirit INTRODUCTION 1. We have seen where the Holy Spirit is certainly active in God's scheme of redemption... a. Revealing and confirming the Word of Truth - He 2:3-4 b. Convicting hearts of sin through the Word - Jn 16:7 c. Regenerating those who respond to the gospel - Jn 3:5 d. Indwelling those who obey the gospel - Ac 2:38; 1Co 6:19 e. Leading those who walk in the Spirit - Ga 5:16-18,25 f. Producing the fruit of the Spirit in those so led - Ga 5:22-23 g. Strengthening those seeking to please God - Ep 3:16 h. Serving as a seal, marking Christians as God's own - Ep 1:13 i. Serving as an earnest (guarantee) of our inheritance - Ep 1:14 2. Because of the Spirit's activity, it is possible for us to sin against the Spirit... a. We can resist the Spirit - Ac 7:51 b. We can quench the Spirit - 1Th 5:19 c. We can grieve the Spirit - Ep 4:30 d. We can insult the Spirit - He 10:29 e. We can blaspheme the Spirit - Mt 12:31-32 [Lest we be guilty of sinning against the Spirit, let's examine how such sins are possible...] I. RESISTING THE SPIRIT A. THE WARNING... 1. Stephen condemned his listeners for resisting the Spirit
- Ac 7:51 2. How did they do this? By persecuting (i.e., resisting) the prophets - Ac 7:52 a. Who foretold the coming of Christ b. In whom the Spirit of Christ was working - cf. 1Pe 1:10-11 -- Resisting the Spirit-led prophets resulted in their resisting the Spirit! B. THE APPLICATION... 1. The same Spirit led the apostles of Christ to preach the gospel- cf. 1Pe 1:12; Ro 15:19 2. We can resist the apostles today a. By refusing to obey their word - cf. 1Co 14:37 b. By refusing to abide in their doctrine - cf. Ac 2:42 -- Are we guilty of resisting the Spirit, by resisting the words of the apostles? [Certainly those who refuse to obey the gospel are guilty of resisting the Spirit, but even those who are Christians can be guilty. Christians can also be guilty of...] II. QUENCHING THE SPIRIT A. THE WARNING... 1. Written to the church at Thessalonica - 1Th 5:19 2. How could they become guilty of this? a. To quench means to extinguish, suppress, stifle b. To whatever extent the Spirit was at work, they were not to suppress it 3. Two examples... a. The Thessalonians were not to despise prophecies
- cf. 1 Th5:20 ("Do not despise the words of the prophets" NRSV) b. Timothy was encouraged not to neglect his gift - 1Ti 4:14; 2Ti 1:6 -- Suppressing (or neglecting) the Spirit's work is quenching
the Spirit! B. THE APPLICATION... 1. The Spirit is at work in our lives today a. Teaching and guiding us through His revealed word
- cf. Ep 6:17 b. Strengthening us through His indwelling - cf. Ep 3:16,20 c. Producing the fruit of the Spirit as we are so led
- cf. Ga 5:22-23 2. But we neglect or stifle the Spirit's effort... a. When we fail to read and heed the Word of God b. When we fail to pray, asking for strength c. When we fail to produce the fruit of the Spirit -- Are we guilty of quenching the Spirit, through our own neglect? [Another sin against the Spirit that Paul warned Christians about is...] III. GRIEVING THE SPIRIT A. THE WARNING... 1. Written to the Ephesians - Ep 4:30 2. What does it mean to grieve? a. To make sorrowful, to affect with sadness b. To offend 3. How could they grieve the Spirit? a. By corrupt speech - cf. Ep 4:29 b. By bitterness, anger, evil speaking - cf. Ep 4:31 -- When Christians sin, they grieve the Spirit who indwells them! B. THE APPLICATION... 1. The Spirit desires to produce good fruit in Christians... a. The fruit of graceful words that lift up others
- cf. Ep 4:29 b. The fruit of graceful conduct that bless those around us - cf. Ep 4:28,32 2. But we make the Spirit sorrowful every time... a. Unwholesome words proceed from our mouths b. We engage in conduct unbecoming those who have been sealed (marked) for the day of redemption! -- Are we guilty of grieving by our speech or conduct the Spirit who indwells us? [As bad as it is for Christians to quench the Spirit (through neglect) or grieve the Spirit (through disobedience), it can get worse! We can even be guilty of...] IV. INSULTING THE SPIRIT A. THE WARNING... 1. Written to the Hebrews - He 10:29 2. What does it mean to insult the Spirit of grace? a. KJV, ASV, "despite the Spirit of grace" b. NRSV, "outraged the Spirit of grace" 3. The context pertains to willful sin - cf. He 10:26-31 a. Persistent sin with full knowledge and no desire to repent b. Conduct that tramples Christ underfoot, and regards His blood a common thing c. For which remains a fearful and fiery judgment -- Christians can become so hardened by sin that they insult the Spirit through outrageous conduct! B. THE APPLICATION... 1. We need to be aware of the danger of apostasy - He 3:12-14 a. We can become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin b. We can thereby depart from the living God c. We must hold the beginning of our confidence (faith) steadfast till the end - cf. Re 2:10 2. We become guilty of insulting the Spirit... a. When we sin willfully, with full knowledge of our sin b. When we have no desire to repent - cf. He 6:4-8 -- Sinning through ignorance or weakness grieves the Spirit, but sinning willfully insults the Spirit! [Finally, we note that Jesus warned about...] V. BLASPHEMING THE SPIRIT A. THE WARNING... 1. Jesus told the Pharisees of the unforgivable sin - Mt 12:31-32 a. He had just healed a demon-possessed man - Mt 12:22-23 b. The Pharisees attributed His power to Beelzebub (Satan)
- Mt 12:24 c. He illustrates the absurdity of their charge - Mt 12:25-28 d. He explains the implication and necessity of casting out demons by the Spirit of God 1) The kingdom (rule or reign, power) of God has come
- Mt 12:28 2) For such to be complete, the strong man (Satan) must be bound - Mt 12:29 3) This Jesus ultimately accomplished through His death and resurrection - cf. Jn 12:31-33; Ro 14:9; Col 2:15; He 2: 14-15; Re 1:18 2. What is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? a. It is attributing Jesus' power to an unclean spirit
- cf. Mk 3:28-30 b. It is ascribing the work of the Holy Spirit
to Satan (B.W.Johnson) 3. Why is this sin unforgivable? When one concludes that Jesus' power was of the devil... a. He has rejected the evidence which produces faith in Jesus b. He has rejected the efforts by God to save those in sin -- When one is willing to believe that Jesus was in league with the devil, saving faith is not possible! B. THE APPLICATION... 1. We must be careful not to reject the testimony of the Spirit a. He is the means by which God bore witness to Jesus
- cf. Ac 10:38 b. Otherwise we can neglect that "great salvation"
- cf. He 2:3-4 2. If we reject the testimony of the Holy Spirit... a. We reject heaven's last effort to save man (Ferrell Jenkins, The Finger Of God, p.45) b. We reject the evidence which convicts of sin (ibid.) -- The consequences of rejecting the Spirit's testimony are serious, depriving one of the forgiveness found only in Christ! CONCLUSION 1. Sins against the Holy Spirit can lead progressively into apostasy... a. Resisting the Spirit can lead to quenching the Spirit b. Quenching the Spirit can lead to grieving the Spirit c. Grieving the Spirit can lead to insulting the Spirit d. Insulting the Spirit can lead to blaspheming the Spirit e. Blaspheming the Spirit leads to a condition where forgiveness is not possible 2. Note the sad condition of those in full-blown apostasy - cf. He 6:4-6 a. This passage describes those who at one time: 1) Were enlightened 2) Tasted the heavenly gift 3) Become partakers of the Holy Spirit 4) Tasted the good word of God 5) Tasted the powers of the age to come b. Yet they had fallen to the point: 1) Where it was impossible to renew them to repentance 2) Where they were crucifying again the Son of God, putting Him to open shame How to prevent such a sad end? Make sure that we are not guilty of "The Sins Against The Holy Spirit"!