READ: Psalm 130, Zechariah 9, Matthew 12, 2 Timothy 2

UNFORGIVABLE

If you are worried about the “unforgivable” sin, you don’t need to be worried about it. That fact that you are worried about it is proof you have not committed it.

Jesus teaches in Matthew 12:31 that all sins will be forgiven save the one of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our counselor, the internal witness and resident presence of God inside the believer who constantly comforts, advises, and instructs us. The Holy Spirit unceasingly calls us to repentance. Working backwards, the only way we will not be forgiven is if we stop repenting, and the only way we stop repenting is if we have become deaf (through sustained and repeated disobedience) to the voice of the Spirit. A single disobedience does not equate to blasphemy, but if we constantly disobey the Spirit’s voice, we lose the ability to hear Him over time, and when we lose the ability to hear God, we lose the desire and capacity to obey Him. As long as our hearts are tender towards Jesus (even when we sin), and our ears are open to the Spirit’s voice, it is impossible for us to commit blasphemy against His Holy Spirit.

Comfort and warning go together. The warning is that we can become deaf to the Holy Spirit–and that is unpardonable. The comfort is that this is not a one-time or accidental decision; it is the result of a life of disobediences. Paul warns Timothy that some have been taken captive by the devil to do His will (2 Tim. 2:26). The role of the servant of the Lord [one who is not quarrelsome, gentle, able to teach, patient, humble (v. 24)] is to correct those who are heading down the disobedient path. Correction is another function of the Holy Spirit in us, and we are to pass on what we learn [at least to four generations (v. 2)]. As the Holy Spirit speaks to us and corrects us, we in turn are to speak and correct others, that they repent, know the truth, come to their senses, and escape the snare of the devil (v. 26).

What is unforgivable for the servant of the Lord is to live in such a way as to forfeit our moral authority. God’s indwelling Spirit corrects us, not only for our own sake, but also for the sake of others–that we might lovingly correct them. If we are (in repeated small ways) disobeying the Holy Spirit, we will have no spiritual capacity to help others. That is a double tragedy, for our sin can be the catalyst for the destruction of those around us. This is why Paul urges Timothy to “depart from iniquity” so that “the solid foundation of God can stand” (v. 19). The Lord knows who is His (v. 19), and the ones who are His are those who have stayed faithful through a thousand small, unnoticed acts of obedience. The most tragic thing in life is the servant of God who serves from a blasphemous base, a heart that has disobeyed the Spirit in a multitude of small unnoticed ways. There is no blessing on their ministry, no divine capacity to change lives–and they are the last to know it. Being deaf to the Spirit they are also fools and blind.

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