Sins Against the Holy Spirit

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: John 16:7-14


I.         The work of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the teachings of God to mankind

            A.        It is not a work that is directly observed. Like the wind you see the effect of the Spirit’s work in people’s lives - John 3:8

            B.        Jesus told his disciples that he would send the Spirit, who would help them teach God’s laws - John 16:13

                        1.         That teaching would convict the world of three things: Sin, righteousness and judgment - John 16:8-11

                        2.         In order for people to change, they have to be convinced that they are in the wrong. After all, if the way I am is fine, there is not reason to change.

                        3.         But people also have to be convinced that they can change. We all heard people say that they are too sinful or that a sin like homosexuality is intrinsic to a person’s nature and it cannot be changed.

                        4.         Along with these a person has to be convinced that it matters. There is going to be a judgment and my eternity is at stake!

            C.        When God’s teaching is in us, we walk according to the Spirit - Galatians 5:25

                        1.         It can’t be just book knowledge. It has to be applied knowledge - James 1:21-25

            D.        When we do so, the Holy Spirit is our guarantee of salvation - Ephesians 1:13-14

                        1.         He testifies, long with our spirits, that we are children of God - Romans 8:16

            E.        He also intercedes for us, helping us to communicate with God - Romans 8:26-27

II.        The Holy Spirit does much for us, but we set ourselves against His work

            A.        Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit - Acts 5:1-4

                        1.         It cost them their lives - Acts 5:5-10

                        2.         Clearly sinning against any member of the Godhead is a serious matter

                        3.         Why was deceiving Peter and the church lying to the Holy Spirit?

                                    a.         Because they were claiming to do work direct by the Spirit

                                    b.         They thought they were only dealing with men

                                    c.         But the Spirit knows our thoughts - Romans 9:1

            B.        Resisting the Holy Spirit - Acts 7:51-53

                        1.         The word here is antipito. It means literally to fall against; thus, to oppose or fight against.

                        2.         This isn’t merely ignoring the Spirit’s work. The Jews were not indifferent to the Gospel – they fought against it.

                        3.         The Jews have had a long history of persecuting the prophets, as Stephen laid out in his discourse.

                                    a.         They did not want to hear the message of the prophets, inspired by the Spirit of God - II Peter 1:21

                        4.         People do the same today when they set themselves up against the teachers of the Gospel.

            C.        Quenching the Holy Spirit - I Thessalonians 5:19-22

                        1.         The Greek word here is sbennumi. It means to extinguish, such as putting out a fire.

                                    a.         The Spirit’s teachings prick men’s hearts - Acts 2:37

                                    b.         It excites them - Luke 24:32

                                    c.         It convicts and changes men - Galatians 5:22-23

                                    d.         But a person can put out that fire

                        2.         Despise not prophecy - I Thessalonians 5:20

                                    a.         The word here is exoutheneo. It is to treat something as contemptible or unimportant

                                    b.         We are warned not to lessen the importance of the Spirit’s teachings

                                    c.         For example, when people say that a command to be baptized is not necessary.

                        3.         Prove all things - I Thessalonians 5:21

                                    a.         Compare everything against what the Spirit has taught, whether we are talking about a doctrine or a practice

                        4.         Hold fast to that which is good - I Thessalonians 5:21

                                    a.         When it matches the teachings of the Spirit, don’t let go! Don’t quench it. Don’t despise it.

                        5.         Abstain from all appearances of evil - I Thessalonians 5:22

                                    a.         In every way that evil makes an appearance, when it doesn’t match the teachings of Spirit, stay away from it.

            D.        Grieving the Holy Spirit - Ephesians 4:30

                        1.         God was grieved with the Israelites because of their sins - Psalms 95:10

                        2.         Stubbornness caused Jesus to grieve - Mark 3:5

                        3.         Rebellion causes the Spirit to grieve - Isaiah 63:10

                        4.         God cares about His people. He wants them saved - John 3:16

                        5.         Ephesians 4:22-32 - When we don’t change, the Spirit, who could save us, is grieved.

            E.        Insulting the Holy Spirit - Hebrews 10:26-31

                        1.         The Greek word enubrizo means to give insult by acting with contempt

                        2.         It has long been a problem - Numbers 15:30-31

                        3.         This is someone, who because of his arrogance, treats the ordeal that God went through to save him as nothing more than dirt under his feet.

                        4.         How? Though a man has been saved, he doesn’t give up his sins. He willfully continues in them. He doesn’t want help. He doesn’t want to change.

            F.        Blaspheming the Holy Spirit - Matthew 12:31-32

                        1.         The Greek word blasphemia is a compound word of blapto - to hurt and phemi - to speak. In other words, to say hurtful things, to speak evil of another.

                        2.         Blasphemy is a form of slander where the blasphemer is trying to ruin the reputation of another.

                                    a.         It carries the idea that the lies are purposely told, knowing full well that they are lies

                                    b.         It needs to be clear that this isn’t just stray or impulsive thoughts

                                    c.         This is someone who is actively trying to make God look bad in the eyes of other people by stating things the person knows to be false.

                        3.         In the situation, Jesus had healed a demon-possessed man - Matthew 12:22

                                    a.         People realized that this means Jesus is the Messiah - Matthew 12:23

                                    b.         The Pharisees could not allow that to happen, so they told the people a lie - Matthew 12:24

                                    c.         Jesus exposed the lie - Matthew 12:25-29

                                    d.         Jesus warned that while they blasphemed him, there was still a chance for them to change. Referring to coming revelation of the Gospel - Matthew 12:30-32

                                    e.         But if they slander the Holy Spirit and His work, there is no other way to be saved.

                        4.         It isn’t that God refuses to forgive.

                                    a.         There is no “unforgivable” sin in the Bible. The word doesn’t appear in the Bible.

                                    b.         The problem is that these arrogant blasphemers have no respect for truth and will never repent.

III.       God – the Father, the Son, and the Spirit – desires that all men be saved and that includes you

            A.        Don’t ignore the offer. Don’t treat it as if it has little value. Eternity in heaven is the pearl of great price, bought by God for you with the blood of the Son

            B.        And if you are a Christian, don’t discard what you have gained and grieve the Godhead.

Based on an article by Heath Rogers

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