Mark 3 Lesson

The unpardonable sin

Chapter 3 covers several important topics including:

  • Jesus healing the man with the withered hand.
  • The Pharisees conspiring to kill Jesus.
  • Jesus appointing His twelve Apostles.

For today’s study, we will focus on verses 28-30:

“Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness but is guilty of an eternal sin.” - Mathew 3:28-30.

To put Jesus’ quote into context, we need to look at the surrounding scripture. 

Right after Jesus says, “Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness,” Mark writes, “Because they were saying, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’” 

This is one of the rare occurrences where the Bible tells us “why” something happened.

God will forgive other forms of blasphemy if we repent and confess our sins, but He will not forgive blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, because that is saying that the very Spirit of God is evil.  That God will not forgive.  

The spirit inside of us is a complex topic.

If the spirit within us is an unclean spirit, we are bad at our core and separated from Jesus and the promise of eternal life. If the spirit that guides us is the Holy Spirit, we walk with Jesus and receive the precious gift of His grace and forgiveness. 

We all have free will and can decide for ourselves who we will be at our core. If we want to be led by the Holy Spirit, we must be baptized into Christ, receive the Holy Spirit, and walk in newness of life.  That is what the scriptures tell us as outlined below:

  • “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” – Mark 16:16.
  • Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 2:38.
  • “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” – Romans 6:4.

All other sins will be forgiven if we confess our sins, repent of our sins, and ask for God’s forgiveness. John wrote about this in his first epistle:

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9.

The only exception to the above scripture is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

At the heart of today’s lesson is the choice that we all must make between good and evil. Jesus is deity, and He simply cannot accept the sin of blasphemy against His Spirit.

We discussed in a previous lesson how God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus all have the same Spirit. This phenomenon is often referred to as the Holy Trinity. To blaspheme one, is to blaspheme them all.

As noted above, we all have to make a choice. Do we want to follow God’s commandments, or do we want to do things are own way, or follow what the world says is important?

Consider the following scriptures, and choose wisely:

  • “Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.  If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:14-15.
  • “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.” – Mathew 6:24.

If we turn our back on Jesus, He will turn His back on us. If we follow Him, He will welcome us with loving arms.  When we follow Jesus, He will surround us with His amazing grace, compassion, and love, and our lives will never be the same!  Following Jesus leads to, "The peace that surpasses all understanding," as described in Philippians 4:7.

We will conclude today’s study with the following quote from the Gospel of Mathew:

“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.  But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” – Mathew 10:32.

Comments

Virtual Bible Study

Question of the day: If somebody commits blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, as described in today's lesson, but then repents, can they be saved?

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Dan

One should ask, "Why would blasphemy against Jesus be forgiven but not blasphemy against the Holy Spirit not be?" Is it possible to impetuously "blaspheme" and be damned for all eternity, despite repentance? Perhaps the key to understanding the difference is timing--those that reject (blaspheme) Jesus could hear the gospel on Pentecost, preached by the Apostle Peter inspired by the Holy Spirit, and be forgiven. But anyone who rejected the message of the apostles would have no further messenger--no third chance to hear, obey and be saved. Therefore, rejection of the Holy Spirit is the blasphemy that will not be forgiven.

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Virtual Bible Study

Question of the day: If somebody commits blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, as described in today's lesson, but then repents, can they be saved?

Reply
Tommy

I wonder why the Pharisees hated Jesus so much? Was it jealousy, did they perceive them as a threat to their own high standing in the community?

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Nancy
Tommy

I think yes and that's not the whole story. The Pharisees had not been "in charge" of the Jews for very long.
The status with the Roman government was probably a weak position and they could have been ousted in a few hours or so if they made the wrong person mad. Consider the Herod family history/status. Generally the Pharisees had solid faith in Father God. They fully believed the messiah would come. They were "steeped in tradition" believing the messiah's first and maybe only role was to get them out from under the authority of any other nation and be an independent people. Maybe they had never truly studied the Old Testament beyond the books Moses is credited with. The prophets wrote 300 or so prophecies about Jesus. We might say they had God in a box. When he did not meet their expectation they could not accept Him as the real messiah. Also the general public at the last Passover week greeted Jesus with palm branches on His entrance and what 6 days later He had not met their expectations. They gave up and yelled crucify Him!

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