What is Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit - Matthew 12:31

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  • What is Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit - Matthew 12:31

    • Matthew 12:31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

    John Calvin:

    31.Therefore I say to you. This inference ought not to be confined to the clause immediately preceding, but depends on the whole discourse. Having proved that the scribes could not blame him for casting out devils, without opposing the kingdom of God, he at length concludes that it is no light or ordinary offense, but an atrocious crime, knowingly and willingly to pour contempt on the Spirit of God. We have already said, that Christ did not pronounce this decision on the mere words which they uttered, but on their base and wicked thought.

    All sin and blasphemy. As our Lord declares blasphemy against the Holy Ghost to be more heinous than all other sins, it is of importance to inquire what is the meaning of that term. Those who define it to be impenitence (127) may be refuted without any difficulty; for it would have been in vain and to no purpose for Christ to say, that it is not forgiven in the present life. Besides, the word blasphemy cannot be extended indiscriminately to every sort of crimes; but from the comparison which Christ makes, we shall easily obtain the true definition. Why is it said that he who blasphemes against the Spirit is a more heinous sinner than he who blasphemes against Christ? Is it because the majesty of the Spirit is greater, that a crime committed against him must be punished with greater severity? Certainly that is not the reason; for as the fullness of the Godhead (Col 2:9) shines in Christ, he who pours contempt upon him overturns and destroys, as far as it lies in his power, the whole glory of God. Now in what manner shall Christ be separated from his Spirit, so that those who treat the Spirit with contempt offer no injury or insult to Christ?

    Already we begin to perceive, that the reason why blasphemy against the Spirit exceeds other sins, is not that the Spirit is higher than Christ, but that those who rebel, after that the power of God has been revealed, cannot be excused on the plea of ignorance. Besides, it must be observed, that what is here said about blasphemy does not refer merely to the essence of the Spirit, but to the grace which He has bestowed upon us. Those who are destitute of the light of the Spirit, however much they may detract from the glory of the Spirit, will not be held guilty of this crime. (128) We do not maintain, that those persons are said to pour contempt on the Spirit of God, who oppose his grace and power by hardened malice; and farther we maintain, that this kind of sacrilege is committed only when we knowingly endeavor to extinguish the Spirit who dwells in us.

    The reason why contempt is said to be poured on the Spirit, rather than on the Son or the Father, is this. By detracting from the grace and power of God, we make a direct attack on the Spirit, from whom they proceed, and in whom they are revealed to us. Shall any unbeliever curse God? It is as if a blind man were dashing against a wall. But no man curses the Spirit who is not enlightened by him, and conscious of ungodly rebellion against him; for it is not a superfluous distinction. that all other blasphemies shall be forgiven, except that one blasphemy which is directed against the Spirit. If a man shall simply blaspheme against God, he is not declared to be beyond the hope of pardon; but of those who have offered outrage to the Spirit, it is said that God will never forgive them. Why is this, but because those only are blasphemers against the Spirit, who slander his gifts and power, contrary to the conviction of their own mind? Such also is the import of the reason assigned by Mark for the extreme severity of Christ’s threatening against the Pharisees; because they had said that he had the unclean spirit; for in this manner they purposely and maliciously turned light into darkness; and, indeed, it is in the manner of the giants, (129) as the phrase is, to make war against God.

    But here a question arises. Do men proceed to such a pitch of madness as not to hesitate, knowingly and willfully, to rush against God? for this appears to be monstrous and incredible. I reply: Such audacity does indeed proceed from mad blindness, in which, at the same time, malice and virulent rage predominate. Nor is it without reason that Paul says, that though he was a blasphemer, he obtained pardon, because he had done it ignorantly in his unbelief, (1Ti 1:13 ) for this term draws a distinction between his sin and voluntary rebellion. This passage refutes also the error of those who imagine that every sin which is voluntary, or which is committed in opposition to the conscience, is unpardonable. On the contrary, Paul expressly limits that sin to the First Table of the Law; (130) and our Lord not less plainly applies the word blasphemy to a single description of sin, and at the same time shows, that it is of a kind which is directly opposed to the glory of God. (131)

    From all that has been said, we may conclude that those persons sin and blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, who maliciously turn to his dishonor the perfections of God, which have been revealed to him by the Spirit, in which His glory ought to be celebrated, and who, with Satan, their leader, are avowed enemies of the glory of God. We need not then wonder, if for such sacrilege there is no hope of pardon; for they must be desperate who turn the only medicine of salvation into a deadly venom. Some consider this to be too harsh, and betake themselves to the childish expedient, that it is said to be unpardonable, because the pardon of it is rare and difficult to be obtained. But the words of Christ are too precise to admit of so silly an evasion. It is excessively foolish to argue that God will be cruel if he never pardon a sin, the atrocity of which ought to excite in us astonishment and horror. (132) Those who reason in that manner do not sufficiently consider what a monstrous crime it is, not only to profane intentionally the sacred name of God, but to spit in his face when he shines evidently before us. It shows equal ignorance to object, that it would be absurd if even repentance could not obtain pardon; for blasphemy against the Spirit is a token of reprobation, and hence it follows, that whoever have fallen into it, have been delivered over to a reprobate mind, (Rom 1:28.) As we maintain, that he who has been truly regenerated by the Spirit cannot possibly fall into so horrid a crime, so, on the other hand, we must believe that those who have fallen into it never rise again; nay, that in this manner God punishes contempt of his grace, by hardening the hearts of the reprobate, so that they never have any desire towards repentance.

    (127) “Quant a ceux qui disent que c’est un endurcissement jusqu’a la mort;” — “as to those who say that it is hardened obstinacy even to death.”
    (128) “Ne seront pas toutesfois tenus coulpables de ce grand crime duquel il est ici parle;” — “will not, on that account, be held guilty of the great crime here spoken of.”
    (129) “Et cela c’est desfier Dieu, et luy faire la guerre, comme les Geans des Poetes, ainsique porte le proverbe Latin;” — “and that is to defy God, and make war with him, like the Giants of the Poets, as the Latin proverb bears.”
    (130) “Restreint nommement a la Premiere Table de la Loy ce peche contre l’Esprit;” — “expressly limits to the First Table of the Law this sin against the Spirit.”
    (131) “Que c’est un peche qui battaille directement contre la gloire de Dieu;” — “that it is a sin which fights directly against the glory of God.”
    (132) “Veu que l’horreur d’iceluy nous devroit a tous faire dresser les cheveux en la teste;” — “since the horror at it ought to have such an effect on all of us, as to make the hair stand on our head.”

  • #2
    the commentary seems pretty wordy for the simple concept of, you can't deny what hasn't been revealed to you, but if it is revealed to you, and you still deny it, that would be blasphemy of the Holy Spirit in the Lord our God's case. for it is the Presence of God (the Holy Spirit) as if some one denies you exist, or doesn't acknowledge you presence if you where a king or a president of the nation that person lives in.

    hence you can't be saved if you don't acknowledge the Presence of God.


    sometimes one runs into the questions of why the devil can't be saved, but that is exactly what Satan and friends did, they saw God and rejected Him, and were removed into darkness instantly. hence when one of the devils acknowledged Jesus "thou Son of God" He rebuked them because acknowledgment of Christ is reserved for the saved and to be saved, who haven't seen God. but if you have known His Presence and rejected that, you loss big time.
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