The Sin That Will Not Be Forgiven (Matthew 12:25-32)
1. In these passages, Jesus talked about "the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit." 2. This is a serious matter because Jesus said that those who blaspheme the Spirit will not be forgiven. 3. Sometimes this is referred to as "the unpardonable sin." 4. Perhaps it would be better for us to call it "the sin that will not be forgiven." 5. Many are confused about what the blasphemy against the Spirit is. 6. If we will study these verses carefully, we can understand what Jesus was talking about.
I. SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION IS GIVEN IN VS.1-24
A. On this occasion Jesus was dealing with the Pharisees. B. We must understand how they felt toward the Lord. 1. (vs.2) They complained to the Lord that His disciples violated the Sabbath. 2. (vs.10) They were looking for an accusation to bring against Jesus. 3. (vs.14) They began to conspire about how to get rid of the Lord. C. See vs.15-21. 1. When Jesus healed many people, He fulfilled Isaiah 42:1-3. 2. The Lord's healing was associated with the fact that God had put His Spirit upon Jesus. a. The Spirit descended upon Jesus at His baptism (Matthew 3:13-17). b. Jesus had been given the Spirit without measure (John 3:34). c. By healing people Jesus showed that the Spirit had been given to Him. D. (vs.22) Jesus healed a man who was possessed by a demon. 1. This demon caused the man to be blind and dumb. 2. When Jesus healed the man, he was able to see and speak. E. (vs.23-24) The people who saw this miracle reacted in 2 ways. 1. (vs.23) One group recognized Jesus as "the son of David." 2. (vs.24) The Pharisees responded differently. a. They accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub. b. This was not the first time this had happened (Matthew 9:32-34). c. The Pharisees did not recognize this miracle as a sign of the Lord's power. d. Later, they asked Jesus for another sign, but He would not fulfill their request (vs.38-42). e. Jesus let them know that they would be condemned at the judgment because they would not repent.
II. (vs.25-32) JESUS SPOKE TO THOSE WHO ACCUSED HIM OF CASTING OUT DEMONS BY THE POWER OF BEELZEBUB
A. There are 2 things we must keep in mind as we consider the Lord's statements. 1. First (vs.25a), Jesus "knew their thoughts." a. He knew what these people were thinking, and He knew the condition of their hearts. b. This is why He said what He said in vs.34-35. 2. Second, we must keep in mind the reason why Jesus said what He said (Mark 3:30 -- "Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit"). B. (vs.25-26) Jesus used some reasoning to show the Pharisees how absurd their accusation was. C. (vs.27) Jesus asked an interesting question. D. (vs.28) Jesus revealed what the Pharisees should have recognized as a result of His miracle. E. (vs.29) Jesus used an illustration to show that He had demonstrated His power over Satan. F. (vs.30) Jesus let the Pharisees know that by not being with Him, they were actually against Him. G. (vs.31-32) Jesus talked to the Pharisees about a matter for which they would not be forgiven. 1. (vs.31a) Man can be forgiven of sin and blasphemy. a. Blasphemy: speaking against to injure or harm b. Paul was a blasphemer who received forgiveness (1 Timothy 1:12-15). 2. (vs.31b) Jesus went on to say: "the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men." a. The Pharisees had blasphemed against the Spirit by saying that Jesus cast out demons by the power of Beelzebub. b. They failed to see that Jesus performed this miracle by the power of the Holy Spirit. H. This sin that will not be forgiven is "blaspheming" [speaking against] the Holy Spirit.
III. CAN WE BLASPHEME THE HOLY SPIRIT TODAY?
A. We cannot blaspheme the Spirit the same way that the Pharisees did. B. However, there is something that we must avoid. 1. The Lord's miracles have been recorded for our benefit (John 20:30-31). 2. We must not attribute the Lord's divine power to some evil source. C. Let us consider several warnings that relate to the Holy Spirit -- we must not resist the Spirit (Acts 7:51), we must not grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30), we must not quench the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19), and we must not do despite unto [insult] the Spirit (Hebrews 10:29).
1. Thankfully, we can receive forgiveness for our sins (Acts 2:38). 2. Also, we can continue to receive forgiveness (1 John 1:7, 9).