Friday, June 20, 2014


Did you know that the Bible talks about a sin that God can never forgive?  Throughout the centuries since the New Testament was written, millions of people have lived in fear that they may have committed it. Is it really true? Is there something that God is unable to forgive?

The Bible says in Matthew 12:31 – “the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven unto men”.  So, it turns out there really is a sin that can't be forgiven, and it's blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

That raises a really important question, just what is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?  In order to understand what the sin against the Holy Spirit is, it's important that we understand exactly what the role of the Holy Spirit is.  In John 16:8, referring to the Holy Spirit, the Bible says, “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.”  The Holy Spirit works as a kind of "conscience" for the whole world.

What happens when you decide not to follow the voice of the Holy Spirit? What happens when you feel the pang of guilt and you know the right thing to do, but you deliberately choose against it?   Many theologians teach that this is when people actually step into the territory of the unforgivable sin.  They refer to it as grieving the Holy Spirit.

I will agree that it is a serious issue when we tune out the Holy Spirit, but is it unforgivable?  I have to say NO!  As a matter of fact it is not grieving the Holy Spirit; at least that is not what is being talked about in Ephesians, the only place that it is mentioned.  Ephesians  4:30-32 says,  “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you”.

According to the Bible it is bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking and malice that grieves the Holy Spirit along with a lack of kindness and forgiveness; although I am quite sure that He is also saddened when we tune him out.

How can I be sure that grieving the Holy Spirit is not the unpardonable sin?   Matthew 12:31 reads, “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men”.

This is a strange verse.  There are two facts separated by a “but”.  Fact number one is, “every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men”.  Fact number two is,  “the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men”.

Notice that EVERY SIN will be forgiven.  1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Now, you might have noticed that there were no exclusions in that verse. It says that if we confess our sins, Jesus will both forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and there are no "ifs", “ands”, "buts", or "maybes" attached to that promise.

Is there a sin that God cannot forgive? The answer is yes, and the sin that God can't forgive is the sin you don't repent of.  If there is no sin that God won’t forgive if we confess it, then what was Jesus talking about there in Matthew 12?

We need to look at the whole chapter to see why he made such a statement.   There are several incidents that happened before Jesus made the statement that blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.  Incident number one; the disciples pick and eat grain on the Sabbath and the Pharisees disapprove.  Incident number two; Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath and the Pharisees disapprove.  Incident number three; Jesus heals a blind deaf man and the Pharisees say it was through Satan’s power.

Do you see a pattern?  There is a dialogue between Jesus and the Pharisees.  All of these incidents bring Jesus to speak the following words to the Pharisees.  “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men”.  They weren't a sermon that he was giving to everyone, but they were a conversation he was having with the Pharisees.

Why was Jesus talking to the Pharisees about something that was unforgivable?  Earlier we decided that there is a sin that God cannot forgive, and it is the sin you don't repent of.  Why would the Pharisees not repent of a sin?  They were extremely picky about keeping the law.  The reason that they would not repent is because they couldn't see that they were doing anything wrong.

The unforgivable sin is the one that isn't confessed, but there are two very different reasons for not confessing.  The first reason is because you have so tuned out the Holy Spirit that you can’t see sin. The second reason is because you are so sure you are doing right that you don’t see your sin.

There is no sin that you can commit that is unforgivable if you confess.  Remember 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

In Revelation 3;20, 21 Jesus makes this promise.  “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

Jesus never stops knocking.  No matter what you have done in your life, He is standing at the door and knocking.  Will you open the door?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

How Much Are You Worth?

In Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’”  What He meant is that a person’s love ought to reach in three directions—upward to God, outward to others, and inward to self.

Most Christians agree that loving God and others is important, but is it important to love yourself?  Self love or self esteem isn't considered a Christian attribute.  It’s often associated with pride and self-centeredness—and there are plenty of both in our world. However, that’s not what Jesus meant. He was saying we should recognize and appreciate our worth. God created us in His image so we could have a relationship with Him. Jesus died for us so we could be forgiven and reconciled to the Father.

Since God values us so highly, shouldn't we love ourselves? I’m not talking about a boastful attitude, but a quiet peace that comes from knowing we’re deeply loved by our heavenly Father.

A healthy self-love is essential. If it is missing or in some way incomplete, we can’t really love God or others as we should. A sense of unworthiness leaves us empty and prevents us from looking up to God in devotion and reaching out to others with affection.  God does not want us to have low self-esteem.

The Bible actually has many passages that tell us what God has to say about our worth and our value in His eyes. Genesis 1:27 says that “God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

You were made in the image of God.

Psalm 139:13-14 says “You made my whole being; you formed me in my mother’s body. I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way”.

You were made by God in an amazing and wonderful way.

Ephesians 1:4 says that “God chose us before the world was made so that we would be his holy people—people without blame before him.

God chose you even before the world was made.

In Romans 5:8, the Bible tells us that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”

Jesus died for you not because you were good enough, but because he loved you.

If we focus on how much God loves us and the price He paid to redeem us, we’ll come to see ourselves as God sees us, and that will help us understand just how much we’re really worth as children of God.

Our self-worth is too often based on what other people tell us about ourselves. Jesus is the true authority on our self-worth.  Since He gave His own life up for us by dying on a cross, that should tell us just how valuable we really are.

When we fully accept God’s love for us, we’ll have a healthy appreciation for ourselves, an ever-growing passion for Him, and the ability to care for others.

How much are you and I truly worth? And what value should we place upon each other?  Often we'll look at the work someone is doing, and if they're doing a poor job, making mistakes, then we view that person as of little value.  But is this the correct way of seeing value in someone?

Think about it, if we truly saw the value of people as God does, would we still treat each other the way we do?  Mathew 25:45 tells us, ‘I tell you the truth, anything you refused to do for even the least of my people here, you refused to do for me.’

The key to seeing and understanding the value of you and me and all other people in the world, is to see our value in light of what Jesus did to save us!

Are there people in our sphere of influence who are failing to thrive because we are not showing them the love that they need?

There’s no question that Christians should want to be loved and to love others. But it’s not enough to tell others that you love them – you must SHOW you love others! Love is not an abstract idea. Love must be manifested. True love is not just something you feel – it’s something you demonstrate!

We all need to grow in this area because everybody needs to know they are loved. You especially need to know how to show love if you are a follower of Jesus because He said, "All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other." John 13:35

In 1 John 3:17-18 the Bible says, “What if a person has enough money to live on and sees his brother in need of food and clothing? If he does not help him, how can the love of God be in him? My children, let us not love with words or in talk only. Let us love by what we do and in truth".

We show our love through our actions.  God has asked us to love others to help them thrive.  There are so many people in this world who are failing to thrive.  Are there those that we know who are failing to thrive because we are not loving them – by what we do?

Let’s remember how much we are of value in God's eyes! All of us! And remember to be kind and loving to all the people in this world because of what Jesus has done for us, and the great worth He has placed on each of his children.