Clouded by Emotion: Studies on the Holy Spirit and Miracles
Excerpt from “Chapter 10: What Is the Eternal Sin”
I pulled into the driveway, willing my tires on the gravel to crunch quietly. I didn’t want to wake my mom and step-dad. I walked up the back steps and slowly turned the key in the door. I silently made my way down the hallway, closed the door behind me, and turned on the light. First order of business: rid myself of the restaurant’s grease-infested uniform.
Once changed, I did what had become my custom since August. I picked up my Bible and started reading. I had asked Devin, my closest Christian friend, where I should start for a good overview of the Bible, since I was a new Christian. He recommended I start with one of the gospel accounts. I opted for Mark, since it seemed to be the shortest one.
I turned to the bookmark, which had been placed at Mark 3. I read about how Jesus healed people. I read about when He chose the Twelve. Then, one of the scariest things in my life happened—I encountered Mark 3:28–29:
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.
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I suspect I am not the only one this passage has frightened. Questions flood the unsuspecting reader’s mind. What does it mean to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit? Have I committed that sin? If so, is it true I can never be forgiven? What will I receive on the day of judgment?
In this chapter, we will address the following questions:
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BLASPHEME THE HOLY SPIRIT?
To blaspheme simply means to speak against. If Jesus could forgive those who blasphemed and even crucified Him (Acts 2:36–38), then why can He not forgive someone who speaks against the Spirit, whether intentionally or carelessly? Is the value of the Spirit somehow greater than Jesus’ value?
On the surface, this seems harsh and unreasonable. So long as we stay on the surface, we will continue with our questions unanswered, our accusations unfounded, and our fears unsettled. The first step to understanding a Scripture is to read it in its context. Even though the first time I read the passage, I read it in context, I did not pay attention. It scared me, so I isolated it and wondered how it applied to me directly. But the question I should have been asking is how did it apply to the first audience?
Clouded by Emotion is eminently readable, refreshingly biblical and wonderfully practical. Most of all, it's beautifully God-focused.