Devotions this week based on the Message: “United or Divided?”
Mark 3:28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”
“If you’re worried about it, you haven’t done it.”
This was the answer from a seminary professor years ago when this passage came up.
“One who has committed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not even care.”
Jesus finishes his discussion with the teachers of the law and his family about driving out demons by the name of Beelzebub with this teaching.
Forgiveness comes to all and for all sins and even untruths we speak.
But not when one blasphemes the Holy Spirit.
Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is a continual rejection of God’s truth and the Gospel message even when they are presented with it, see the truth of it and yet completely and repeatedly reject the truth.
This statement is a strong warning that rejection of God’s grace can warrant his eternal judgment in time to confirm one in their unbelief.
Resisting the work of the Spirit of God leads not only to division between God and us (which is the most critical relationship) but also between individuals.
It really comes down to this: Are we going to give in to the sinful nature or allow the power of the Spirit of God to guide and control our lives.
The Apostle Paul put it this way: (Galatians 5:16-26)
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
When our sinful nature gets the best of us, Jesus has forgiveness for that as he said, “people can be forgiven all their sins…” Rest in that grace.
Then recommit to walk in step with the Spirit.
Let me ask you in regard to unity or lack of unity…don’t you see a tremendous unity that comes when we all are guided by the Spirit of God to produce the fruit of the Spirit?
If a church is filled with “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control” don’t you think there will be great unity of faith, mind and purpose.
I believe it will at the Church of God will flourish.
Apply: Pick one of the fruit of the Spirit and pray each day of the week ahead for God’s Spirit to develop it in you and show it through you.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your Church. Help us to always be united around the power and work of your Spirit. AMEN.