How Not To Offend The Holy Spirit
Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, February 9, 2016
This Week’s Devotional Focus is, “The Holy Spirit.”
“Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:” (Mark 3:28–29).
We started this week of devotional thoughts with perhaps the most mysterious Person in Scripture. Now we are examining perhaps the most mysterious verse concerning the most mysterious Person.
Let me say at the outset that our thought today will not be exhaustive, nor will I claim to have all the details concerning this vital truth. However, with God leading us, we will be able to ascertain something of great value to bring us closer to Him.
Over the years, many people have rubbed their proverbial eyes to be certain they read our theme text correctly and all sorts of misunderstandings have been taught from pulpits, books, and Bible schools. Sometimes people make it seem that we can have any attitude whatsoever against Jesus Christ as long as we do not “offend” the Holy Spirit. This is an unmentionable error. I am ashamed to have given voice to it. God is not giving us a way to sin right to the edge of eternity just as long as we don’t say or do that one thing that vexes the Spirit. Let’s quickly go to school on this, shall we?
Holy Spirit And Forgiveness
- How are sins forgiven? The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).
- How are we to recognize what sin is in order to confess it? The Bible says, “However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you]. And when He comes, He will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God) and about judgment:” (John 16:7–8, AMP).
- Once we are convicted of sin, how do we speak to God about it? Prayer. Do we know for what to pray? The Bible says, “So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance. And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will.” (Romans 8:26–27, AMP).
You may not realize this, but the Bible just resolved the mystery of what many call the unpardonable sin. Let’s tie a bow on this. We are assured in Scripture that if we confess and forsake our sins that God will forgive all sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. It further states that all who do this shall have mercy (Proverbs 28:13). The key to forgiveness and cleansing is confessing and forsaking sin, which comes through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and uttered by His expert translation of our prayers according to the divine purposes of God. Brass tacks: If we turn our ears away from the Holy Spirit’s voice and no longer hear Him, we will not confess our sins. We will not confess our sins, because we will have so seared our consciences that we can no longer sense the Spirit’s prodding, which automatically makes it impossible for Him to translate our prayers since we will have ceased sincere praying. Do you see how critical the Spirit’s role is in our salvation?
What should be our response in light of this truth then? The Bible says, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30). “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.” (Hebrews 3:12–15).