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THE HOLY SPIRIT
Sins against the Holy Spirit
Victor M. Eskew
A. In our second lesson, we learned that the Holy Spirit is a person, a being with a personality.
B. The Holy Spirit is a being with whom you and I, as Christians, share a relationship.
1. He revealed the Word of God to man (I Cor. 2:9-13).
2. Thus, He is our spiritual instructor by means of the Word of God.
C. As in any relationship, there are sins that we can commit against the Holy Spirit. There are six of them mentioned in the New Testament.
I. WE CAN LIE UNTO THE HOLY GHOST (Acts 5:3)
But Peter said, Ananias, Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
A. How did Ananias lie to the Holy Ghost?
1. The needs of the believers and the satisfaction of those needs was under the supervision of the apostles as this time (Acts 4:32-35; esp. v. 35).
And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
2. These men, the apostles, fulfilled their office under the guidance of the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; John 16:13).
3. Ananias kept back part of the price of the land that he had sold. He thought that he could give part of the money as if it were the entire cost of the land without being detected.
4. It was the Holy Spirit that revealed to Peter that Ananias had lied. Peter, working as the Spirit’s agent, told him that he had lied to the Holy Ghost.
B. The question is: “Can we lie to the Holy Spirit today?”
1. I believe that we can, but it cannot be detected like it was in the first century since the Holy Spirit no longer directly reveals things to man.
a. We are to be faithful in our attendance of all the worship services of the church.
b. The Holy Spirit instructs us not to forsake the assembly (Heb. 10:25).
c. When we go to place membership at another congregation, we are asked if we are faithful in our attendance. We boldly answer: “Yes, we attend all the services of the church.”
1) We have lied to the Holy Ghost who gave the commandment.
2) We will not, however, be detected in that lie by those men to whom we lie.
II. WE CAN RESIST THE HOLY GHOST (Acts 7:51).
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
A. On this occasion, Stephen was preaching the Word of God to the Jews (Acts 7:1-2).
B. Stephen knew these Jews were not honestly receiving the message.
1. They were the betrayers and murderers of the Christ (Acts 7:51).
2. They had the Law of Moses, but did not keep it.
3. Their resistance of the Holy Spirit, that is, the message spoke by Stephen, ended in their stopping their ears and stoning the messenger (Acts 7:57-59).
Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord….And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit.
C. Can we resist the Holy Ghost today?
1. Yes, any time we reject the written Word of God we are resisting the Holy Ghost who revealed this word.
2. Also, any time we reject the message of a faithful proclaimer of the Word of God, we are rejecting the Holy Spirit (Luke 10:16).
He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
3. Two Old Testament examples:
a. Genesis 6:3
And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years.
1) Noah was preaching to the people during those years (II Pet. 2:5).
2) The people rejected his preaching (Matt. 24:37-39). They were striving against and resisting the Holy Spirit who gave Noah the message to speak.
b. Proverbs 1:22-25
How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof.
III. WE CAN GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT (Eph. 4:30)
And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
A. Definition: grieve
1. Strong (3076): to distress…to be sad :- cause grief, grieve, be in heaviness, (be) sorrow (-ful), be (made) sorry
2. Thayer: to make sorrowful, to afflict with sadness, cause grief, to throw into sorrow
3. Vine: to cause pain, or grief, to distress
B. Barnes: “…the meaning here is, ‘do not pursue a course as is ‘suited’ in its own nature, to pain the benevolent heart’” (Barnes, e-sword).
1. Open and gross sins
2. Anger in all its forms
3. Licentious thoughts and desires
C. Genesis 6:5-6
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
IV. WE CAN QUENCH THE HOLY SPIRIT (I Thess. 5:19)
Quench not the Spirit.
A. Definition: quench
1. Strong (4570): to extinguish
2. Thayer: to extinguish, quench…to suppress, stifle, of divine influence
1. In the days of the first century, the Holy Spirit was miraculously given in order to make known the Word of God.
a. The apostles (John 14:26)
b. Members of the church: word of wisdom, word of knowledge, prophecy, divers kinds of tongues, the interpretation of tongues (I Cor. 12:7-11).
2. It was possible for the power of the Holy Spirit to be suppressed or stifled.
a. Jeremiah (Jer. 20:9)
Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name…
b. I Corinthians 14:32
And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
1) Those who spoke in tongues (I Cor. 14:28)
But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
2) The prophets (I Cor. 14:29-30)
Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sit by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
C. Can we quench the Holy Spirit today?
1. Yes. The Holy Spirit still speaks through the inspired Word of God (Acts 2:16).
2. When men enter the pulpit and fail to fill their lessons with the Word of God, they are quenching the Spirit (II Tim. 4:2, Tit. 2:1, I Pet. 4:11).
3. Anytime that man sets forth is opinion where God has spoken, he is stifling the Holy Spirit.
V. WE CAN DESPISE THE HOLY SPIRIT (Heb. 10:29)
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace.
A. Definition: despite
1. Strong (1796): to insult
2. Thayer: to insult
3. Vine: to treat insultingly, with contumely (humiliation)
B. This verse mentions three things that were involved in the salvation of man: the Son of God, the blood of the covenant, and the Holy Spirit.
C. Those who forsake their Christian walk, despise all of these things. They treat them with insult and humiliation.
1. They act as if these things are not important.
2. They seem to say: “Who cares about Jesus, His blood, and the Holy Spirit?”
A. In this lesson, we have looked at five sins against the Holy Spirit.
B. There is one more that deserves a lesson of its own: blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:31-32).
Wherefore I say unto you, all man of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
1. What is this sin?
2. Can this sin be committed by man today?