Matthew 12:31-32 31 Therefore I say to you: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.
I say to you, Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, neither in this age nor in the one to come.
I'm curious why your translation mightn't read "the Human" instead of "the Human One"? In either case, by capitalizing, it's signifying Him as God, no? Divine = God. The "Human One," Jesus Christ, is God. The Pharisees either blasphemed, or came super-close, to blaspheming the Divine Spirit in 24. I don't see the word "God" in 31-32. The Holy Spirit likewise is the Spirit of God. Is God. (Is the Spirit of Jesus Christ.) There's only one Divine Spirit. Eph 4:4.
Father, Son, and Spirit's (Mt 28:19) order for carrying out Their eternal purpose is Father originating, Son accomplishing, and Spirit applying. Jn 8:28; 16:7. This particular sin is impossible for a believer to commit, since he or she, by faith, has already been ontologically changed (born anew). It is not a believer's insulting of the Spirit (Heb 10:29). Rather, only an unregenerate, an unbeliever, like those in Mt 12's account, can do it. It's not any matter of "height" or "greatness" since the Three are One, not just in intent or will, but in life and being. Deut 6:4; Eph 4.
To reject or blaspheme the Holy Spirit by name or reference is to push off the last Person in God's operation who is seeking to convict and save you. When He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and concerning righteousness and concerning judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe into Me; and concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you no longer behold Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. Jn 16:8-11. Lk 15:8-10. 1 Pet 1:2.
The NT makes an interesting claim about the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit in Matt 12:31, 32, Mark 3:28, 29, and Luke 12:8-10. This sin, it appears, cannot be forgiven.
And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. Matt 12:31, 32.
The question naturally arises: How is it possible that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven but blasphemy against Jesus can be forgiven? Does the Holy Spirit have some especially exalted status?
The problem here is not a matter of status but function of the Holy Spirit. Before dealing with this let us establish what blasphemy actually is. Generally it means (BDAG), “to speak in a disrespectful way that demeans, denigrates and maligns”. However, the NT provides a more precise meaning when God is involved.
In Matt 9:3, 26:65, Mark 2:7, 14:64, Luke 5:21, John 10:33-36, blasphemy means to claim to be God, or presume the prerogatives and function of God, that is to usurp the place of God (including the Holy Spirit), for example by presuming to forgive sins, Mark 2:7. Thus, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit would be usurping His place by presuming to have the function of the Holy Spirit (see below), namely, producing the fruit of the Spirit, trying to reform the life, acting as conscience for others, forgiving sins, trying to confer supernatural abilities on others, etc; all of which are the exclusive job of the Holy Spirit.
Now, if one is usurping the place of the Holy Spirit, then that effectively shuts out the essential work and influence of the Holy Spirit in the person’s life, thus excluding that person from spiritual perception or even the felt need to confess sin. Without the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to be a Christian (Rom 8:9).
Such a person is beyond the reach of the Holy Spirit’s miraculous work. The person then shuts himself away from heaven’s work and feels no need of salvation and becomes spiritually self-delusional. No wonder that forgiveness is excluded, not by God but by the actions and decisions of the person.
ANNEX: Work and Function of the Holy Spirit
Jesus bequeathed the Gift of the Holy Spirit (John 20:22, Acts 2:1-4) to His church for several reasons:
- To produce the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22 & 23, see especially v24-26) and so to sanctify (make distinct) the church.
- The above changed life is to be a distinguishing sign or seal of God’s ownership of our lives and a guarantee of better things to come (Eph 1:13, 4:30). See Seal of God.
- To provide specific guidance for the church (John 16:7-12, 14:17, 15:26 – see also Ecclesiology) namely
o Convict of sin
o Instruct in Righteous (= right doing)
o Convict of judgement to come
- To build up the church with spiritual (supernatural) gifts and abilities, 1 Cor 12:7, 14:12, and to influence/teach others John 7:37-39.
- To strengthen the members in their daily walk to live the Christian ideals, Eph 3:16, 17, Heb 2:4, and maintain unity in the Christian community (Eph 4:3-6). The Christian must be born of the Spirit (John 3:5) by receiving the gift of the Spirit (Acts 2:38) and walk by the Spirit (Gal 5:25, John 6:63, Phil 3:3, John 4:24). In fact the whole life of Christian is to put aside the “psychical” mind and live by the Spirit (1 Cor 2:14, 1 Cor 15:44-46, Gal 5:17, Jude 19, John 6:63, 1 Peter 3:18).
- To teach the church more of the character and work Jesus and thus, imitate Jesus, John 7:38, 39, 15:26, 16:12-15, Rom 8:4, 11, Eph 3:17, 18, 4:3-6, 1 Thess 1:6, 4:8.
- The Holy Spirit inspired the prophets to write Scripture, and who explains such spiritual truths to us. 1 Cor 2:6-16, 2 Peter 1:21, 2 Tim 3:15, 16, 1 Thess 1:5, Heb 9:8, 1 Peter 1:12.
All these functions are summarized in the five instances recorded in the book of Acts of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:1-4, 4:28-31, 8:15-17, 10:44, 19:6. Again, the Christian’s reception of the Holy Spirit imitates Jesus’ reception of the Holy Spirit. John 3:34, Matt 3:13-17, 4:1, 12:28, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-23, Acts 2:1, Heb 2:4, 9:14.