The Holy Spirit is the least known member of the Trinity. Many Christians know a lot about God the Father and God the Son, but many don’t know anything about God the Holy Spirit. Some denominations don’t even recognize that the Holy Spirit is God.
According to Barna’s research in 2021: “The study shows, in general, that while a majority of self-identified American Christians, including many who identify as evangelicals, believe that God is all-powerful, all-knowing and that he is the Creator of the universe, more than half reject a number of biblical teachings and principles, including the existence of the Holy Spirit.
The lack of knowledge of who the Holy Spirit is has led to many blasphemies against him. Even some who believe in him are unaware of his personality. Some use inanimate pronouns to describe him because they don’t know he is a person (John 16:7). Many grieve Him because they do not know He has feelings (Ephesians 4:30). Much has been said about the Holy Spirit that is sacrilegious, offensive, and profane by those who are supposed to revere and worship him. Ignorance is the greatest mountain of opposition in Christianity and the sooner we are informed the better.
The Holy Spirit is the executive arm of the Trinity. The world was created by him as he moved across the face of the waters in Genesis 1. He wrote the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16). He was responsible for the miraculous birth of Jesus (Luke 1:35). All the miracles Jesus did were performed by the power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:28). Jesus was able to go to the Cross to be crucified for the salvation of mankind under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 9:14). Jesus would have remained in the grave without the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11). After Jesus commissioned the apostles and other disciples, they had no motivation to preach the gospel until the Holy Spirit enabled them on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). There is no way we would have come to know Jesus without the convicting power of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). The Holy Spirit is powerful in more ways than one.
I developed a strong fear for the Holy Spirit when I read what Jesus said about speaking against him. “I tell you, all sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, he will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him either in this age or in the age to come” (Matthew 12:31-32). This warning from Christ is chilling and must be carefully and strictly observed. Eternal sin is an offense that no one can sweep under the rug, no matter how merciful we think God is.
It should be remembered that Jesus made the above statement when he observed that the Jews said he cast out demons with the power of demons. This means that denying the works of the Holy Spirit and attributing them to other powers is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. When “mighty men of God” abuse their office, they come dangerously close to blasphemy. Prophecy is one of the vocal gifts of the Holy Spirit, and abusing the gift of prophecy and saying what the Holy Spirit did not say is blasphemy against Him.
Blasphemy is a serious offense in all three Abrahamic religions. For example, in Islam, blasphemy is an offense punishable by death. Even in the time of Jesus, blasphemers were executed for blasphemy:
“But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Almighty and coming on the clouds of heaven. The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need more witnesses?” ” He asked. “You heard the profanity. What do you think?’ They all condemned him as worthy of death” (Mark 14:61-64).
Christ was crucified for an alleged case of blasphemy.
Christianity is different from Islam and Judaism because of God’s undeserved kindness to mankind through the blood of Christ shed on the cross. Christians do not condemn anyone to death for blasphemy, but must we continue to blaspheme so that grace abounds? God forgive! It is important that we heed Christ’s warning not to speak a word against the Holy Spirit because sin is unforgivable here on earth and in the hereafter. If blasphemy against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven, what will be the fate of those who are ignorantly absorbed in this sin?
Christians should avoid reckless talk against the Holy Spirit. Those who deny its existence are guilty of the sin of apostasy. Those who fake miracles, prophecies and testimonies are guilty of blasphemy. We should not be so familiar with God that we take his words for granted. Hiding this warning from Christ in our hearts and exercising caution is a sure way to escape this unpardonable sin.
Oscar Amaechina is the President of Afri-Mission and Evangelism Network, Abuja, Nigeria. His calling is to take the gospel where no one has preached or heard of Jesus. He is the author of the book The mystery of the cross revealed.