Luke 12:10
And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
Blasphemy Against the Holy GhostJ. Thomson, D. D.Luke 12:10
Blasphemy Against the Holy GhostJ. C. Coghlan, D. D.Luke 12:10
Delivered from DespairC. H. Spurgeon.Luke 12:10
Of the Sin Against the Holy GhostW. Bridge, M. A.Luke 12:10
The Sin that Shall not be ForgivenF. D. Maurice, M. A.Luke 12:10
The Unpardonable SinLuke 12:10
A Call to CourageR.M. Edgar Luke 12:1-12

From these solemn words we gather -

I. THAT CHRISTIANITY CENTRES IN THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST. Our Lord taught us much concerning ourselves - the inestimable value of our spiritual nature; the real source and spring of evil in our own souls; the true excellency of a human life; whom we should regard as our neighbor, etc. But he taught us still more of himself - of his relations with the Divine Father; of his essential superiority even to the greatest among mankind; of his sorrow and his death on behalf of the human race; of his mission to enlighten, to redeem, to satisfy the souls of men. And he not only affirmed, but frequently and emphatically urged, the doctrine that, if we would enter into life, we must come into the very closest personal relation with himself - trusting in him, loving him, abiding in him, following him, making him Refuge of the heart, Sovereign of the soul, Lord of the life. Not his truth, but himself, is the Source of our strength and our hope.

II. THAT JESUS CHRIST DEMANDS AN OPEN CONFESSION OF OUR FAITH IN HIM. More than once (see Mark 8:38) he insisted upon a clear recognition of his authority and regal position. He will have us "confess him before men." How shall we do that?

1. In a heathen country, by avowing the Christian faith, renouncing Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, etc., and declaring before all that Jesus Christ is the one Teacher of truth and Lord of man.

2. In a Christian country, by making it clear that we have accepted him as the Lord whom we are living to serve. We shall probably think it right to do this by attaching ourselves to some particular Christian community; also by regular, public worship of Christ; but certainly, in all cases,

(1) by paying honor to his Name;

(2) by upholding against his enemies the truth and worth of his religion;

(3) by translating his will into active human life in all its departments - domestic, social, commercial, political, ecclesiastical.

III. THAT COMPLIANCE WITH HIS DEMAND WILL SOON PROVE TO BE AN ACT OF THE FIRST IMPORTANCE. The day draws on when we shall meet our Master: then will he tell us what he thinks of us. Then, if we have failed to honor him, he will refuse to honor us "before the angels of God." What is involved in that denial? The worst of all exclusions - exclusion from the favor, from the home, of God. And then, if we have honored him, he will acknowledge us as his own. And what will that include?

1. Acceptance with the Judge of all.

2. The expression of his Divine approval - the "well done" of the Lord.

3. Admission to the heavenly kingdom, with all its advancing glory, its deepening joy, its extending influence, its enlarging life. - C.

Blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost
I. First, the OCCASION on which this declaration was made requires our particular attention; for it does not appear that it was ever repeated or applied to any other subject.


1. It is necessary to attend to the name, for it is often applied erroneously. Thus we often hear of the sin against the Holy Ghost; whereas it is called in Scripture by no name except blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. This distinction, however, is highly important; for there may be other sins against the Holy Ghost, though less criminal than blasphemy, and therefore not liable to the same terrible punishment. Thus the Apostle Paul said to the Thessalonians, "Quench not the Spirit," and to the Ephesians, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit."

2. We must, therefore, next consider the application of the word blasphemy here. In the original language of the New Testament it signifies detraction, or calumny, or slander, and is frequently mentioned as a crime committed against man. Thus, in the Acts of the Apostles, the Jews accused Stephen, saying, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God." But, in our language, blasphemy is never used in a general sense, or is said to be committed against man; it always denotes a crime committed against God.

3. Another observation deserves particular attention. The word blasphemy is never applied by our Saviour or His apostles to opinions formed in the mind, or to mere errors of judgment.

4. To prevent mistake it is necessary that we should define the nature of this crime with the utmost correctness and precision.(1) Now as it is to be remembered that it is called blasphemy against God, or against the Holy Ghost, so it is necessary to remember that though the crime may be conceived and planned in the mind, yet it cannot be completed till it be uttered in words; for speech is essential to it, as the word blasphemy strictly and properly signifies hurtful speech.(2) There was, however, a part of the crime of the Pharisees which was committed in their minds. It consisted in the malignant desire and intention of using words for the purpose of producing on the minds of others feelings of contempt or aversion, and disbelief, in relation to the miracles of Jesus. Still the crime was not completed till it was committed in words.


1. It was not a crime to which the Pharisees were led by unforeseen accident, by sudden surprise, by laudable or even excusable feelings. On the contrary, it was deliberate, it was the result of reflection, it was a plan cautiously formed; for it was the consequence of a consultation among the scribes and Pharisees; and it formed the ground of a conspiracy against Jesus.

2. It showed, in this particular case, a total disregard of truth, It indicated a high degree of depravity, a complete want of principle, no fear of God, and a contempt for supernatural evidence, though of the strongest kind. In fine, it proved that their minds were closed against conviction; and that no proof, however powerful, nor means of improvement, however perfect, would be effectual.

3. But the strongest reason which can be given for declaring blasphemy against the Holy Ghost to be unpardonable, is, that it seems to be a crime for which there is no repentance. There are cases in which repentance becomes impossible. For repentance presupposes the existence of some good principles; it presupposes a disposition to discover truth, to examine evidence, to see our faults, and to be ready to acknowledge them, to feel shame, regret, and remorse for offending God. But there is nothing that we know which could produce repentance in men who have, for a long life, wilfully, stubbornly, and habitually rejected the most powerful means of conviction. Repentance supposes a sense of guilt capable of being roused on account of faults which we have discovered. But this cannot be when the understanding is perverted, and the conscience seared, and when the evil passions have expelled the pious and benevolent affections. It is true that the dread of future misery may still remain; but when the mind is reduced to so deplorable a state, the fear of future misery plunges men into despair. Now, where there is no repentance, we are not taught to expect pardon. Hence we may see why blasphemy is unpardonable.

(J. Thomson, D. D.)

First: What this sin against the Holy Ghost is, for people are very ignorant of it. Secondly: How and in what respect this sin against the Holy Ghost is above all other sins the unpardonable sin.

I. IF YOU ASK, WHAT THIS SIN IS? I answer both negatively and affirmatively. Negatively.

1. It is not that sin, whereby men do barely deny the personality, or the deity of the Holy Ghost. Possibly a man may deny the personality or the deity of the Holy Ghost, and yet not sin the sin against the Holy Ghost. For as observes, in his time there were divers heretics that did deny the personality and the deity of the Holy Ghost, and yet afterwards repented, and were received into the bosom of the Church. As it doth not consist therein, so neither cloth it consist in every opposition, or in a bare opposition unto the work of the Holy Ghost, as distinct from the Father and the Son. Unto God the Father belongs power; unto the Son, wisdom; unto the Spirit, holiness. The work of the Father is to create; the work of the Son, to redeem; the work of the Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, to sanctify. And hereupon some have thought that opposition unto holiness is the sin against the Holy Ghost. But you find here it is a blasphemy, therefore not every opposition. As it doth not consist therein, so it is not necessary that every man that sins the sin against the Holy Ghost, should be an universal apostate, backsliding from the profession of the gospel, and the power thereof. I know it is ordinarily thought so; but I say, it is not necessary that whosoever doth sin the sin against the Holy Ghost, should be a gospel apostate, backsliding from the gospel, and the power thereof, once professed: for these Pharisees, who sinned against the Holy Ghost, never professed the gospel, neither do we read of any backsliding in them, from the power of the gospel once professed; and yet they sinned against the Holy Ghost. Surely, therefore, such a gospel apostasy is not of the essence of the sin against the Holy Ghost. Some think that this sin doth consist in final unbelief and impenitency; but final impenitency and unbelief is not the sin against the Holy Ghost, for by final unbelief and impenitency, they either understand that impenitency and unbelief which a man lives and dies in, or that which he purposeth to continue in to the last. The latter cannot be the sin against the Holy Ghost, for many have purposed to continue in their unbelief to their death, and yet have been converted and pardoned. And the first cannot be the sin against the Holy Ghost, for —

1. The Jews whom Christ spake unto did then commit this sin, and yet they had not continued in it to their death.

2. Final unbelief is rather a sin against the Son; but the sin against the Holy Ghost is distinguished from that.

3. Our Saviour saith, "Those that commit this sin shall not be forgiven in this world, nor in the world to come." Not in this world. If, therefore, final unbelief or impenitency be this sin, then Christ should threaten that he that dies in his sin shall not be forgiven whilst he lives.

4. If a man sin against the Father or Son, and die impenitently in that sin, he shall not be forgiven either in this life or in the life to come: but herein the sin against the Holy Ghost is worse than the sins against the Father or the Son, and therefore it cannot consist therein.

5. The apostle saith, "There is a sin unto death, I say not that you pray for it" (1 John 5:16). Doth he say that we must not pray for a man, and for the forgiveness of his sin when he is dead?

6. It is that sin for which there lies no remission, but a man may sin such a sin whilst he lives: for if any man sin wilfully, there remaineth no sacrifice for sin, and wilfully a man may sin before his death.

7. It is such a sin as a man may know another man is guilty of whilst he lives, for saith the apostle, "There is a sin unto death, I say not that you pray for it": but final unbelief and impeniteney is not known till death.

8. Our Saviour saith, "He that speaketh a word against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven." But a word may be spoken against the Spirit long before a man dies, and therefore surely this sin against the Holy Ghost doth not consist in final impenitency and unbelief; final unbelief and impenitency is not this sin against the Holy Ghost.

9. For then all wicked men living under the gospel, and dying impenitently, should sin the sin against the Holy Ghost, which is false. You will say, then, What is this sin against the Holy Ghost, and wherein doth it consist? Affirmatively. It is that wilful sinning against God, whereby a man doth maliciously oppose and blaspheme the proper and peculiar work of the Holy Ghost, and that after he hath been convinced thereof by the Holy Ghost. I say, It is a wilful sinning against God; and so the apostle speaks, saying, "If any man sin wilfully, after he hath received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sin" (Hebrews 10:26). So that the sin for which there is no sacrifice, and of which there is no remission, is a wilful sin. Now a man is said to sin wittingly, willingly, and wilfully:wittingly, in opposition to ignorance; willingly, in opposition to force and constraint; wilfully, in opposition to light, knowledge, and reason; and so he that sins against the Holy Ghost doth sin; for says the apostle, "If any man sin wilfully, after he hath received the knowledge of the truth," &c. He that commits this sin doth also oppose and blaspheme the proper and peculiar work of the Holy Ghost; for it is called here, a blasphemy, and a blaspheming of the Spirit, as distinct from the Father and the Son. Suppose that some ignorance in the understanding be the remote cause of the sin, yet malice may be the next and chief cause. As for example: suppose that a man hath taken up some prejudice against another, through a mistake and error; yet now he hates him, and out of hatred kills him; shall not this murderer be said to kill him out of malice, because the malice was founded upon a mistake or error? Yes, surely. But why is he said to kill him out of malice? Because malice was the next cause of this murder. So that though ignorance be the remote cause of a sin, yet malice may be the next cause thereof; and being so, he shall be said truly to sin ex malitia, though with some precedent ignorance, as the remote cause thereof. Yet if you ask, how it can be that the will should be always carried out upon what is good, and yet a man sin maliciously? Plainly thus: from what hath been said, the will of man is an universal appetite, willing that which is naturally good, as well as that which is honestly good. If it be carried out upon that which is naturally good, it will hate all that spiritual good which is contrary to the obtainment of it, and the man will oppose and blaspheme what the will hates. Now because the hatred and malice of the will is the cause of that blasphemy and opposition, the man is truly said to oppose and blaspheme out of malice, though the will be carried on upon that which is naturally good at the same time; which was the case of these Pharisees: for they sought their own honour and greatness; Christ and the truth opposing, they did hate Him and the truth; and because they hated Him, the truth, and that light which reproved their sins, they did oppose and blaspheme, and that out of malice, and so the sin against the Holy Ghost is a malicious sin, or that sin whereby a man doth oppose and blaspheme the proper and peculiar work of the Spirit out of malice. Yet this is not all. But, it is that sin against God, whereby a man cloth maliciously oppose and blaspheme the peculiar work of the Holy Ghost, after he hath been convinced thereof by the Holy Ghost; for possibly a man may oppose and blaspheme, even maliciously, the work of the Holy Ghost, and yet not be convinced of it by the Holy Ghost, but otherwise; but these that sin this sin, are such as are enlightened, and made partakers of the Holy Ghost in the gifts and common graces of it (Hebrews 6.). And so these Pharisees were convinced by the Spirit which did work that great work before them; and yet after such a convincement wrought by the Spirit, they did maliciously oppose and blaspheme this work of the Spirit. So that I say, the sin against the Holy Ghost is that wilful sinning against God, whereby a man doth maliciously oppose and blaspheme the proper and peculiar work of the Holy Ghost, and that after he hath been convinced thereof by the Holy Ghost.

II. BUT WHY IS THIS SIN, ABOVE ALL OTHER SINS, UNPARDONABLE? Not in regard of difficulty only, or because it is hardly pardoned, as some would; for many sins are hardly pardoned, and yet are not the sins against the Holy Ghost; for, as Zanchy doth well observe, if this sin were only unpardonable, because it is hardly pardoned, then a man might pray for those that sin this sin: but the apostle saith, "There is a sin unto death, I do not say that ye shall pray for it" (1 John 5:16). Therefore, the unpardonableness of it doth not lie here. Neither is it unpardonable only in regard of event, because in event it shall never be pardoned, for there are many sins which in event shall never be pardoned, which yet are not the sins against the Holy Ghost. There is many a wicked man that goes to hell, whose sins in event are not pardoned, and yet he did never sin against the Holy Ghost. Neither is it unpardonable because it is so great as doth exceed the power and mercy of God; for God's mercy and power, in forgiving sins, is like Himself, infinite. Neither is it unpardonable because it is against the means of pardon; for then the sin against the free love of the Father, and the sin against the Son, should be unpardonable. Neither is it unpardonable because a man doth not repent thereof; for then all sins unrepented of should be sins against the Holy Ghost. It is true, that those who commit this sin cannot repent, as the apostle speaks — It is impossible that they should be renewed to repentance (Hebrews 6.), because God doth give them up to impenitency: but we do not find in Scripture that their not repenting is made the reason of the unpardonableness of this sin. But the sin is unpardonable because there is no sacrifice laid out by God's appointment for it "If any man sin wilfully, there remaineth no more sacrifice" (Hebrews 10.), and without blood and sacrifice there is no remission. And thus now ye have seen what the sin against the Holy Ghost is; in what respects it is not, and in what respects it is unpardonable; and so the doctrine cleared and proved, That the sin against the Holy Ghost is the unpardonable sin, which shall never be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in the world to come. The application follows: If the sin against the Holy Ghost be the unpardonable sin, then surely the Holy Ghost is God, very God, true God, as the Father is: for can it be a greater evil, or more dangerous, to sin against a creature, than against God the Father? It is God that is sinned against, now the Holy Ghost is sinned against; yea, the unpardonable sin is against the Holy Ghost. But I am afraid I have sinned this sin, and the truth is I have often feared it: and my reason was and is, because my sins are so great, so exceeding great. Great, say ye; how great, man? I have sinned against my light, I have sinned against my knowledge, I have sinned against my conviction; and therefore I fear I have sinned the unpardonable sin. But I pray, for answer, did not Adam sin against light, when he ate the forbidden fruit? Did he not sin against his knowledge, and against conscience? Yet he sinned not against the Holy Ghost, though he brought all the world under condemnation by his sin; for the Lord Himself came and preached mercy to him, "The seed of the woman shall break the serpent's head." And I pray did not Jonah, when he run away from God, sin against his light; and did he not sin against his conviction, and against his knowledge? yet he did not sin against the Holy Ghost, for the Lord pardoned him and wonderfully delivered him. Possibly this therefore may be, and yet not a sin against the Holy Ghost. It is true indeed, that those who sin against the Holy Ghost do sin against their light, knowledge, and conscience; but whoever sins against light and knowledge, though he sins greatly, doth not sin against the Holy Ghost. Oh, but I fear that I have sinned this sin, for I have fallen foully into gross sins. That is ill. But I pray did not David sin so; were they not great and gross and foul sins that David fell into, such as one of your civil, moral men would abhor, yet he did not sin against the Holy Ghost, for the Lord pardoned him, and Nathan said from the Lord, "The Lord hath forgiven thee." Oh, but yet I fear that I have sinned this great sin, for I am much declined, I have lost my former acquaintance and communion with God; I have lost my former heat and affections to good, and in duty; and I fear upon this account that I have sinned this great sin. Be it so: yet did not the Church of Ephesus lose her first love? yet this Church of Ephesus did not sin the sin against the Holy Ghost: why? for the Lord saith unto her, "Repent and do thy first works." She could not have repented thus if she had sinned this sin. Oh, but yet I fear that I have sinned this great sin, because that I have sinned directly against the Spirit; I have quenched, I have grieved, I have resisted the Spirit: the Spirit of the Lord hath come and fallen upon my heart in preaching, and I resisted and grieved it; the Spirit of the Lord hath fallen upon my heart in prayer, and I have grieved that; therefore I fear I have sinned this great sin that shall never be pardoned. This is ill too; but those that you read of in Acts 7., resisted the Holy Ghost, yet they did not sin the sin against the Holy Ghost, for then Stephen would not have prayed for them. But I am afraid that I have sinned this great sin, the sin against the Holy Ghost, because I have not owned, but denied the truth. The work of the Spirit is to enlighten and to lead into truth, and I have not owned, but denied the truth rather, therefore I fear that I have sinned this great sin against the Holy Ghost. This is evil, very evil. I remember a speech of Godteschalehus, worthy to be written in letters of gold: I am afraid, said he, to deny the truth, lest I should be for ever denied by the truth, that is, Christ. But I pray, did not Peter deny the truth when he denied Christ; and did he not do it again and again, and did he not do it openly, with scandal; and did he not do it after admonition; and did he not do it with cursing and swearing? and yet he did not sin against the Holy Ghost, for the Lord pardoned, and took him into His bosom, and made him a blessed instrument in the Church. Thus far yet a man may go possibly, and yet not sin this sin. Oh, but I am afraid yet that I have sinned it, for I have been an opposer of goodness, I have been an opposer of the people of God, and I have been a blasphemer; therefore I fear I have sinned this sin. This is ill indeed. But, I pray, tell me, was not Paul an opposer and blasphemer of the saints and ways of God; and yet he did not sin against the Holy Ghost; for I did it ignorantly, saith he: "I was a blasphemer and a persecutor, but I obtained mercy, for I did it ignorantly." Oh, but yet I fear I have sinned this great sin, for I have forsaken God, and God hath forsaken me; God is gone, Christ is gone, and mercy is gone. Oh, what freedom once I had, but now God is departed from me, God hath forsaken me: and I fear it is upon this account, because I have sinned this great sin. But doth not David say, "How long, O Lord, wilt Thou forget me, forsake me? " and our Saviour Himself saith, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" There is a gradual forsaking, and there is a total. As with a man that goes from his house; possibly he goes a voyage, or is from home a quarter, half year, or a year; but he doth not leave his house; for his wife, his children, and goods are there still: but another man goes from his house, the house is let, and he carries away all his goods: this is a total departure, the other gradual. So now it is with the Lord: He doth sometimes forsake His own children for a time; but He doth not pull down His hangings, or carry away His goods; He doth not go away, but returns again; this is gradual. But there is a total forsaking of a man, and then He gives him up to his sin. Now this is not the burden that you lie under; for if God had thus forsaken you, you would be given up to your sins, and you would give up yourselves unto all uncleanness. Oh, but I am afraid, yet, that I am under the worst forsaking, and that therefore I have sinned this great sin; for I do lie despairing, saying, God is gone, and mercy gone; I am in the dark. Oh, I despair, I despair, and upon this account I fear I have sinned this great sin, the sin against the Holy Ghost. But, now, whosoever you are that have laboured under this fear, as indeed this fear I know hath oppressed many, give me leave to ask you four or five short questions. The first is, Whether canst thou not find in thy heart to forgive men that do trespass against thee? Do not you find a disposition in your own heart to forgive others? Yes, I praise the Lord that I do. Now if you can find in your heart to forgive others, I am sure God can find in His heart to forgive you, and therefore you have not sinned this great sin, which is unpardonable. Secondly, Whether, aye or no, have you ever opposed the ways of God, the people of God, and that out of malice? No: I confess I have opposed them, but the Lord knows I did it ignorantly, it was not out of malice; then remember the description of this sin. Thirdly, Whether, aye or no, do not you desire to be humbled for every sin, though it be never so small? Yes, for though I know that my greatest humiliation cannot make an atonement for my sin; yet I know that the least humiliation in truth doth please God, and it is my duty to be humbled for every sin; for the least sin is a great evil; and He that commands humiliation for the one, commands it for the other also; and through grace I desire to be humbled for every sin. Why, then, you cannot have sinned against the Holy Ghost, for it is impossible that they that sin this sin should be renewed to repentance. Fourthly, Whether, aye or no, do not you desire above all things the breathings of the Spirit of God upon your heart? Yes: oh that God would come and breathe upon my poor soul in duty. But those that sin against the Holy Ghost do despite to the Spirit of grace (Hebrews 10.). Fifthly, Where do you find in all the Bible that those that sin this sin against the Holy Ghost are afraid that they have sinned it? Those that sin against the Holy Ghost are never afraid that they have sinned against the Holy Ghost. But again, If the sin against the Holy Ghost be indeed the unpardonable sin, what cause have we all to look to our steps, to our words, to our actions? Beloved, this sin against the Holy Ghost is the professor's sin; a man less than a professor cannot sin this sin against the Holy Ghost; this sin against the Holy Ghost is the knowing man's sin, a man less than a knowing man cannot sin the sin against the Holy Ghost: and, as I said before, a man may possibly go very far in sin, and yet not commit this great unpardonable sin: so now, on the other side, I say, possibly a man may go very far in religion, and yet he may sin this sin. These Pharisees that committed it had the key of knowledge: knowing they were, and very knowing in the Scriptures; as for zeal, they travelled sea and land to make a proselyte; for their practice, they fasted twice a week, exceeding strict in observing the Sabbath day; the lights of the Church, and the eyes of all the people were upon them for their guides; and yet these men sinned this sin against the Holy Ghost. Oh, what care should there be in all our souls; how had we all need to look to our ways! The more truth revealed, the more danger of sinning this sin, the more great works of God are done by the very Spirit and finger of God; if men do oppose and blaspheme, the more danger of sinning this great sin. But you will say, We grant indeed that this sin against the Holy Ghost is the unpardonable sin, and woe be to them that do fall into it, and it cannot be committed but by a knowing man; but what shall we do that we may be kept from this great transgression; that whatsoever sin we do fall into, yet we may be kept from this great evil, and this unpardonable sin? I would that you would mind and consider the description which you have heard, and think of it. But I will tell you what David did. Saith David, "0 Lord, keep back Thy servant from presumptuous sins, so shall I be free from the great transgression." It seems then that presumptuous sinning makes way to this great transgression. Again: Be always humbled for lesser sins. He shall never fall into the greatest, that is always humbled for the least; he shall never fall into the worst that is always humbled for the smallest. Besides, fear is the keeper of innocency; fear is the guard of innocency. If you always fear to commit it, you shall never commit the same. In case that you do at any time fall into sin, say, Well, but through the grace of God, though I commit what is evil, I will never oppose what is good; by the grace of God I will carry this rule along with me: Though I commit what is evil, I will never oppose what is good. In case any great work be done before you that lies beyond your reach and beyond your fathom, say, Though I do not understand this work, I will admire; and though I cannot reach it, yet I will not blaspheme and speak against it. And if heretofore, Christian, thou hast found God breathing upon thy heart in any ordinance, public or private, or in any way of God, take heed, as for thy life, that thou dost never speak evil or blaspheme that way of God wherein thou hast found the Spirit of God breathing. And if, indeed, you would be kept from this great transgression, then take heed of all declinings, and the steps thereof.

(W. Bridge, M. A.)

I. First, then, let us see what the text does not mean. We may, I think, feel quite sure that it does not mean that there is some particular form of words of the kind generally known as " blasphemous," which, once uttered, leave him who has spoken without hope. "By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." But the intervening context shows us that He is speaking of words as the expressions of the heart, and as indications of its fixed habit and its settled attitude. They were the symptoms of disease, not the disease itself. They marked, not merely local affection, but constitutional derangement. The same principle applies to our good words, which I am apt to think may in the end prove more condemning than our bad ones. That we shall go to heaven for pious ejaculations which are unreal, or go to hell for impious ejaculations equally unreal, is altogether contrary to the tenour of Scripture and to its revelations, and our own ideas or the character and attributes of Him whose judgment is according to truth.

2. Again, the sin spoken of in the text cannot be a sin of which men have ever repented. Because wherever there is repentance there is pardon through the Saviour. This, if I understand anything about the gospel, is its great message. Let us go on to Manasseh, king of Judah (2 Kings 21.). It is not easy to imagine anything worse than we are told about him. "He undid the work of Hezekiah, his father. And now, as I get near to saying what seems to me the meaning of the text, I am sorry that I must set aside the opinion of some great and good men; of Wesley amongst them. He thought, and others thought also, that this sin is neither more nor less than "the ascribing those miracles to the power of the devil which Christ did by the power of the Holy Ghost" — in short, that it was only possible during the Saviour's ministry. I cannot think a warning so solemn anal striking, recorded in three of the four Gospels, should relate wholly to a past kind of sin. No: the outward part of sin perpetually shifts and changes: its principle and essence remain the same. Nor should we escape the terror of the text by adopting what I may call the "obsolete" interpretation as regards the sin. There are other passages, not quite so well known perhaps, but as awful when we think of them. "There is," says St. John, "a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it." St. Jude writes of some who "were before of old ordained to this condemnation" — "twice dead" — "plucked up by the roots" — "to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." In the Epistle to the Hebrews we are told of some for whom "remained no more sacrifice for sin," and of some whom "it was impossible to renew unto repentance." St. Paul, writing to Timothy, mentions some who "should proceed no further," who "resisted the truth as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses." All these passages remain, even though we succeed in removing the text to the region of the past. All these, as well as the text, must, I think, be read in the same light; and all must be thought of in connection with what I said at the outset — that what can never be forgiven must be something of which men have never repented. What can this be? It can scarcely be anything less than deliberate, conscious resistance to acknowledged truth; persistent choosing of darkness rather than light. You will say, perhaps, that there cannot be such a thing. Are you so sure? Think for one moment. Do you not see something like it — apart from religion altogether — every day? Does not the drunkard, or the spendthrift, or the gambler know his end — I mean in this world — as well as you do? And still he goes on. What can you do for him? Nothing. At least nothing except in the way of "hoping against hope." You do your very best: and you are right; but while you cannot prove it, you feel that there is failure before you. Come to the Bible. Take that wonderful case of Ahab and Micaiah. Ahab did not believe that there was no God. Nor did he doubt the mission of Micaiah. Nor did he once hint that he thought him untruthful. He had one objection, and only one: "I hate him because he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil." Micaiah exposes to him the deceitfulness of the other prophets: and he still has nothing to say but to repeat his old objection. After which he goes on deliberately to death. Take two instances from the New Testament. What effect was produced by the raising of Lazarus? Some of the Jews "sought to put Lazarus also to death." When Peter and John performed what the Jewish rulers admitted to be a "notable miracle, which they could not deny," they did what? Threatened them, and tried to hinder the further spread of the gospel thus attested. All these, surely, are cases which — if we merely reflected, without reading the Bible at all — we should be obliged to own were verging on and tending to something unforgivable. This view will be confirmed if a well-supported reading of St. Mark's account be the true one. It makes him say — not is in danger of eternal damnation or judgment; but is in danger of eternal sin. The depth of condemnation is only for the depth of sin; and by resisting grace, shutting the eyes to light, we are surely sinking into that depth. It is not that God arbitrarily marks out a sin or even a course of sin, which He will not pardon. But He warns us that we may bring ourselves to a state in which we will not have pardon, and reach the Satanic condition of consummated sin, and seem to say, as he alone can say, "Evil, be thou my good."

(J. C. Coghlan, D. D.)

Taking this sentence with the rest of the passage, I cannot doubt that it tells us what the sin of the Pharisees and of the nation was; why they were cast out of their stewardship in that age; why the sentence upon them remains still. We say, "They rejected Jesus; they would not believe all the evidence which He brought from prophecies and miracles to attest His divine mission." He says, "All words spoken against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but there is a blasphemy against the Spirit of God — there is a confusion of good with evil, of light with darkness — which goes down far deeper than this. When a nation has lost the faculty of distinguishing hatred from love, the spirit of hypocrisy and falsehood from the spirit of truth, God from the devil, then its doom is pronounced — then the decree must go forth against it. I believe that is the natural sense of these awful words here and elsewhere; if we give them that sense we are delivered from imaginations which have darkened the gospel to a number of souls, and the warning to ourselves becomes much more tremendous.

(F. D. Maurice, M. A.)

Aretius, a godly and eminent author, speaking of the sin of the Holy Ghost, "I saw," saith he, "and knew the man myself, and it is no feigned story. There was a merchant in Strasburg whose whole life was abominable for whoredom, usury, drunkenness, contempt of God's Word; he spent his life in gaming and whoring to his old age. At last he came to reflect on himself, and be sensible of the dreadful judgments of God hanging over his head. Then did his conscience so affright, and the devil accuse and terrify him, that he fell into open and downright desperation. He confessed and yielded himself to the devil as being his. He said the mercy and grace of God could not be so great as to pardon sins so great as his. Then what horror was upon him, gnashing of teeth, weeping, wailing; yea, he would challenge Satan, and wish the devil would fetch him away to his destined torments. He threw himself all along upon the ground: refused both meat and drink. Had you seen him, you would never have forgot him while you had lived; you had seen the fullest pattern of a despairing person. Yet, after the many pains of godly and learned men who came to him, watched with him, reasoned with him, laid open the word and will of God, and after many prayers, public and private, put up for him, at length he recovered and became truly penitent; and having lived piously for certain years after, he died peaceably." Wherefore, he concluded, it is not an easy matter to determine of any man sinning against the Holy Ghost, and incapable of mercy so long as he live.

The Puritans were wont to quote the remarkable experience of Mrs. Honeywood as an instance of the singular way in which the Lord delivers His chosen. She for year after year was in bondage to melancholy and despair, but she was set at liberty by the gracious providence of God in an almost miraculous way. She took up a slender Venice glass, and saying, " I am as surely damned as that glass is dashed to pieces," she hurled it down upon the floor, when, to her surprise, and the surprise of all, I know not by what means, the glass was not so much as chipped or cracked. That circumstance first gave her a ray of light, and she afterwards cast herself upon the Lord Jesus.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Jesus, Peter, Solomon
Road to Jerusalem
Anyone, Blaspheme, Blasphemes, Blasphemeth, Evil, Forgiven, Forgiveness, Ghost, Holy, Injuriously, Moreover, Obtain, Says, Speak, Speaks, Spirit
1. Jesus preaches to his apostles to avoid hypocrisy
13. and warns against covetousness, by the parable of the man who set up greater barns.
22. We must not worry about earthly things,
31. but seek the kingdom of God;
33. give alms;
35. be ready at a knock to open to our Lord whensoever he comes.
41. Jesus' disciples are to see to their charges,
49. and look for persecution.
54. The people must take this time of grace;
57. because it is a fearful thing to die without reconciliation.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Luke 12:10

     2221   Christ, Son of Man
     3015   Holy Spirit, divinity
     3245   Holy Spirit, blasphemy against
     3284   Holy Spirit, resisting
     5800   blasphemy
     5896   irreverence
     6021   sin, nature of
     8843   unforgivable sin
     8844   unforgiveness

Luke 12:8-10

     5978   warning

October 23 Morning
A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.--LUKE 12:15. A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.--Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.--Godliness with contentment is great gain. Having food and raiment let us be therewith content. Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor,
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

March 29 Morning
Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.--MATT. 25:34. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.--Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?--Heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. The Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

March 26 Morning
The kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods . . . to every man according to his several ability.--MATT. 25:14,15. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey? All these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.--As every man hath received the gift,
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

May 14. "But God" (Luke xii. 20).
"But God" (Luke xii. 20). What else do we really need? What else is He trying to make us understand? The religion of the Bible is wholly supernatural. The one resource of faith has always been the living God, and Him alone. The children of Israel were utterly dependent upon Jehovah as they marched through the wilderness, and the one reason their foes feared them and hastened to submit themselves was that they recognized among them the shout of a King, and the presence of One compared with whom all
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Stillness in Storm
'... Neither be ye of doubtful mind.'--LUKE xii. 29. I think that these words convey no very definite idea to most readers. The thing forbidden is not very sharply defined by the expression which our translators have employed, but the original term is very picturesque and precise. The word originally means 'to be elevated, to be raised as a meteor,' and comes by degrees to mean to be raised in one special way--namely, as a boat is tossed by a tough sea. So there is a picture in this prohibition which
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

The Servant-Lord
Verily I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth, and serve them.--LUKE xii. 37. No one would have dared to say that except Jesus Christ. For surely, manifold and wonderful as are the glimpses that we get in the New Testament of the relation of perfect souls in heaven to Him, none of them pierces deeper, rises higher, and speaks more boundless blessing, than such words as these. Well might Christ think it necessary to preface them with the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Fire on Earth
'I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled!'--LUKE xii. 49. We have here one of the rare glimpses which our Lord gives us into His inmost heart, His thought of His mission, and His feelings about it. If familiarity had not weakened the impression, and dulled the edge, of these words, how startling they would seem to us! 'I am come'--then, He was, before He came, and He came by His own voluntary act. A Jewish peasant says that He is going to set the world on fire-and
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

The Rich Fool
'And one of the company said unto Him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. 14. And He said unto him, Man, who made Me a judge or a divider over you? 15. And He said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 16. And He spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17. And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Anxious About Earth, or Earnest About the Kingdom
'And He said unto His disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 23. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 24. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? 25. And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 26. If ye then be not able to do that thing
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

The Equipment of the Servants
'Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; 36. And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord.'--Luke xii. 35, 36. These words ought to stir us like the sound of a trumpet. But, by long familiarity, they drop upon dull ears, and scarcely produce any effect. The picture that they suggest, as an emblem of the Christian state, is a striking one. It is midnight, a great house is without its master, the lord of the palace is absent, but expected back, the servants are busy in
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Servants and Stewards Here and Hereafter
'Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord, when He cometh, shall find watching: Verily I shall say unto you, that He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. Blessed is that servant whom his Lord, when He cometh, shall find so doing. 44. Of a truth I say unto you, that He will make him ruler over all that he hath. --LUKE xii. 37, 43, and 44. You will, of course, observe that these two passages are strictly parallel in form. Our Lord evidently intends
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

October the Nineteenth Ready!
"Let your loins be girded about." --LUKE xii. 35-40. Loose garments can be very troublesome. An Oriental robe, if left ungirdled, entangles the feet, or is caught by the wind and hinders one's goings. And therefore the wearer binds the loose attire together with a girdle, and makes it firm and compact about his body. And loose principles can be more dangerous than loose garments. Indefinite opinions, caught by the passing wind of popular caprice, are both a peril and a burden. Many people go through
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

True Harvest Joy.
TEXT: LUKE xii. 16-21. TO-DAY the harvest thanksgiving is celebrated through out the land, and it is most fitting that it should be with all of us a day of great and joyful giving of thanks. Although there are but few among the masses of people crowded together in this as in other great cities, who have any direct share in this great business of agriculture, yet we are all aware that it is the prime source of our common prosperity; indeed, I may say, the first condition of the development of our
Friedrich Schleiermacher—Selected Sermons of Schleiermacher

On the Words of the Gospel, Luke xii. 15, "And He Said unto Them, Take Heed, and Keep Yourselves from all Covetousness. "
1. I doubt not but that ye who fear God, do hear His word with awe, and execute it with cheerfulness; that what He hath promised, ye may at present hope for, hereafter receive. We have just now heard the Lord Christ Jesus, the Son of God, giving us a precept. The Truth, who neither deceiveth, nor is deceived, hath given us a precept; let us hear, fear, beware. What is this precept then: "I say unto you, Beware of all covetousness"? [3392] What is, "of all covetousness"? What is, "of all"? Why did
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

On the Words of the Gospel, Luke xii. 35, "Let Your Loins be Girded About, and Your Lamps Burning; and be Ye Yourselves Like," Etc. And
1. Our Lord Jesus Christ both came to men, and went away from men, and is to come to men. And yet He was here when He came, nor did He depart when He went away, and He is to come to them to whom He said, "Lo, I am with you, even unto the end of the world." [3417] According to the "form of a servant" then, which He took for our sakes, was He born at a certain time, and was slain, and rose again, and now "dieth no more, neither shall death have any more dominion over Him;" [3418] but according to His
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

On the Words of the Gospel, Luke xii. 56, 58, "Ye Know How to Interpret the Face of the Earth and the Heaven," Etc. ; and Of
1. We have heard the Gospel, and in it the Lord reproving those who knew how to discern the face of the sky, and know not how to discover the time of faith, the kingdom of heaven which is at hand. Now this He said to the Jews; but His words reach even unto us. Now the Lord Jesus Christ Himself began the preaching of His Gospel in this way; "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." [3431] In like manner too John the Baptist and His forerunner began thus; "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

On Worldly Folly
"But God said unto him, Thou fool!" Luke 12:20. But one of these fools is commonly wiser in his own eyes "than seven men that can render a reason." If it were possible for a Christian, for one that has the mind which was in Christ, to despise any one, he would cordially despise those who suppose "they are the men, and wisdom shall die with them." You may see one of these, painted to the life, in the verses preceding the text. "The ground of a certain rich man," says our blessed Lord, "brought forth
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

On Divine Providence
"Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Luke 12:7. 1. The doctrine of divine providence has been received by wise men in all ages. It was believed by many of the eminent Heathens, not only philosophers, but orators and poets. Innumerable are the testimonies concerning it which are scattered up and down in their writings; agreeable to that well-knowing saying in Cicero, Deorum moderamine cuncta geri: "That all things, all events in this world, are under the management of God." We might
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

The Use of Fear in Religion.
PROVERBS ix. 10.--"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Luke xii. 4, 5.--"And I say unto you, my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him." The place which the feeling of fear ought to hold in the religious experience of mankind is variously assigned. Theories of religion are continually passing
William G.T. Shedd—Sermons to the Natural Man

Darkness Before the Dawn
"Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether."--SONG OF SOLOMON 2:17. THE SPOUSE SINGS, "Until the day break, and the shadows flee away," so that the beloved of the Lord may be in the dark. It may be night with her who has a place in the heart of the Well-beloved. A child of God, who is a child of light, may be for a while in darkness; first, darkness comparatively, as compared with the light he has some times
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 42: 1896

I am sure that every true child of God will stand at times in doubt of himself, and his fear will probably take the shape of a suspicion concerning his own state. He that never doubted of his state, He may--perhaps he may--too late. The Christian, however, does not belong to that class. He will at times begin to be terribly alarmed, lest, after all, his godliness should be but seeming, and his profession an empty vanity. He who is true will sometimes suspect himself of falsehood, while he who is
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

Our Requests Made Known unto God
OUR REQUESTS MADE KNOWN UNTO GOD ". . . Let your requests be made known unto God." -- Phil. 4:6. Paul, the pattern saint, would have us see the value of revealing our needs to God in prayer. We must not presume that the things required to sustain life will be granted without making our requests known unto God. Our requirements on earth and God's resources in heaven are meant for each other. If we ask, we shall receive. When we fail to ask, we fail to receive. The Word declares, "Ye have not, because
T. M. Anderson—Prayer Availeth Much

Lii. Concerning Hypocrisy, Worldly Anxiety, Watchfulness, and his Approaching Passion.
(Galilee.) ^C Luke XII. 1-59. ^c 1 In the meantime [that is, while these things were occurring in the Pharisee's house], when the many thousands of the multitude were gathered together, insomuch that they trod one upon another [in their eagerness to get near enough to Jesus to see and hear] , he began to say unto his disciples first of all [that is, as the first or most appropriate lesson], Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. [This admonition is the key to the understanding
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Christianity Misunderstood by Men of Science.
Attitude of Men of Science to Religions in General--What Religion is, and What is its Significance for the Life of Humanity-- Three Conceptions of Life--Christian Religion the Expression of the Divine Conception of Life--Misinterpretation of Christianity by Men of Science, who Study it in its External Manifestations Due to their Criticising it from Standpoint of Social Conception of Life--Opinion, Resulting from this Misinterpretation, that Christ's Moral Teaching is Exaggerated and Cannot be put
Leo Tolstoy—The Kingdom of God is within you

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