Sin is sin, we can’t get away from that. Whether it is a “small” sin or a “big” sin, sin is sin. We are all guilty of sinning, even as Christians. Whether we are new Christians or seasoned Christians we tend to sin … and will until we die … but there are some sins that are worse than the others. Allow me to explain my point before we move back to Acts chapter 5.
(a) We all sin.
Jn 8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
We have this tendency of looking down on people who have committed certain sins, yet tend to excuse personal sin. Perhaps we are hypocrites when we do this. Take this woman caught in the act of adultery (v4) by the Pharisees. They wanted Jesus to agree that she be stoned to death, yet He made a simple statement to them … “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Each one admitted their sinful state by walking away. Jesus never condoned the woman’s sin but neither did He condemn her. Rather He forgave her telling her to go and live a life of repentance … “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” This amounted to “repent and believe”. As much as we would want to see someone doing sins we don’t approve of punished, remember that before God all sin is sin and all sin is punishable … yet there is pardon from God when we seek His face for it … and as He forgives, so ought we! Couple the following verses together:
Mt 6:12 “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
Mt 6:14 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
(b) Sin that is unpardonable. We often hear of the unforgiveable sin or the unpardonable sin. This sin is also called the sin unto death. Many fear they have committed such a sin. Please read the following passages …
Mt 12:31 “And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 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.”
(ii) Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the eternal sin, as Mark puts it:
Mk 3:28 “I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. 29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.”
(iii) John in his first letter tells us there are sins that do not lead to eternal death:
1Jn 5:16 If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.
(iv) Whilst the writer to the Hebrews gives us insight into what blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is!
Heb 6:4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6 if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
The one who has been involved in a Church or some shape of ministry and then rejects the Gospel message commits this sin. The person who heard the gospel and enjoyed the blessings that flow from it cannot return because they spurned the work of “grace” offered by the Holy Spirit and returned to the “world” controlled and dominated by the enemy of God, namely satan. This is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit because the Spirit has worked in your heart explaining the Gospel, proving its truth and authenticity that Jesus’ blood sacrifice is the only way of salvation. Rejecting this offer, whoever you are and wherever you are from is to openly and stubbornly refuse and reject God’s salvific offer through the Holy Spirit. That is blasphemy and that is the unforgivable sin. It is unpardonable and is the sin that leads to death … eternal death. Hopefully now we understand that we all sin and unless we have rejected the free grace the Holy Spirit offers us through the preacher applied to our conscience and will, we have not committed the unforgivable sin that leads to eternal death. All other sin is pardonable … even as Jesus said, sinning against Him in pardonable … but not the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Take Saul who consented to the stoning to death of the first Christian martyr, Stephen … he was forgiven, saved and was named Paul, becoming the apostle to both Jews and Gentiles. Tomorrow we shall unravel Acts 5:1-11, but for today I hope you are comforted by the fact that your sin is forgivable if you have not blasphemed against the Holy Spirit.
Our Glorious God and Father, thank You for free saving grace brought and applied to our souls by Your Holy Spirit. Help each reader to know for certain his or her election unto salvation and adoption into Your Forever Family is secure in Jesus. Amen.