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Sayings about the Holy Spirit

Gospel Reading: Lk 12:8-12
Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. “Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”

This statement (v 10) is the most enigmatic in Luke. The sin of denying the Son of Man can be forgiven, but for the person who blasphemes against the Spirit there will be no forgiveness. There are four choices as plausible definitions for this blasphemy: claiming that Jesus has come from Satan (cf 11:14- 20), renouncing Jesus because of persecution (that is, apostasy), rejecting the preaching of the apostles, or persistently rejecting the message of the Gospel. The final choice is most likely, since it fits the warning about being thrown into hell and the warning in Acts about what is at stake for rejecting the apostles’ message (cf Acts 3:21-26; 13:38-41). Speaking a word against the Son of Man refers to a specific act of rejection, while denying the testimony of the Spirit refers to a permanent refusal of that message of salvation. The best example of this principle is Saul, who stood at Stephen’s execution in Acts 7:58, but who later came to faith and received forgiveness for his previous acts against preaching about Jesus. He had spoken against the Son of Man, but he ended up not rejecting the Spirit’s call to believe in Jesus. This decision about the testimony the Spirit gives is the key issue for Jesus.

If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be evidence to convict you?

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SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.