Read Matthew 12:22-31

"Whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come."  That seems rather harsh, don't you think.  As God's people we are in the forgiving business.  We trust in God's grace and never the ability to be righteous on our own.  There are not works that can save us, but only God.  So how is it that the act of speaking against the Holy Spirit is an "unforgivable" sin?

That seems like punishment.  Like some banana republic dictator, it seems like those that speak against the authority will be dealt with harshly.  You can be forgiven of any sin, even really nasty ones like murder, but not speaking against the Holy Spirit.  That's hard for me to explain in the overall context of the gospel story of Jesus and even of God's relationship with creation since the beginning.  God is always trying to bring us life and this doesn't seem like it could be that.

Except that we believe the Spirit is what gives life.  The Spirit is what gives faith.  It is the Spirit that is loose in the world offering what we most want and that is to be in relationship with God and to have life in God's name.  SO... perhaps what Jesus is offering is not just a warning, but a reality check.

If you decide to go against the Spirit of God, you do so at your peril.  Not as a punishment, but because you have already cut yourself off from that which gives you life.  You would be like one dying of thirst, who cuts off the spigot that would grant a drink.  It's not punishment that you go thirsty, but simply the reality of being thirsty with no way to quench that thirst.

Jesus says, don't do that!  Don't go against the Spirit, because you will eliminate the real, true source of life and health and wholeness.  The Spirit gives life and grants it abundantly.  Nothing else can do that... so you will know Jesus and the power of God by the ability to grant life through the Spirit!

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