by Dr. Charles Stanley
Friday September 9, 2005
The Impossible Sin1 PETER 1:8-9
Simply put, the unpardonable sin committed by the Pharisees in Matthew is blasphemy — defiant irreverence toward God. Sometimes people worry they have committed this deadly act by accident or through disbelief prior to salvation. But no modern believer has experienced the living Christ's physical presence. We trust Him for salvation and see evidence that Jesus lives through His followers. We can also experience the spiritual presence of the Holy Spirit. But ultimately, unlike the people who witnessed Jesus and His miracles with their eyes, we believe without seeing.
The Pharisees were held to a different standard because they could see that Jesus was the Messiah but chose to ignore the truth. Peter also denied knowing His Lord, but he did not receive instant condemnation. (Matthew 26:69-75) Though Peter's words testified to unbelief, God knew that his heart acknowledged the Messiah (Mark ). His bitter weeping differentiated him from the Jewish leaders: Peter repented of his error. Paul, too, received mercy for his sin. As a Pharisee—though not one who had personally seen Christ yet — he shared in their blasphemy. But he says the grace of the Lord covered his ignorant unbelief (1 Timothy 1:13).
The sin Scripture calls unpardonable—disregarding the divine source of Christ's power — is impossible to commit outside of the physical presence of Jesus. When we recognize in our hearts and minds that He is Lord, our past disbelief and even our blasphemy is forgiven and removed as far as the east is from the west.
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