Reflections on the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Part 2)

Back to our discussion.

First, it is essential to refresh our understanding of what it means to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is rejecting the finished work of Christ on the cross for the forgiveness of sins. Even if it turns out to be true that one can reject their salvation (which I will argue against) it is not true that this blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is a one-time deal that seals their fate (unless they were to die in that disposition). If one were to lose their salvation by rejecting the finished work of Christ, it is perfectly logical, and Biblical, to assume that they can once again receive that by turning their lives back over to Christ. The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is not a one-and-done deal, unless an individual’s life ends prior to receiving Christ.

I must caveat, the issue of eternal security is not a deal-breaker, doctrinal, essential, issue within the Christian faith. In other words this is not foundational teaching. The goal of one receiving Christ is to pass from eternal damnation to eternal life and follow God with the entirety of who they are on Earth. Those who believe that one can lose salvation by deliberately rejecting the salvation that they once received and those that believe salvation is eternally secure typically do not live out faith, or preach the gospel of salvation, any differently.

So, is it possible to lose salvation after having received it?

There seems to be more Biblical evidence that one cannot lose their salvation than evidence that one can lose it (see: Verses on Eternal Security)

The few passages that I want to focus on here are Ephesians 1:13-14, Romans 8:1, and Romans 8:38-39. Each of these writings by Paul were addressed to Christians. Let’s read:

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14 NIV)

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 8:1 NIV)

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

What I want to do here is zone in on Ephesians 1:13-14 to describe the cultural context of the time and why Paul chose the words he did to describe components of salvation. When the Roman emperor stamped the wax seal of an official document with his signet ring, this seal communicated that the power of Rome stood behind the safe passage of the document to its destination. In the same way, at the moment of our conversion (1:13 “having believed”), God has given believers the Holy Spirit as his “seal” which guarantees our safe passage to heaven.

In a similar way, the idea of God putting a deposit down that guarantees our inheritance is similar to one who puts a down payment on a house in order to guarantee purchase of that house. Well, one might ask, “an individual who puts a down payment on a house can back out of purchasing the house. The down payment just guarantees that if they want it then they have it.” Yes, this analogy breaks down at that point. However, if God were to say, “I am going to purchase that home” and then back out of the deal, He would be a liar, a sinner, and, therefore, not God.

When God puts His seal on something and places a deposit down, it is His and guaranteed to reach its destination. For God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change His mind. (Numbers 23:19)

There is no language in the New Testament that suggests that God will “unseal” one who has truly been sealed by receiving Christ.

The main objection to eternal security is that it removes and individual’s free will. They argue that if one had free will to receive the gift of salvation through Christ, surely they have the free will to hand that gift back and reject salvation.

Three things to note about this objection.

First, this objection fails to take into consideration that an individual has been sealed by the Holy Spirit.

Second, this objection fails to understand that receiving Christ and entering into relationship with God is what human beings were created to do. Therefore, when one chooses to receive Christ – and actually does receive Christ – they are making a decision that is completely in line with who they were made to be and how they were made to make decisions. This same concept can never be true of choosing to reject Christ. For while one may say that they do, it seems that such a statement can never be completely, factually, accurate after receiving Christ.

Third, this objection assumes that human free will is unlimited. A quick observation of human ability demolishes this objection fairly quickly. We may choose to do one thing, but there are points where we cannot choose to do another thing because of that first thing we chose to do. Some free will decisions are irreversible. For example, I can freely choose to jump off of a cliff, but I cannot change my mind halfway down. Making irreversible decisions does not necessarily deny free will.

It seems, therefore, that there really is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus… because nothing can separate us from His love when we have freely chosen to receive Him.

Rest assured, friend, your salvation is secure.

**Verses that give evidence for eternal security**

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