As Christians, we should always strive not to fall short of God’s glory by ensuring that we do not sin. It is the goal of any true Christian to live by the example set by the Messiah. However, we live in a culture where the concept of sin is entangled in legalistic arguments over whether something is wrong or right. When we consider what a sin is, we think of the violation of the 10 commandments. We also tend to consider other sins as blasphemy, which is a major sin and cannot be compared to others.
But what exactly is a sin? What is blasphemy? Do we understand how the Bible defines these? To avoid being blasphemous or sinful, we should fully comprehend what sin is. This is why we have compiled information pertaining to the two. This article highlights what constitutes a sin, what blasphemy is, why being blasphemous is sinful, and also highlights examples for illustration.
What Constitutes a Sin?
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A sin is any action or thought that falls short of God’s will. It is paramount that we realize that God is perfect and anything we do that falls short of his perfection is a sin. The Bible uses some examples to illustrate what a sin is. One of the examples is that a sin is a like an archer who has missed the target. He or she draws back the bow and sends the arrow the wrong way, instead of hitting the bull’s eye; the arrow veers off course and misses the mark. The miss is a little, but it could also miss a great deal. However, you should note that in this example, the result is the same as the arrow has not hit where it was intended to target.
The example of the arrow is the same as a sin. God’s will is just like the center of the target, but when one sins, he or she falls short of God’s will and misses the mark. For Christians, this is something that we do every day, just as the Bible highlights in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This means that even when we are not aware of it, we commit sin by the things we do or fail to do, or even by the way we do it.
This is why we need Christ in our lives as He is the only one who can forgive our sins and help up live the way we should. We cannot forgive ourselves. Neither can we change our hearts and make ourselves better in God’s eyes. It is in most instances dangerous and difficult to list sins in accordance to their seriousness and degree. While in one sense all sins are equal primarily because they separate us from God, the Bible clearly states in Romans 6:23 that “For the wages of sin is death …” applies to all sin, whether in deed, word or thought.
Blasphemy – Definition & Examples
For many individuals, one of the most dreaded terms found in the New Testament is the word blasphemy. It is represented as a horrible sin. But what is it? Blasphemy is an anglicized form of the Greek term “blasphemia” and scholars believe that it is derived from two roots: (1) “blapto” which means to injure and “pheme” which means to speak. This implies that blasphemy could refer to injurious speech. The noun “blasphemia” and its many derivative terms like the verb “blasphemo” and the adjective “blasphemos,” can refer to a variety of attitudes and actions.
Blaspheming the Holy Spirit
Jesus in Matthew 12:31 declared, “Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.” Since the holy spirit and Jesus are deities as highlighted in Acts 5:3-4 and John 1:1, it is more serious to dishonor the spirit that the Savior. In essence, as highlighted in Matthew 12:32, those who spoke against him could be forgiven, and not those who spoke against the spirit.
When you harden yourself against the gospel it is blaspheming the Holy Spirit, and those who continue doing such won’t obtain forgiveness. Other ways of blaspheming against Christ is by holding bizarre notions, such as those found in some religious cults. For example, the Armstrong cult, the Watchtower organization, and Christian Science claim that the spirit is but an impersonal “active force” of Jehovah, which is indeed blasphemous.
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Blaspheming God is apparent in a variety of New Testament passages. In Romans, Paul rebuked wicked Jews who had been given a written revelation from God and who taught against vile practices, but nonetheless, were guilty of the very sin they condemned. Paul says, “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles, because of you, even as it is written” (Romans 2:24). This means that when people of the world observe those who profess to be saints but live immorally, they speak injuriously against the Lord, and Paul, providing this example highlights that, “Some God he must be if his children live like that!”
In addition, Paul admonished Christian servants to honor their masters so that “the name of God and the doctrine be not blasphemed” (1 Timothy 6:1). Therefore, from this, we can derive that the authority of God and his doctrine is so sacred that the early saints were obliged to be good slaves that such truths be not injured. Therefore, the influence of Christians in time causes slavery to lose much of its grip on humanity.
But how do we otherwise blaspheme God? It can include those denying the existence of God, as highlighted in Psalms 14:1, “The fool hath said in his heart, ‘There is no God’.” Besides, the Bible talks of deluded souls who refuse to have God in their knowledge, which is highlighted in Romans 1:18. Besides, observing the creation we are part of and then attributing that to the accident, chance, fate, or evolution is also blasphemous as pointed out in Psalms 19:1.
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When Jesus was hanging on the cross, people blasphemed Christ as highlighted in Matthew 27:40, “Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save yourself: if you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” This means that those who repudiate against the divine sonship of Christ are guilty of blasphemy. Besides, those who deny Jesus and rationalize the astounding miracles he performed, saying that they were natural phenomena, are guilty of blasphemy. People who currently spread these ideas are also blaspheming Christ.
Blaspheming the Word of God
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According to the teachings of Paul, as highlighted in Tutus 2:1, we should always speak the things that befit the sound doctrine. Paul also gives the conduct expected of mature saints, both women and men. For example, he highlights that aged women should be, “sober-minded, chaste, workers at home, kind, being in subjection to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:5). Anyone who perverts the teachings in the scriptures to accommodate his or her theological prejudices or lifestyle blasphemes the word.
Blaspheming the Church
It is possible to blaspheme against the church. While the Bible teaches that the Christ is the savior of the body, which is the Church (Ephesians 5:23; 1:22, 23), many religious leaders claim that one does not have to necessarily enter the church for them to enjoy the redemption blessing, which is blasphemy. Others blaspheme by suggesting that you just have to use Yellow Pages to select a church. Not all churches will do.
Why Is Blasphemy a Sin?
Blasphemy is a sin because you veer off the teachings of Christ, the word of God, and the Church. However, if you blaspheme the Holy Spirit, this is an unforgivable sin. In Mark 3:29, it is clearly stipulated that “Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.” All blasphemies are sins, but as Jesus, noted, all blasphemies that you repent will be forgiven, but blaspheming the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven as it is beyond repentance. If a sin cannot be repented, it makes it unforgivable, as forgiveness is promised only to the sins we genuinely repent.
The unforgivable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit is an act of resistance that belittles the Spirit so grievously that God withdraws forever with his convicting power so that we’re never able to repent or be forgiven.
The fact that there is an unforgivable sin should be a reason enough to steer away from sin. This is because toying with sin can pass over into irrevocable hardness of the heart. As highlighted in Mark 9:43, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.” We are offered the grace to repent and be forgiven. So we urge you to repent today while there is still time.
It is important to note that not all sins are equal. Rather some sins are worse compared to others in both effects and motivation, and despite it all, they are judged accordingly. For instance, stealing a loaf of bread is different from killing. In addition, sins may also differ at their root. However, blasphemy is considered the greatest sins of them all. Blaspheming against the Holy Spirit is the most serious sin, and won’t be forgiven. It is vital you repent so that you don’t reach a point where you’ll not be forgiven. We hope that this article has adequately addressed what constitutes a sin and what blasphemies one can commit.