Understanding Spiritual Battles and our Adversary the Devil – And the One Sin that is Not Forgivable – and our Spiritual Defenses

Understanding Spiritual Battles and our Adversary the Devil – And the One Sin that is Not Forgivable – and our Spiritual Defenses

GROWTH AND SUCCESS IN LIFE – Lessons Learned at the Feet of Jesus

Jesus has been teaching about the character of the Kingdom of Heaven and the paths of Disciples – those who have believed in and are now following him.  The message and ministry of Jesus – the healing of the sick and crippled – exposed the religious leaders for who they were as the enemies of God.  They now plotted to kill Jesus.  Now this plot thickens – as Jesus continues to demonstrate His authority by healing, and His enemies credit his power and authority – now undeniable – to the devil.

30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.  Matthew 12:30-32

1. In life, the Ultimate Battles are Spiritual and against the Unseen as much as the Physical and the Seen.  From the beginning of the Biblical narrative in Genesis, to the last of the Revelation by John in the New Testament, the spiritual world is alive and in pitched battle with the saints and the forces of God.  Beginning with Lucifer’s (‘the dragon’s’) rebellion in heaven (Rev 12:7-9) then appearing in the Garden of Eden as roaming the earth and seeking Job as a test case for faithfulness, Satan is both defeated but still our active adversary.  A Christian’s life cannot move to maturity without recognizing the reality of the unseen spiritual battles faced by every disciple.  

2.  The Unforgiveable Sin.  This section of Scripture has caused great consternation, confusion and theological debate.  The CONTEXT here is that Jesus has publically demonstrated his authority by healing, How does this compare the universal promise of forgiveness of all sin?  10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.  Luke 12:10.  I believe the answer is twofold: first, the greater (more aggressive) the rejection of the obvious work of God around us, the greater the danger of someone being hardened against the gospel of grace; and secondly, in this passage, there is no reference to repentance.  And repentance of sin and believing by faith in the offer of salvation in Jesus and the cross is the heart of the gospel.  So, in answer to whether today there is an unforgivable sin, ‘yes and no.’  ‘Yes’ in the sense of continuing rejection of the message of Jesus, but ‘no’ in terms of the simple final last of life affirmation of faith, illustrated in the thief on the cross: Luke 23:42-4342Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

3.  Affirmation of Your Life Committed to Jesus.  Despite this most severe warning to the critics and enemies of Jesus, the final instruction is a word of encouragement: the good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him…for by your words you will be acquitted.  Matt 12:35, 37.  This is indeed a pitched battle in heaven and on earth.  Satan roams the earth seeking to deceive and destroy, a spiritual adversary and dragon, but we are not without the greater resources.  Remember the affirmation by Satan himself to God that ‘has not God put a hedge around [him] Job 1:9.  Nothing bad or evil happens to a saint by that it is allowed by God for our spiritual testing and growth. James 1:2-42Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Ephesians 6:10-1710Finally, be strong in the LORD and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Stay alert, be diligent in the affairs and relationships of your life, and make it a habit to be in the Word daily for your strength and focus.  Next week – understanding the Miracles of Jesus, and what to look for today.  Stay well.

— John Moore

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