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Verse of the Day – Matthew 6:15
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Daily Scripture ReadingColossians 3

Devotional Thoughts
Matthew 6:15 – But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Jesus reiterates what He said in verse 14 here. In the previous verse He said it in a positive way. If we forgive, we will be forgiven. Now in verse 15 He says it in a negative way to reinforce the lesson about forgiveness. If we don’t forgive, we won’t be forgiven! We have to understand that prayer is primarily worship! When we take the time to fellowship with God we are to do so worshipping and adoring Him. We are also instructed to petition Him concerning our needs and the needs of others, but for the most part we are to simply worship Him. Knowing this, it makes sense that we are to be a forgiving people. How can we enjoy unhindered fellowship with God if we are harboring bitterness, resentment, and hatred in our hearts?

Look at Matthew 5:23-24. When we come to God there is to be no sin between us and anyone else. To enter God’s presence with the shadow of sin hanging over us is to shame ourselves. We cannot enjoy the benefits of worship and praise if we are not entering worship with pure hands and a pure heart.

In that light, let’s investigate a common question. Is there a sin that even God won’t forgive? YES! Often referred to as the unpardonable sin or the unforgivable sin, we find it in Mark 3:28-29, Matthew 12:31-32, and Luke 12:10. The only sin that can never be forgiven is the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. What exactly does that mean?

Let’s look at it simply and logically. (But first – many people say that suicide or some other such sin is the unpardonable sin – but can that be proven with Holy Scripture? NO! The only sin ever recorded that cannot and will not be forgiven is blaspheming the Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact Mark 3:28 says that all sins but one can be forgiven! ALL BUT ONE).

To blaspheme means to slander or injure one’s reputation. It also means to reject. We know that the Pharisees thought Jesus blasphemed God when He claimed to be the Son of God – you see, the Pharisees thought Jesus was demon possessed and so for Him to claim to be in any way from God they thought brought shame and injury to God’s holy name! So we are not to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Then we need to understand what it is to slander, injure, or reject the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit was given primarily to comfort believers and to convict the lost. John 15:26 and John 16:14-15 tell us that the Spirit testifies of Christ. It is the job description of the Holy Spirit to point us to Christ. So if we reject the work of the Spirit, then we reject Christ! Therefore we can understand that to blaspheme the Holy Spirit is to reject the message He brings, attributing it to Satan ro discounting it as a lie. If we do that then we reject Christ. And if we reject Him until death, then our disbelief cannot be forgiven. To die without Christ is the only thing God can’t and won’t forgive. (By the way, for further study, we know for a FACT that a person who has already trusted Christ can never blaspheme the Holy Spirit, otherwise the life He gives us in Christ wouldn’t be called eternal!! Eternal life lasts forever without interruption!! see John 10:27-30 and Romans 8:38-39 – nothing can separate us from the Love of God and no one – not even ourselves – can snatch us away from God!).

So since it is true that the only sin God will not forgive is the rejection of Christ, and He will and does forgive every other sin in the believers life – then what on earth could someone do to us that we cannot forgive? Jesus makes it quite plain – if we have the right heart attitude and forgive others we prove that we have the right priorities and are putting God and His Word first in our lives, and because of our dependence on Him and rejection of self, He forgives us willingly. But on the other hand, if we harbor bitterness and hold a grudge, then we are not being obedient, kind, loving, or Christ-like, and God will not forgive us until we identify and confess our sin and change our heart attitude about ourselves and others! Forgiveness is conditioned. If we are in a position to forgive, we are also in a position to accept forgiveness. Otherwise we need to be convicted and broken of our sin.

Look at your life today – do you instantly forgive when someone sins against you? If not – repent, confess, and forgive as you are learning to be forgiven! And realize that when you confess God does forgive you completely (1 John 1:9) – so why not forgive yourself as well?!

God is a forgiving God – be like Him today!

Bible Reading For Further Study
Psalm 25:18-20; 100:5; 103:17-18; 130:4-5
Isaiah 45:17-18 & 55:3
Jeremiah 31:3 & 32:40

Recommended Songs for Worship
Since I Have Been Redeemed
At Calvary


December 2005

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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright
© 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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