Saturday, October 16, 2010


1. Fear: Fear of human beings is a terrible thing. It is a subject that needs to be looked at closely. Jesus said that fear can cost a person his eternal destiny, even if the person is a friend, a follower, of His. Fear causes several things in a person
· It causes a person to become disturbed within heart and mind: the loss of peace
· It causes a person to lose fervor: the loss of commitment
· It causes a person to be either sidetracked from or to give up what he knows to be God’s will: the loss of mission and the meaning of purpose.

2. Why we need not fear human beings?
· Human beings can only kill the body, not the soul. Their power is limited; they can go no further. They cannot touch a person’s soul or life.
· They can send us out of the world not out of heaven.
· When we face death, we are merely transferred from this world, from the physical dimension of being, into the next world, the heavenly or spiritual dimension of being.

3. When we for a long time refuse to use any part of the body it atrophies. Charles Darwin tells how when he was a young man, he loved poetry and music; but he so devoted himself to biology that he completely neglected them. As a consequence in his later life, poetry meant nothing to him and music was just a noise. Just so, we can lose the faculty of recognizing God. By repeatedly refusing God’s word, by repeatedly shutting our eyes we can come to a stage when we cannot recognize him when we see him. This is what happened to the Pharisees and Scribes. Any of us can become a victim to it.

4. What exactly is this sin against the Holy Spirit?
· Attributing the divine power to the power of the evil spirit – E.g. Stating that Jesus casts the demons by his association with Satan.
· Patristic interpreters – blaspheming against Son of Man come from non-believers, whereas blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the result of apostasy.
· Sin against the Son of man – rejection by contemporary Jews in Palestine who will be given an opportunity after resurrection and outpouring of Spirit.
· Non acceptance of the testimony which the Holy Spirit will put into the mouth of the disciples.
· Total rejection of God- a mentality which obstinately sets the mind against the spirit of God – without which God’s forgiveness cannot be accorded to the person.

5. God is to be trusted in the hour of trial, trusted for the strength to bear whatever man/woman may do to us. This does not mean we should not be praying and thinking but it means that God is to be trusted for the defense. There is a reason for this. Only Good knows the heart of the persecutors and any others who are present. Thus, He alone knows what needs to be said to touch their hearts or else to serve as a witness against them in the future.

Even God cannot save us without our cooperation for the simple reason He respects our freedom. Unfortunately some of us reach this stage and remain closed to God. One of the symptoms of this sorry state is the individualistic tendency. People with this tendency tend to think all that what they do is perfect. They never listen to others, never function as a group, never sacrifice their comforts and never recognize the presence of the other. People with this attitude lose the meaning and beauty of human life. This is already a foretaste of the consequence of the sin against the Holy Spirit. We need to allow ourselves to be filled with the spirit and once we give that freedom to the Spirit, everything else would be taken care of.

The Anchor Bible Commentary
The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible
William Barclay the New Daily Study Bible Series

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