Question:

The article on the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as a sin that cannot be forgiven did not really explain why those people accused Jesus of casting the demons by the power of Beelzebub. In reality, there are people who professed to be Christians but reject the ministry of the Holy Spirit (speaking in tongues, healing and so on). I believed that people who rejected the ministry of the Holy Spirit are not Christians in actual fact. Hence, they had yet to receive Christ as their Lord and savior, so how do we expect them to be forgiven? By the way, those people whom I knew that ridiculed the ministry of the Holy Spirit led questionable lives although some of them work as pastors.

As long as we reject the ministry of the Holy Spirit, we are also rejecting Christ. In Romans 8:9 it stated that if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ then he is not belong to Christ. I strongly believe that anyone who reject the ministry of the Holy Spirit does not have Christ in him and are NOT Christian.


Answer:

You mean questionable lives like Jim Baker's adultery, Ken Hagin's plagerism, Bob Jone's sexual scandals, Peter Popoff's cons, or Jimmy Swaggert's adultery? (See: Moral Failures of Pentecostal Preachers). I list these examples to disprove the assertion that accepting the "ministry of the Holy Spirit" somehow leads to a more moral lifestyle.

Your note well illustrates that charismatic groups do not believe a person is really save unless they have some manifestation of miracluous gifts. Even during the time of miracles, there were Christians who had been saved, who yet did not have miraculous gifts from the Spirit. People in Samaria had converted, "But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized" (Acts 8:12). These people had accepted Jesus as their Lord and were baptized to wash away their sins (Acts 22:16). Yet we find that it wasn't until later that some of them were given the gifts of the Holy Spirit. "Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 8:14-16).

Even in these days of miracles, not everyone had the gifts, though they were all Christians. "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?" (I Corinthians 12:29-30). The answer to each of these rhetorical questions is "No."

"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors--not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live" (Romans 8:5-13).

Two groups of people are being contrasted in Romans 8: those who live in the world, according to the flesh; and those who live for God, according to the Spirit. You assume that having the Spirit dwell in you means having the ability to do miracles, yet such is not mentioned in this passage. Instead, we find that those who have the Spirit in them:

  • Have their minds on the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5).
  • Have their minds set on life and peace (Romans 8:6).
  • Subject themselves to the law of God (Romans 8:7).
  • Please God (Romans 8:8).
  • Belong to God (Romans 8:9).
  • Are alive to righteousness (Romans 8:10).
  • Have life in their mortal bodies (Romans 8:11).
  • Put to death the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13).

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Romans 8:14). None of the things list by Paul require a miracle to accomplish. Being led by the Spirit of God isn't a miraclous leading, but simply accepting and applying the teachings of the Spirit to a follower's life.

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:16-17).

To have the Sprit of God dwell in you, to have Christ dwell in you, and to have the word of Christ dwell in you all refers to the same thing. It is having a close association with God and God's teachings to the point that it is a part of your life. "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me" (John 14:23-24).