Summary: This sermon echoes the teaching of the Apostle Paul in Romans, Chapter 7, and, God’s plan of salvation is introduced.

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Jesus said that all sin will be forgiven except the sin against the Holy Spirit (see Mark 3:28-29, Matthew 12:31-32 and Luke 12:10). Why would this one sin be unpardonable? It is because to deny the Holy Spirit, to say “no” to the Holy Spirit’s calls to enlightenment, messages which massage the human soul trying to bring back to life. It is because to say “no” to the Holy Spirit is to shut the door to the possibility of healing, or restoration, or regaining spiritual life. Rejecting the testimony of the Holy Spirit seals the fate of the soul; for “he that believeth not is already condemned” (John 3:18a). The soul that rejects the Holy Spirit, cannot, as a result, accept the gift of salvation, cannot accept the deliverance from condemnation that is being offered, because “no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3b), and because, recognizing that Jesus is Lord is necessary for our salvation. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). This, then, is the “unforgiveable sin” because it closes the door tightly, rejects the Gospel, rejects even the possibility of new life, rejects God’s plan of salvation, and insists on staying in its present state of condemnation.

The “law” is a topic to which much attention is devoted in the New Testament, especially by the Apostle Paul who devotes a good deal of his writings to this topic (Romans Chapter 7, for example). In Galatians 3:13 Paul speaks of the law as a curse. It is true that the law was necessary for there to be any creation whatsoever. The law is the blueprint, so to speak, that God used for each thing created. The law erects boundaries that separate that which is from that which is not. The law is like the pencil mark that transforms a blank piece of paper into a recognizable drawing. However, it this very law, this tool, this method used by God to fashion man and all of creation, that now accuses us of our sin and seeks our destruction.

At first glance, passages such as 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, which reads, “…the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: (they) shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power”; and, Luke 13:6-9 where we read, “(Jesus) spoke also this parable: A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, ‘Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?’ And he answering said unto him, ‘Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it; and if it bear fruit, well; and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down”; seem inconsistent to the New Testament assertion that God is love, and love will never cease. This seeming inconsistency vanishes when we come to truly understand the law and its function.

All things die as a natural consequence of the very same law by which the physical universe was created—this death not because of the wrath of God demanding satisfaction, but rather because of the law, which mirror’s God’s righteousness, requires everything that has been created to remain in perfect harmony with the pattern by which it was created. To depart from that “blueprint”, to have that “wiring” corrupted, makes it impossible to be in the ontological sense. Death and exclusion from God is the result of the corruption of our soul. The “soul” is the inner essence of humanity which was created in God’s image and intended always to remain in that image. If the image cannot be reawakened, restored, it, like the fig tree in the parable told by Jesus in Luke 13:6-9, must be cut down. Unfortunately, once corrupted, there is no restoration without the direct intervention of God.

Still other similar biblical passages, some in the form of parables, others in the form of direct warnings, point to the same underlying message. In John 15:6, for example, Jesus warns: “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

As further clarification, let us now consider the nature and function of “the law”. I don’t think that this term, the law, as it is used in the Bible is commonly understood. When thinking of this concept, most people think of the law as something decided upon by society, and written into a legal code regulating human behavior. Law, in the biblical sense, does include this function. It has, however, a far broader function than commonly understood. The law sets the boundaries of every created thing. These boundaries make existence possible. These boundaries are the blueprint or formulas by which a thing is defined. Change the boundary in any way and the thing itself changes. For example, change the chemical structure of H2O (water) to H2O2, and water no longer exists, it is destroyed (so to speak) and transmuted into hydrogen peroxide. That is a law of nature. Or, change the spelling of “book” to “back” and the word is no longer represents the concept of something to be read. The concept to which it points is no longer the same. First, boundaries allow the creation of and continued existence of all that exists. Second, because these boundaries are necessary for the continued existence of all that exists, when the boundaries are ignored or otherwise broken, the thing defined by these boundaries cannot continue to live but must as a natural consequence die; i.e., cease to be. This death, or destruction, is “death in the ontological sense”, and this law applies to all created things, including man’s soul.

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