Why I say to you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men…
I. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SPEAKING AGAINST THE SON OF MAN AND SPEAKING AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST? By speaking against the Son of Man is meant here all those reproaches which they cast upon our Saviour's person, the meanness of His birth, without reflecting upon that Divine power which He testified by His miracles. By speaking against the Holy Ghost is meant their blaspheming the Divine power whereby He wrought His miracles.
II. WHEREIN THE NATURE OF THIS SIN OR BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST DOTH CONSIST. Some have supposed it to be final impenitency, because that is unpardonable; but why that, it is hard to say. Others place the sin in obstinate opposition to the truth; but it is hardly imaginable that a man will oppose the truth when he is actually convinced that it is truth. The Pharisees are the persons guilty of this sin. The ground of complaint is clear (Mark 3:28, 29): they charged Christ with being a magician. They would rather deny the reality of Christ's miracles than own Him to be Messiah.
III. IN WHAT SENSE IS IT SAID TO BE PECULIARLY UNPARDONABLE?
IV. HOW IT COMES TO PASS THAT THIS SIN ABOVE OTHERS IS INCAPABLE OF PARDON?
1. Because by this sin men resist their last remedy, and oppose the best and utmost means of their conviction. Can God do more for a man's conviction than work miracles before his eves.
2. Because this sin is of such a high nature, that God is therefore justly provoked to withdraw His grace from such persons; and it is probable, resolved so to do: without which grace they will continue impenitent.
V. MAKE THIS DISCOURSE USEFUL TO OURSELVES.
1. To comfort some very good and pious persons who are liable to despair, upon an apprehension that they have committed this great sin. I cannot see how any person now is likely to be in those circumstances as to be capable of committing it. Total apostasy from Christianity comes nearest to it (Hebrews 6:4-6).
2. To caution men against the degrees and approaches of this sin — profane scoffing at religion. Be ready to entertain the truth of God whenever it is fairly propounded.
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.