An Argument with a Warning
Matthew 12:28
But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come to you.

But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. The sin against the Holy Ghost, which cannot be forgiven, has been so much misunderstood, because its immediate relations have not been sufficiently noticed. It has been treated as a general form of sin, of which any one may be guilty, rather than as a specific sin, of which a particular class of persons in a particular age were guilty. Our Lord was replying to certain Pharisaic objectors. He claimed to work miracles in the power of the Spirit of God. They declared that he worked the miracles in the power of the chief of the evil spirits. To say that was to offer open insult to the Holy Spirit in Jesus. And that is a hopeless kind of sin, because only in the power of the Spirit can men be saved. He who calls the Spirit Beelzebub will never seek his saving help, and so he never will be forgiven or regenerated. Forgiveness only comes to the penitent and humble. It is quite clear that they are neither penitent nor humble who think the Holy Spirit in Jesus is Beelzebub.


1. He may do it with the help of the prince of the devils. Is that a reasonable explanation? If it were merely directing the movements of devils from one sphere of work to another, it might be reasonable; but the case before us is distinctly one of stopping the devils work. Jesus "cast out" the devils. It is not reasonable to think of princes of devils stopping their subordinates' work. Then see that these Pharisees were shut up to, and obliged to accept, the other possible explanation. Jesus cast out devils by the Spirit of God; that is every way reasonable, according to their own showing, for the good God must be opposed to the work of evil spirits.

II. THE CONSEQUENCES OF ADMITTING THE ONLY REASONABLE EXPLANATION. These Pharisees came under the gravest responsibility. If Jesus wrought in the power of the Spirit, they were bound to believe him, and come into discipleship with him. This they would not do. Then Christ presses home the consequences of their wilfulness. They sinned against light; they resisted inward convictions; they grieved the Spirit; they blasphemed the Spirit; they put themselves into such moral attitudes that they could not be forgiven; forgiveness is of no value to those who are not humble. - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

WEB: But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.

An Attempt to Account for Jesus
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