Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace (Part 09) - Mat 10:32-33; Mat 12:31-32Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Wednesday, February 12, 2014.
For a paperback book in outline form which addresses over 150 difficult verses that Arminians use against Sovereign Grace, check out: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace: Rooting Arminianism Out of Every Verse. For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace 7. Mat 10:32-33 A. "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." (Mat 10:32-33) B. Was Jesus saying that if we confess Him we will be given eternal life, but if we deny Him, we will be denied eternal life? i. Eternal life or death, nor salvation or damnation is mentioned in these verses. ii. Confessing and denying Jesus/us in these verses is referring to something which can only be defined by comparing these verses with other scripture. iii. These verses are therefore reference texts, not proof texts (see section II,1,D,ii). C. Defining the terms. i. Confess v. - 4. To acknowledge or formally recognize (a person or thing) as having a certain character or certain claims; to own, avow, declare belief in or adhesion to. 1557 N. T. (Genev.) Matt. x. 32 Whosoeuer therfore shal confesse me before men, him will I confesse [earlier vv. knowledge] also before my father which is in heauen. ii. Deny v. - II. To say ‘no’ to the claims of. 4. To refuse to recognize or acknowledge (a person or thing) as having a certain character or certain claims; to disown, disavow, repudiate, renounce. D. One who confesses Christ already has eternal life. i. One must believe in Christ before he can confess Christ since the definition of confess is "to declare belief in". ii. One who believes in Christ already has eternal life (Joh 5:24; 1Jo 5:1). iii. Therefore one who confesses Christ had eternal life before he confessed Him (1Jo 4:15). iv. Before one can confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God must be dwelling in Him (1Jo 4:15). a. This is why Peter knew that Jesus was the Christ, because God was dwelling in him and had revealed it to him (Mat 16:15-17). b. No man can confess that Jesus is the Lord, except by the Holy Ghost which dwells in us (1Co 12:3 c/w Gal 4:6 c/w Rom 8:11,14). E. If we confess Jesus, He will confess us before God and the holy angels. i. When one confesses Jesus, he publicly acknowledges and recognizes that he believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and owns Him as his Lord. ii. By doing that, he shows that he is a child of God and one of Jesus' sheep for whom He died and to whom He gave eternal life, as the verses above show. iii. When one does that and shows the evidence that he belongs to Jesus, Christ then confesses him, acknowledging and owning him as His sheep and disciple before God and the holy angels (Luk 12:8). iv. Jesus is publicly stating, "Yep, he's one of mine." F. If a child of God denies Christ, he will not and cannot lose his eternal life. i. Peter is a prime example of this. ii. Peter was a child of God, which was evidenced by his confession that Jesus Christ was the Son of God (Mat 16:15-17 c/w 1Jo 5:1). iii. Eternal life is eternal and therefore cannot be lost (Joh 10:27-28) (see section II,7,A). iv. Peter denied that he knew Jesus thrice (Mat 26:34 c/w Mat 26:69-74). v. Peter denied that he knew Jesus, refusing to acknowledge Him and disowned and renounced him. vi. Just as a child who says that his parents aren't his doesn't cease to be his parents' child, so it is when one of God's children deny Him; God doesn't cease to be his Father. vii. Peter didn't lose his eternal life for denying Christ, but he did hurt for it (Mat 26:75). G. If a child of God denies Christ, He will deny him before God and the holy angels. i. One can deny Jesus Christ in word as Peter did. ii. One can also deny Jesus in works (Tit 1:16). iii. When one does either of these, he is not acting like a child of God. iv. When Jesus witnesses one of His sheep denying Him, He denies that person before God and His angels (He refuses to recognize or acknowledge him as an elect child of God and disowns him) (Luk 12:9). v. If we deny God, He will deny us (2Ti 2:12; 2Ch 24:20). vi. How many parents watch their child misbehaving and not acting in the way they have been taught and they declare: "He ain't my kid!"? vii. God does the same thing when one of His children are living in rebellion against Him, in essence saying: "He ain't my kid!" viii. Just like a parent denying that his child is his own doesn't actually make him not his child, so it is when God denies one of His children; he doesn't actually cease to be a child of God in possession of eternal life. ix. For God to make an unbelieving or disobedient child of His to cease to be His child would be for God to deny Himself because He covenanted to save him eternally and can't go back on His word (2Ti 2:13; Psa 89:29-34). x. God will deny His people and punish them, but will never utterly forsake them (Isa 43:21-28). H. In summary, if we confess Jesus, He will acknowledge that we are His sheep before God in heaven, but if we deny Him, He will refuse to acknowledge that we are His sheep before God in heaven. Neither of these confessions or denials change the nature of a child of God, but they change whether or not that child of God is in fellowship with God. 8. Mat 12:31-32 A. "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. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." (Mat 12:31-32) B. This has been called "the unpardonable sin" by many. C. Can this sin be committed today and if so, could a child of God commit it and lose his eternal life for doing so? i. Eternal salvation is by grace and is not dependent on good or bad works (Rom 9:11; Rom 11:5) (see section II,7,A,i). ii. Eternal salvation is eternal and therefore cannot be lost because of sin (see section II,6). D. Was Jesus speaking of an eternal or a temporal forgiveness of sins? i. It must be an eternal forgiveness because it was not only "in this world", but also "in the world to come" (Mat 12:32). ii. He that commits it "hath never forgiveness" (Mar 3:29). E. Who was Jesus speaking of and to concerning this unforgivable sin? i. Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees in response to them saying that He cast out devils by Beelzebub (Mat 12:24-25). ii. Jesus called these Pharisees an evil generation of vipers (Mat 12:34). a. Jesus wasn't the only one who called the Pharisees a generation of vipers (Mat 3:7). b. Jesus elsewhere called them: 1. Children of the devil (Joh 8:44 c/w Joh 8:13). 2. Children of hell (Mat 23:15). 3. Serpents that could not escape the damnation of hell (Mat 23:33). iii. Being children of the devil who could not escape the damnation of hell, the Pharisees never had forgiveness of sins. F. What is "blasphemy against the Holy Ghost"? i. Blasphemy n. - 1. Profane speaking of God or sacred things; impious irreverence. ii. Jesus cast out devils by the Spirit of God (Mat 12:28). iii. The Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out devils by the Devil (Mat 12:24). iv. Beelzebub - The Devil; a devil v. The Pharisees said that Jesus had the devil and an unclean spirit (Mar 3:22,30). vi. They were therefore saying that the Holy Ghost was the devil, which is blaspheming the Holy Ghost. G. Can a person blaspheme the Holy Ghost in this way today? i. Jesus' condemnation of those who blaspheme the Holy Ghost was said in direct response to the Pharisees seeing the Son of God Himself casting out devils by the Spirit of God and saying that He had an unclean spirit and was doing it by the devil (Mar 3:28-30). ii. The people who were guilty of that sin were identified as children of the devil who could not escape the damnation of hell and therefore never had forgiveness. iii. The Pharisees' blasphemy of the Holy Ghost was evidence of their eternal condemnation (Mat 12:33-35). iv. No person living today could commit this sin because he cannot witness Jesus Christ on earth casting out devils by the Spirit of God and say he is doing it by the devil. v. Therefore, no one living today can blaspheme the Holy Ghost in this manner and not be forgiven for it. vi. Notice how the apostles in the NT did not warn people to beware that they not commit the "unpardonable sin". For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace