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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Bible Study - verse by verse # 36

Matthew 12:25 In the Incarnation, Jesus gave up the complete and unlimited use of His supernatural abilities. But He still had profound insight into human nature. His discernment stopped the religious leaders attempts to trick Him. The resurrected Christ knows all our thoughts. This can be comforting because He knows what we really mean when we speak to Him. It can be threatening because we cannot hide from Him, and He knows our selfish motives.

Matthew 12:29 At Jesus' birth, satan's power and control were disrupted. In the wilderness Jesus overcame the devil's temptations, and at the Resurrection He defeated satan's ultimate weapon, death. Eventually satan will be constrained forever, and evil will no longer pervade the earth. Jesus has complete power and authority over satan and all his forces.

Matthew 12:30 It is impossible to be neutral about Christ. Anyone who is not actively following Him has chosen to reject Him. Any person who tries to remain neutral in the struggle of good against evil is choosing to be separated from God, who alone is good. To refuse to follow Christ is to choose to be on satan's team.

Matthew 12:31, 32 The Pharisees had blasphemed against the Holy Spirit by attributing the power by which Christ did miracles to satan instead of the Holy Spirit. The unforgivable sin is the deliberate refusal to acknowledge God's power in Christ. It indicates a deliberate and irreversible hardness of heart. Sometimes believers worry that they have accidentally committed this unforgivable sin. But  only those who have turned their backs on God and rejected all faith have any need to worry. Jesus said they can't be forgiven - not because their sin is worse than any other, but because they will never ask for forgiveness. Whoever rejects the prompting of the Holy Spirit removes himself or herself from the only force that can lead him or her to repentance and restoration to God.

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