“I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

Luke 12:8-10

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.

1 Thessalonians 5:19-22

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Ephesians 6:18-20

Sometimes Christians give themselves an easy out on understanding things. They think they are being reverent when they look at the Scriptures and shake their heads at the unknowable riches of God’s wisdom. “Some things we can never understand,” they say in an important tone of voice.

Such false humility has no place in discipleship. Jesus didn’t call us to be his students so that we could brag on how hard Jesus is to understand. The Holy Spirit is one such topic of willing ignorance.

The blasphemy of the Spirit is not some hidden sin that any careless person can stumble into and be forever damned, it’s the sin of denying God’s power of prophesy and miracles working through Jesus. Remember Jesus opponents accused him of being a servant of the devil!

Quenching the Spirit is not so mysterious either. There was, even at the time of the writing of the New Testament, such a movement of anti-mysticism beginning that some people would deny Spirit-filled prophesy. They were doubters of their own religion, not merely questioning doctrines of man, which Paul encourages, but doubting the Creator to whom they had been called.

Finally, for this article, the prayer in the Spirit is not beyond comprehension. The Holy Spirit, the presence of God among the members of the Church, dwells with us as the breath in the lungs of the Body of Christ. When we pray, therefore, we use that breath to give voice to our prayers. Just as he moves us to live and work and do all good things, the Spirit joins us together with God when we pray so that “thy will be done” is our prayer in truth.

God did not hand us a puzzle when he sent us his inspired word, but we must read it in the Spirit and in proper context.

Ethan Kirl