Rejecting the Spirit = Rejecting Christ

Some Cessationists have supported their stance by saying that Charismatics/Pentecostals are “Spirit-centred” instead of “Christ-centred”. Apart from this NOT being scriptural evidence for their theology*, can anyone truly be “Christ centred” if they create a division between Christ and the Spirit as if there’s a possibility of an either/or situation? As if anyone can be Christ centred without giving the Holy Spirit the recognition given to Him by Jesus?

I am wondering why Jesus said this:

“…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.”

Why can speaking against Jesus be forgiven but not blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?
What kind of importance does JESUS place on the Holy Spirit in that statement?

If we reject the Spirit and His continuing work (including His gifts) then aren’t we also rejecting the Jesus who promised to send the Spirit as well as rejecting the Father who sends Him in Jesus’ name?


* Whether Spiritual gifts continue to be valid or not should not be determined through judgement of the actions or beliefs of any group. The validity of ALL doctrinal viewpoints should be determined through reference to the scriptures.

5 thoughts on “Rejecting the Spirit = Rejecting Christ

  1. Hi, Tim:

    You’ve highlighted another DEEP problem of “cessationism,” I think. That in essence, that teaching calls into question the unity of our God, as well as the authority of His word (and Word).

    Absolutely agree in your observation.

    In Jesus, Steve

  2. Hi Steve,
    I find that cessationism denies the revelation that Jesus gave of the Spirit and His role in the lives of believers. By pushing aside and denying the need of the ongoing work of the Spirit and His gifts, people are effectively saying they don’t need what Jesus promised and provided.

    I think the unity of God gets underestimated/overlooked by those who tend to focus on trinitarianism. One of the objections John MacArthur raises against the charismatic/pentecostal “movement” is the way it allegedly tolerates adherents to “oneness” doctrines.

    If we need to use non-biblical terminology to try to describe God’s nature, I think I prefer the term “triunity”. It captures aspects that both “trinity” and “oneness” miss when they are put in opposition to each other.

  3. Jesus said, to someone inquiring of him, that a Jewish person in HIS time could and should know that any person must be born again (of the Spirit) to approach the kingdom of God. This tells me that the Holy Spirit is at least perceptible to and maybe available to people who are not what would now be defined as Christian. I think there are a lot of people in our current world who are not blaspheming the Holy Spirit and are open to the Holy Spirit and aren’t running around bragging about how Christian they are if Christian at all or decisively so (while, contrapositively, there are Christians going about blaspheming and grieving the Holy Spirit). I don’t know that rejecting the Holy Spirit is exactly the same thing as rejecting Christ, Jesus (to be specific). But it works out to be effectively the same at some point. The direction goes something like Interest in truth and love > Perception of truth and sacredness and the Holy Spirit/love > Embracing of truth and love and what is sacred > Recognition of Jesus and the Holy Spirit as of God… [oh, and continued interest in truth and love and that which is sacred].

  4. If we reject the validity of the continuing ministry of the Spirit, then we are rejecting the One who promised the Spirit’s coming and the One who gives the Spirit. By denying the continuing need for Spiritual gifts we say we can get along fine by our own strength and talents; that we don’t need what God promised and what God gives to equip us for service.

  5. Yes, I agree. Also, though, it seems often that people who talk about an imperative for majoring on Christ rather than the Spirit (a false contrast when we really need both) have a hard time recognizing or allowing for the work of the Spirit or even presentation or perceptibility of the Spirit before a person has said they are putting their faith in Jesus. If a person is pushed to just say some words or die eternally (because, it is imagined by the evangelist, the evangelist telling the person to do so is all that is needed) or if someone vexes the Spirit (such that truth is something he/she is already pushing away before he/she hears of the life/death/etc. of Jesus) instead of welcoming truth and love as these are found, it seems to me the evangelist and the potential seeker are each leaving the Holy Spirit behind and out. On the other hand, if respecting both truth and the living Spirit are part of the path to Jesus, then I think there is more continued respect thereafter as well. This may be so either as a continuous reality of experience or as something that can likely thereby dawn on the new believer with time and study and prayer and so forth.

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