BlasphemyBro. David Chancellor
11/13/2005 11:00 AM
1 Timothy 1:12-16
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
Paul was expressing how God had mercy on him, and how it made him a pattern for others of what God can do. Paul said he had been a blasphemer. What is a blasphemer? A person who speaks disrespectfully of sacred things. It is wonderful to think that God would forgive someone who was this way. To blaspheme is to speak of or address with irreverence, to revile or abuse. Paul had caused people to go against something that they had stood for, and to speak against Christ. No doubt it always stayed with him, especially when Jesus forgave him.
Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witnesses against Jesus, to put him to death; But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses. And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
Jesus was accused of being a blasphemer. Part of the definition is “claiming the attributes of deity.” Jesus came as the Son of God. The Jews are still looking for the Messiah. No matter who the Messiah could have been, he still would have had to answer this question as Jesus answered it. If anyone else had said what Jesus said, it would have been blasphemy, but since Jesus is the Son of God, it wasn’t.
And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
The word “blasphemy” is found many times in Revelation. It seems that there is a point being made about blasphemy in this book. Because of this, we want to understand what blasphemy is. There are two things to consider: 1) Speaking irreverently of God, 2) Claiming attributes of the deity.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
This speaks of man taking to himself the attributes of deity. The pope and his subordinates take the position of being able to forgive sins. That power is not given to man, to forgive sins on the behalf of God. Christ doesn’t need a vicar - he hasn’t given his power to others. He can do his job himself. He is doing it today and because of this, he needs no vicar. His place is not our place. His work is his; our work is to point others to him. Taking on the attributes and the position of God is blasphemy. We’re in a spiritual battle, but God has not called us to revile, abuse, despise or be derogatory towards others. We’re to show forth the goodness of God. We’re not here to do what is mean, evil and wrong, but to lift up God.
I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
In a natural way, we are not Jews. This isn’t talking about outward nationality. It is saying that it is blasphemy to be a hypocrite - to claim to be a Christian and not be one. This means that we should be very careful about what we claim, and should stay clear with God. If there is something between God and you, you need to acknowledge that. Don’t claim to be a Christian if you’re not one.
1 Timothy 6:1
Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
If we would claim to be a child of God, we need to live like a child of God. If a servant found God and then was disrespectful and unruly, it would bring a bad report on Christianity. People that work need to live like Christians so as not to bring a bad report on Christ. Bringing dishonor on the name of God is blasphemy. This happens when you claim him, but don’t maintain good works. We should be very careful not to bring reproach to God’s name. Be careful in how you live not to cause his name to be despised. Get the Spirit of God within you to help you live right.
And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
Blasphemy comes from within and defiles the man. Paul was forgiven, even though he was a blasphemer. If a person discovers they are a blasphemer, there is forgiveness in Jesus. Jesus calls even that one to himself. He wants the hypocrite to find the real experience. He wants everyone to praise his name and lift him up.
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience: in the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
He wants us to put off blasphemy, or irreverent speaking, and work on honoring God. If we would live for God, we need a pure life that honors him. We don’t want to speak in a way that would revile or abuse. God isn’t honored by a life that harms others. Paul experienced the blasphemy of others after God saved him, but his experience helped him to show compassion to those that hurt him. Live a life that Jesus shines through. Honor God; he’s made you what you are. You’re his ambassador. Lift him up and bring honor to his name. Make sure that he gets the honor that belongs to him. Testify of his goodness and be true and faithful to him.