For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” – Romans 2:24
The Bible isn’t short on naming sins. You can find lists of sins in more than one place like in Romans 1:29-31 and Galatians 5:19-21. These and other lists reads like it could have come from any modern newspaper describing the happenings of any typical news cycle.
“They are full of every kind of sin, evil and ungodliness. They want more than they need. They commit murder. They want what belongs to other people. They fight and cheat. They hate others. They say mean things about other people. They tell lies about them. They hate God. They are rude and proud. They brag. They think of new ways to do evil. They don’t obey their parents. They are foolish. They can’t be trusted. They are not loving and kind.” – Romans 1:29-31 NIRV
There is one sin though that even many Christians are confused about and yet is just as serious as any mentioned above. It’s the sin of blasphemy. Blasphemy is commonly understood to be claiming to be God. Jesus was accused of this sin when he forgave people of their sins. In Jesus’ case, since he was God, it really wasn’t blasphemy but the Jewish leaders didn’t believe in him so they accused him of this sin. For years I thought this definition was the only one that could be applied to blasphemy but after researching it a while back I realized that the sin of blasphemy covers much more than this narrow definition.
Blasphemy includes some surprising things…
Blasphemy includes all actions and words that end up causing people to have the wrong idea about God including his power and majesty. Paul warned that many Jews were giving Gentiles the wrong idea about God and so were guilty of blasphemy (Rom. 2:24). Wives are warned in Titus 2:5 to live righteous lives so that God’s word won’t be blasphemed. Persecuting Christians is considered blasphemy (1 Timothy 1:13). Contradicting the truth as found in the word of God is considered blasphemy (Acts 13:45). So all actions and words or for that matter lack of action when merited or lack of words when needed would be considered blasphemy. We don’t have the liberty and freedom to change the truth where it pleases us or to ignore plain truth when it is inconvenient. When we do so we give God a bad name. This is therefore considered blasphemy.
Are you starting to get the picture that we have all been guilty of blasphemy at one time or another?
Getting Free of Blasphemy
Ok, so we have all committed blasphemy at one time or another. How can we avoid committing blasphemy in the future? Here are a few suggestions.
- Avoid Hypocrisy – Learn to be authentic. Live fully in the truth God has revealed to you and don’t hold back anything that is good.
- Speak Kindly – You’ve heard it said, “If you don’t have anything good to say, say nothing at all.” Good advice for all of us. James tells us that if we don’t have control over our tongue our religion is worthless. (James 1:26)
- Memorize Scripture – Your mind abhors a vacuum. If you aren’t intentional about filling it with good thoughts it will get filled with evil thoughts. The best thing you can think about are Bible verses. (See Philippians 4:8)
- Pray – God is the one who will help you do what he expects of you. Of ourselves we have no ability to do good. We all need supernatural help.
So what about you? Does anything of what we have talked about here ring true to you? Any surprises? I’d love to know your view on this important topic.