save yourself

Save yourself?

Romans 2:24

For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” – Romans 2:24

The contemporary use of the word blaspheme means to speak irreverently about God or sacred things. The Greek word blasphēmeō means to speak reproachfully, to revile, to criticise with anger or to speak evil of. The passage in Isaiah where Paul quotes from says:

Now therefore what have I here,” declares the LORD, “seeing that my people are taken away for nothing? Their rulers wail,” declares the LORD, “and continually all the day my name is despised. – Isaiah 52:5

So the translation of this verse could say “the name of God is despised, spoken evil of, reproached because of you”. Isn’t this what happens when a church is seen as hypocritical? People say “I don’t believe in God because the church is full of hypocrites”. Instead of being seen as the light of the world, a place of refuge and strength when things around us are in turmoil and are fragile, the name of God is criticised and despised because believers do not live out the message they proclaim. The Greek same word was translated as “railed at” in this verse:

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” – Luke 23:39

The criminal was saying “if you are God save yourself and me”. The same thing the Pharisees said to Jesus (Luke 23:35). The same thing Satan said during the temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4:9-11). “Save yourself” and yet that was the very thing the Jesus was determined not to do. He freely lay down His life that we might be saved.

15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.
18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” – John 10:15-18

This is why when Jesus said:

And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. – Luke 12:10

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is speaking reproachfully against the very power and nature of God that desires to save us. Saying that the sacrifice of Jesus is not enough to save me but I will save myself. Sadly that is the lie of Satan that has resounded through history. “Save yourself”. The reality is that we can’t save ourselves. But, the good news is that the blood of Jesus can save us from the wrath of God.




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