What is the unpardonable sin, the unforgivable sin, or blasphemy of the holy spirit.

The Unpardonable Sin, what it is, what it is not

The bible mentions that there is an “unpardonable sin”, so what is it? All sin is pardonable according to the principal that the cross of Jesus was a Holy life given for our life time of sins. So there is technically no one sin that is unpardonable (Heb 9:27-28, 1Jn 5:16, 1Jn 1:7-9, 1Jn 2:1-2, Mat 18:21-22, Jas 5:19-20). However there is according to the bible an unpardonable sin. So what is it? The Pharisees in the bible called Jesus miracles a devil, and Jesus said “But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.” Note even Jesus stated that although they were committing the unpardonable sin, they were only in danger of it being unforgivable. The unpardonable sin is linked to denying God’s Spirit, whether it be a miracle performed by God, or denying His written word. Why do people deny things of God, so they can continue to live in sin (Jn 8:42-44).

To understand this sin, we first need to discuss what salvation is. Salvation is not of works but of faith in Jesus substitutional death and resurrection for us (Rom 3:24, Rom 11:6, Gal 5:13), the word faith being similar to trust. We are not saved by perfectly following every command (Gal2:16, Gal 2:21), we are saved by the blood of Jesus that was shed as a sacrifice for us on the cross (Rom 5:1, Rom 5:9, Gal 3:11, Gal 3:24 ), and when we trust in that sacrifice we are saved. Even though there may be times we doubt our worthiness (1 Jn 3:20), God still knows us, and has promised to never leave or forsake us when we call to him (Jn 6:37). The blood that Jesus shed is His life given for our lifetime of sins (Heb 9:27-28), while we are not physically dead we can be forgiven by this sacrifice (1Jn 5:16), once we are physically dead there is no forgiveness if we have at our end denied Christ, but if we still believe in Jesus at our death, and apply it to our lives we will be saved. Basically while we still live there is hope for salvation and forgiveness.

If sin is covered by the blood by our faith, then the only unpardonable sin is a lack of faith, or the final abandonment of faith, no longer having a shred of belief, or believing but not being willing to come to Jesus for salvation. Basically no longer believing in Jesus, at that point of total and final denial we are no longer saved and have committed the unpardonable sin, while we can believe that Jesus can forgive us we have not committed the sin. We will latter discuss how a lack of faith is related to denying the works of the Spirit, for which the Pharisees were derided. As an example of what this sin is and is not, we may have even gone through a time of unbelief not believing the cross saves us after being saved but that is not the unpardonable sin (Jas 5:19-20), if we can still see the cross at any point we can be saved. The unpardonable sin would be if we refuse to believe Jesus will forgive us, when he is showing us we can be saved, an active not passive form of unbelief. Now we need to explain how a person actually loses faith.

The Pharisees were warned about committing the unpardonable sin due to their denial of the clear working of the Holy Spirit. They were not just in unbelief, they were clearly denying a powerful act of God, which incidentally leads to unbelief and blindness as we shall see latter on. Jesus said many times in the bible that the reason why people deny the Spirits working was so they could continue to live in sin. I believe the pathway to the unpardonable sin is a persistent denial of the voice of the Holy Spirit, or to deny an act so powerful of the Holy Spirit that God gives us over to total Spiritual blindness and ultimately death. Every time we deny the correction or voice of the Holy Spirit we are opening ourselves up for failure. So how does this blindness occur?

The bible says whoever we submit ourselves to we become their slaves. Sin leading to death, or obedience leading to life (Rom 6:16). Every time we deliberately sin we are submitting ourselves to bondage, the devil is the father of lies, when we submit to sin we give our self to one of his lying spirits, which has the potential to harden our heart (1 Ti 4:1-2). God actually allows this to happen, he hardens the sinner, and frees the righteous (2 Th 2:11). A person who is undergoing hardening, may complain a lot against God, have doubts, fears, etc. The only way for the heart to be softened is for them to return to obedience. Note not all complaint is based upon sin, but it is a symptom of sinning. But back to wilful sinning, a person may be punished temporarily for their sin, but God will attempt to restore them to obedience and blessing (Job 33:27), however if they refuse they will die without knowledge (Job 36:12). They key to this whole thing is the fact that a person who commits the unpardonable sin(s) will die without knowledge. Their faith will have been drained, they no longer believe. While you can still believe in Jesus you can be restored.

There are people alive today who have committed the unpardonable sin, some were Christians, and some were never saved. But their heart is too hard to be restored. But remember Jesus could forgive them, He just chooses not to. The bible says of these people, God waited patiently for them to repent for a long time, but they refused so now they are damned (Rom 9:21-22). Judas was this kind of person, when Jesus called him as a disciple, Jesus said of him, “One of you is a devil”, Judas was already debase, so God used him for a debase purpose.

But let’s return to the facts, the cross covers all sins, your whole life time of sins. If you can perceive this you can be saved. Just repent, return to God.

Have I comitted blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

From time to time a person may think that they have committed a sin that is unpardonable, or that they have blasphemed the Holy Spirit but is it actually scriptural. First I will show the most common reasons people feel they have committed unpardonable sin, and show that really there is no basis for this for a person who desires repentance. There are two ways the devil will try to convince a person they have committed sin that God will not forgive.

The first method is by using the following scriptures. Which although are in separate books of the bible they are identical passages, it is the same story written by different authors. The verses say:

Mat 12:31-32 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
Mar 3:28-30 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.

So how does the devil use this verse? Firstly he will try to get a person to say something negative about God or in a time of sin will cause a person to speak something defamatory against God or the Holy Spirit. He will then put pressure on the person through feelings of anxiety that they have been separated from God and are no longer saved, and can not be forgiven.

We will discuss latter that all sins can be forgiven, and proove from scripture that sin is forgivable. But for now we will discuss what these verses were referring to. You will notice Mark says what the sin is that the Pharisees are committing. After seeing Jesus perform a miracle they said that Jesus had performed the miracle by the working of satanic power. They were calling Jesus a devil for performing miracles. Notice that although Jesus said it is unforgivable to speak in this way against God, he closed the passage with the following statement:

But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.

Notice the passage said the person was in danger of eternal damnation. Being in danger of falling off a cliff does not kill you; it is only if you fall off that you die. Jesus said that those who were blaspheming the Holy Spirit were not damned but were only in danger of hell. The reason for this is if they repented of their sin, realised Jesus was from God, they could have forgiveness. It was only their current state of unbelief that was unforgivable. God will only offer so much proof, if we deny the proof he offers we may find we are in danger of hell. But if you have just spoken a word against God, it is nothing at all, it is just the devil lying to you to keep you from blessing, God has already forgiven you. The next section discusses other verses that casue fear, if this is not relevant to you skip the section, but don't leave before reading the biblicl evidence that all sin is forgivable below.

Hebrews 6:4-6 is there no repentance available

So what are the other scary verses? Hebrew 6 is one of the most feared. The devil uses this verse by getting a person to believe that if they sin they are abandoning faith, he will say “If you sin you will no longer be a Christian”, when he knows full well you intend to sin, or are too weak to resist sin. So what is the verse:

Hebrews 6:4-6 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

So that sounds quite scary to a genuine Christian who may have fallen into a sin, or gone back to an old sin. They may well think I have fallen away, I have blasphemed the Holy Spirit and it is as Hebrews says now “Impossible”, to be “bought back to repentance”. However the actual problem with this thinking comes from the idea that the verse is actually meaning that they are currently “crucifying the Son of God all over again”. This thinking would mean that in order for the person to have out sinned God, Jesus sacrifice is no longer there. But how far does it stretch? Only one sin, two sins, no sins, only sins before receiving the Holy Spirit? The latter is often peoples fear, i.e. “I have once been enlightened”, now they feel cut off. But we will actually start with Hebrews to show that the idea that Jesus sacrifice is limited to a few sins or one almighty sin is flawed.

Bible Verses that Prove God's Forgivness is Unconditional, and Unlimited

Heb 9:27-28 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people;

So what did that just say, man dies once, so in like manner Jesus dies once. So from my rendering that is a life for a life, one life time of sins for one sacrifice. We don’t face judgment until after we die. A further verse that supports the idea that sin is covered for a life time is the following

1Jn 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

Note that Paul says that any sin that is not taken to the grave is forgivable, we are just not to pray for peoples sins once they die. It means that if God has left us alive he is seeking eternal life for us, he wants us restored. We are to pray for life for the sinning believer while they live. It is only if you die in sin that it is too late.

How forgivable is sin, and once we receive the Holy Spirit are we a super being incapable of sinning? First we must go to a verse directed to those who HAD received the Holy Spirit and it says:

1Jn 1:7-9 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

So firstly he said “if we claim to be with out sin”, or the devil tells you were 100% with out sin, and have now stuffed up, we should quote that verse, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” but what else does it say God is “is faithful and just and will forgive”, and to forgive “all sin”. Faithfulness means a person sticks by us even when we don’t do the right thing. Justice is doing what is fair. God sees it as fair to forgive a person seeking repentance, to deny a person the right to forgiveness is unfair, but note God is both faithful and just. And furthermore what of the verse below:

1Jn 2:1-2 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

But if anyone does sin, we have one who speaks in our defence, so Jesus is actually defending you. Note he is the sacrifice for “our sins”, not just the unbelievers sins. So a Christian can sin and be justified. Remember what Jesus said to his disciples when they asked how many times their brother could sin and still be forgiven.

Mat 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times”.

The above verse means infinitely, all the time. When a brother in Christ wants repentance God said “forgive them”. God does the same with any sin he forgives when ever we ask.

And what about the book of James, referring to Christians who have gone back to sin:

Jas 5:19-20 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

So if some one moves away from God, wanders into error, and sin they can be bought back to repentance. Also the bible says in Ezekiel

Eze 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
Eze 18:31-32 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!

What God, does not delight in the death of anyone, so he is not delighting in sinners perishing. He says “Why will you die?”, there is no need to die, all we need to do is repent, change our thinking, and we will have life. Again he says:

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

So if we confess our sin, it is pardonable, why well the sacrifice of Jesus is available today. Why well God is “faithful and just”, “not willing that anyone perish”, taking “no pleasure in the death of anyone”. But remember it is a life for a life, once for all sin, in the same way it is appointed for man to die once and face the judgment. Jesus death only paid for this life’s sins, if we don’t repent before we die, there is no sacrifice for eternal sin, Jesus died in the flesh, not the Spirit, he did not suffer hell for us, only death in the body. But hey don’t be scared if you are alive and reading this there is no problem. The only sin that will kill you is totally unrepentant sin, not willing to come back for forgiveness no matter what God says, and if you have that sort you are probably not even interested in reading this page. God is not unjust, he is faithful. Ask God to restore his relationship with you, and he will not cast you out. You will be saved. I will finish with a verse and an idea, the bible says:

Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Just think for a moment, I am an earthly father and I have a son, do you think that if my son spoke something bad against me, or even said "I no longer want you as my father", would I cease to have compassion on him. I would certainly still love him. God says that he is kinder than us, more loving, not less loving. He even calls our love in comparison to his evil. The bible says "how much more", will the Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him. Ask God for his Spirit, and he will give it, he certainly won't deny you salvation based upon any decision you have made, it is His faithfulness and love that keeps us secure not our past.

Other Topics

For links to other topics see links below.

Know God for Yourself

Christian Doctrines and Messages


Other Topics

External Sites

copyright © 2013 | Robert Palmer | Contact futureandahope7@gmail.com