The Mailbag: What Is the Unpardonable Sin?



What is the unpardonable sin -the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit – and can a Christian, or anyone else, commit it today?

Jesus mentions the unforgiveable sin, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, in Matthew 12:31-32:

“Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”

Earlier in chapter 12, the crowd had expressed amazement at Jesus’ healing of a demon oppressed, blind and mute man, by exclaiming, “Can this be the Son of David [the Messiah]?” (23) The Pharisees, wishing to discredit Jesus, responded, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons,” (24) attributing the work of the Holy Spirit, through Jesus, to Satan.

It is is in this context that Jesus speaks in verses 31-32 about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan).

It is generally agreed upon by reputable theologians that Christians today who have been genuinely born again cannot, nor would they desire to if they could, give Satan the credit and glory for works done by God the Holy Spirit. The first resource I have listed below makes a compelling argument that no one can commit this sin today since its context was limited to the miracles done by Jesus while He was on earth.

Additional Resources:

Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit—The “Unpardonable Sin” at Apologetics Press

What is Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Can A Christian Commit it? at CARM

Blaspheming the Holy Spirit, part 2 at Grace to You

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