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I remember the first time I heard about the “unforgivable sin.” I was waiting to see my pastor, flipping through my Bible, when I came across a passage in the Gospel of Matthew.

“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.”

Matthew 12:31 (NKJV)

“Blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven,” it said. I froze. Not forgiven? My mind raced as I tried to understand this cryptic warning.

What could this terrible sin be? Why was it so unpardonable? As soon I entered his office I asked my pastor the meaning of this passage. He could see the concern on my face.

Gently, he explained that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit meant stubbornly rejecting God by attributing the Spirit’s work to evil—and that it reflected a heart so hard and cold that it refuses to recognize truth.

I exhaled in relief as he patiently answered my question. While blasphemy against the Spirit sounded like no trivial matter, I felt reassured that this “unforgivable sin” was likely not something I or most sincere Christians needed to worry about having committed. 

Still, the gravity of the warning lingered with me over the years. What could cause a heart to become so calloused it no longer recognizes the voice of God? Why would God refuse to forgive even that?

In this post, let’s explore this sobering biblical concept of blasphemy against the Spirit more deeply. What does it mean? Is it a sin Christians today can commit? And is it truly beyond forgiveness?

Unpacking this passage may illuminate for you the seriousness of stubborn rebellion—as well as the boundlessness of grace for humble hearts.

What Does the Bible Say About Sin Against the Holy Spirit?

Jesus Teaches His Disciples

The concept of an unforgivable sin comes directly from the words of Jesus in the Gospels.

Jesus spoke of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit during his ministry:

31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Matthew 12:31-32 (NIV)

Here Jesus says blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an eternal sin that will not be forgiven in this age or the age to come.

What did Jesus mean by this?

What is Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit Exactly?

Jesus Heals A Blind Man

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is directly attributing the miraculous works of the Holy Spirit through Jesus to Satan instead.

This is seen in the preceding verses:

24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” 25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.

31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

Matthew 12:24-25, 31

The religious leaders accused Jesus of operating under Satan’s power rather than the Holy Spirit’s power. Jesus declared this to be blasphemy.

Is The Unforgivable Sin Possible Today?

Is The Unforgivable Sin Possible Today

Many Christians wonder if blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is possible after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Some key considerations:

  • It is simply grieving the Spirit through ongoing unbelief and rejection of Jesus.
  • It is a bitter insult or criticism aimed at the Holy Spirit.
  • It has to do with directly attributing the Spirit’s manifest work to Satan’s power.
  • It is witnessing the Spirit’s miraculous yet rejecting it as evil.

Clearly, blasphemy against the Spirit is possible today although some Theologians believe Christians cannot commit this sin because they are already saved by trusting in Jesus.

What About To Be Forgiven of All Sins in 1 John 1:9?

Passion For Jesus

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 (NIV)

This passage promises God will forgive any confessed sin. So how can blasphemy be unforgivable?

This passage refers to the forgiveness God grants to believers through Jesus’ sacrifice. On the other hand blasphemy of the Spirit is permanently rejecting Jesus.

Is The Unpardonable Sin Rejecting Jesus Completely?

Rejecting Jesus is the unpardonable sin

The unforgivable sin today is equivalent to permanently rejecting Jesus Christ as Savior. This puts someone beyond forgiveness.

The Book of Hebrews warns against falling away from grace into such determined unbelief, saying it is impossible to be brought to repentance again. 

4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”

Hebrews 6:4-6 (NIV)

Does Grieving or Quenching the Holy Spirit Make You Unsaved?

Doubt And Uncertainty

No, but Christians can grieve and quench the Holy Spirit by the way they behave. But this is not unforgivable.

The Holy Spirit convicts believers of sin and draws them back to God through repentance and faith.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

Ephesians 4:29-31 (NIV)

Grieving the Spirit is not the same as eternal blasphemy against the Spirit, which is more about how someone responds to the Spirit’s conviction before becoming a Christian.

Can a Christian Commit This Sin?

Can a Christian Commit This Sin?

Most theologians argue that a genuinely saved Christian cannot commit this sin.

Why not? Because they have already received the Holy Spirit, not rejected Him:

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.

Romans 8:9 (NIV)

Christians are said to have eternal life and the Holy Spirit dwelling within. They belong to Christ forever.

So What About Hebrews 10:26 on Deliberate Sin?

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”

Hebrews 10:26-27 (NIV)

This passage is a sobering warning against deliberately sinning and falling away. It can make Christians afraid they may have committed blasphemy through willful, unrepentant patterns of sin. 

However, as long as Christians respond to the Holy Spirit’s conviction and confess their sins they still have the opportunity for repentance and forgiveness.

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 (NIV)

How Do I Know if I’ve Committed the Unforgivable Sin?

Have You Committed the Unforgivable Sin?

You may have not committed this sin if:

  • You’re worried you have since it’s unpardonable.
  • You still desire God, pray to Him, and read the Bible.
  • You hate your sin and have godly sorrow leading to repentance.
  • You affirm Jesus as Lord and desire to obey Him.

Such spiritual conviction and response show the Holy Spirit is still dynamically at work in you.

Key Takeaways on the Unforgivable Sin

  • The unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit by attributing Jesus’ miracles to Satan.
  • It is also rejecting Jesus as Savior.
  • Christians cannot commit this sin as they have already received the Holy Spirit.
  • Grieving the Holy Spirit through sin as a believer is not the same as blasphemy against the Spirit.
  • If worried about it, take heart, for no fully hardened unbeliever cares about being forgiven.


I hope this overview helps explain this controversial topic. The unforgivable sin involves adamantly rejecting the Spirit’s testimony of Christ as evil, not just resisting or grieving the Spirit as a believer.

Take comfort if you have godly sorrow and still affirm Jesus as Lord. The Holy Spirit remains at work in you producing repentance and faith.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What if I insulted the Holy Spirit in anger one time? Unforgivable?

A: No. As long as you have genuinely repented you can receive forgiveness through the blood of Jesus.

Q: I have OCD – how can I stop obsessively worrying I committed this sin?

A: Ask yourself what the worry reveals. If you still care about God and your relationship with Him have faith that He will continue working in you.

Q: Are there any examples in the Bible of Christians who committed the unforgivable sin?

A: No. The characteristics of true believers are not those who would commit this sin.

Q: If I’m afraid I committed this sin, do I still have the Holy Spirit in me?

A: Yes, your sensitivity to sin and desire for God’s forgiveness are clear signs of the Spirit actively convicting you. He has not abandoned you.

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