What is the unforgivable sin in the Bible?
If you’ve wondered what the unforgivable sin is, you’ve come to the right place. You can know what the unforgivable sin is and how to avoid it.
So, what is the unforgivable sin in the Bible? The unforgivable sin is the total and complete rejection of Jesus Christ and his atoning work at the cross.
Could you have committed the unforgivable sin without even knowing?
The Bible –God’s Word- is very clear on this. What a relief it is to know that –on this very important question- the answer is completely clear!
The unforgivable sin is the absolute rejection of Jesus Christ and the work he did at the cross in saving us from our sins. For in Christ alone is the forgiveness of sins.
According to the Bible, it’s also called the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. To reject Jesus Christ is to reject the work of the Holy Spirit in revealing the truth of Jesus Christ and his work of redemption and salvation at the cross.
Let’s dive in and unpack this.
Is there such a thing as the unforgivable sin? Have I committed the unforgivable sin? (also known as the unpardonable sin?) How would I know if I did?
Unforgivable Sin Bible Verses
“So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven”. –Jesus Christ. Matt 12:21-32, NET
And we know Jesus made good on this word because we read that Peter blasphemed when he denied Christ, but Jesus forgave him and Peter went on to become a great witness of the grace of Jesus Christ.
The apostle Paul testified that he himself was a blasphemer…
“even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I was treated with mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief, and our Lord’s grace was abundant, bringing faith and love in Christ Jesus.” 1Tim 1:13-14, NET
Sure –that was Paul-the-apostle. He was special, right? But what if we regular people blaspheme God by saying something offensive to –or about him?
You can know without any doubt if your sins are forgiven. The Bible –God’s word- tells us exactly!
God’s word promises that if you will confess your sins to him, he is faithful and just and will forgive your sins.
“But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.” 1John1:9, NET
Can you know what the unforgivable sin is? And can you avoid committing this terrible sin?
Yes! But before we go any further, let’s define the unforgivable sin -also known as the unpardonable sin. It’s called the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
What is Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit?
Mark 3:28–30: “‘Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’ — for they were saying, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’”
In this passage, Jesus is talking to unbelievers who refuse to believe in him and the miracles he is performing.
In the verses leading up to this, they are telling him it is unlawful to perform the miracle of healing on the Sabbath and accusing him of healing with demonic power.
Then the Pharisees come right out and tell Jesus he has an unclean spirit. So they are looking at the work of the Holy Spirit and calling it a demonic spirit.
In doing that, they are rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit and they are blaspheming him. Just as Saul did before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.
God Loves the Sinner
While we’re at this, let’s not forget that God loves the sinner. He knew us all before the worlds began.
He sent his son to die for us and take our place at the cross. And the Son always agrees 100% with the Father, so the son -Jesus Christ- loves us every bit as much as the Father does.
God knows everything about us whether good or bad -and he loves us thoroughly and completely! Even though he knows all the bad things as well as the good!
And we are sinners. All of us. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom 3:23.
Even though the author of that passage -Paul- also known as Saul of Tarsus- was blaspheming God, God still loved him. Isn’t that amazing -that God still loves us when we are against him? When we curse him and revile him and resist him?
That’s where Saul was. And Saul thought he was totally in the right. He thought he was doing the work of God by persecuting the church.
But Saul- a Pharisee of the Pharisees, and a student of the scriptures, was a Hebrew of the Hebrews. Yet he was still against God, because he was against what God was doing.
“If someone thinks he has good reasons to put confidence in human credentials, I have more: 5 I was circumcised on the eighth day, from the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. I lived according to the law as a Pharisee. 6 In my zeal for God I persecuted the church. According to the righteousness stipulated in the law I was blameless.” Phil 3:4b-6
Here was Saul acting against the God who loved him. So what did God do? He continued to love Saul.
And God (in the form of Jesus -the second Person of the Trinity) reached out and touched Saul and spoke to him on the road to Damascus and showed him his true and perfect will.
Can the Unforgivable Sin be Committed Today?
Are you worried you committed a great sin against God? If you are, then it’s a pretty good indication you haven’t committed the Unforgivable Sin, because people who have committed the Unforgivable Sin usually don’t care if they are doing so. It doesn’t even cross their mind.
It didn’t cross Saul’s mind either. But God still loved him enough to change his life one day on the road to Damascus.
“Meanwhile Saul, still breathing out threats to murder the Lord’s disciples, went to the high priest 2 and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, either men or women, he could bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he was going along, approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5 So he said, “Who are you, Lord?” He replied, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting!”” (Acts 9:1-5 NET)
So if you or a loved one has been living in a way that’s unpleasing to God, take heart. He loves you. And he loves the sinner. Even the one who is blaspheming him. He is always faithful to forgive. And he is always ready to find them like the shepherd who will leave the Ninety-Nine sheep to find the one that’s lost.
Even in his worst sin, Saul -whom we also know as Paul- was loved by God, and Jesus Christ himself found him just as the shepherd would.
Saul turned his heart to the God who loved him, and ended up being a great evangelist and apologist. That’s how much God loved him.
God will always take back the sinner who is willing to repent and give up doing things his way. Here are the words of the most famous Christian Evangelist of the 20th Century:
“Are you perhaps one of those who worries about having committed the unpardonable sin? If so, you should face squarely what the Bible says on this subject, not what you may have heard from others.
The unpardonable sin is rejecting the truth about Christ. It is rejecting, completely and finally, the witness of the Holy Spirit, which declares that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who alone can save us from our sins.
Have you rejected Christ in your own life, and said in your heart that what the Bible teaches about Him is a lie? Then I tell you as solemnly and as sincerely as I know how that you are in a very dangerous position.
I urge you without delay to accept the truth about Christ, and to come to humble confession and repentance and faith. It would be tragic for you to persist in your unbelief, and eventually go into eternity without hope and without God.”― Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit: Activating God’s Power in Your Life
Unforgivable Sin List
This is a short and easy list, because there is only one unforgivable sin: The constant, willful, continuous, unrelenting rejection of the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the atoning grace he earned for us all at the cross -also called the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
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