Do you know how you can effectively create heaps of fear among believers?
Tell them there’s a sin that can’t be forgiven! As a result, people will live their entire lives thinking they are cursed because they, or their parents, might have commited the “unforgivable sin.”
Misunderstanding about the sin that can’t be forgiven has caused much confusion and fear and many secretly ask themselves:
- Have I blasphemed against the Holy Spirit?
- What if I have committed the unforgivable sin?
- How do I know that I have not sinned to a point where I cannot be forgiven?
And so, many fear that they have blasphemed the Holy Spirit and done unforgivable things, thus struggle with condemation.
God doens’t want you to live in confusion and fear. He is a God of clarity and love, therefore confusion and fear shouldn’t be part of your Grace walk.
Let’s clear up the sky by removing any clouds of confusion and doubt and bring our hearts at peace, shall we?
Jesus said, “therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men [aka “the unforgivable sin”]. (Matt. 12:31).
What exactly is the sin that can’t be forgiven – and is it possible that you’ve committed it, even unintentionally?
What the unforgivable sin is not
Let’s first have a look what the unforgivable sin is not.
Through His death and ressurection, Jesus has forgiven all of the sins of the whole world, including yours (1 John 2:2).
All of your sins – past, present and even your future sins – are forgiven. In other words, you are completely forgiven for all times. (Remember, Jesus and His work on the cross transcends time and space; it’s an “Eternal Now”- reality).
That means that there’s nothing you can do – whether good or bad – that can make you either be more forgiven or be less forgiven. You simply are forgiven.
Because all of your sins – past, present and future sins – are forgiven, the unforgivable sin is not:
- Saying a curse word, or taking God’s Name in vain or cursing Him.
- Committing suicide
- Committing murder
- Having an ungodly attitude
- Committing adultary or sexual sin
- Willful or intentional sin
- Having an ongoing struggle with sin
- Unconfessed sin or unrepented sin
- Not loving God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength
- Harboring unforgiveness in your heart
- Speaking bad about the Holy Spirit or having disrespectful thoughts about Him.
None of these are unforgivable sins because you are forgiven independent of your performance.
The unforgivable sin has nothing to do with your holiness or lack thereof.
Neither has a bad attitude or bad thoughts anything to do with this particular sin.
You are forgiven based on Jesus’ performance, not yours. (By the way, I’m not encouraging people to go out and sin, but it always sounds like it to the unrenewed mind when you preach undiluted grace).
Accusing Jesus Christ
When Jesus mentioned the unforgivable sin in Matthew 12, He was speaking to the Pharisees who rejected Him at every turn and were looking for ways to kill Him.
Some people teach that “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” refers to the sin of attributing the working of the Holy Spirit to the power of Satan since the Pharisees said,
No wonder He can cast out demons. He gets His power from Satan, the prince of demons (Matt. 12:24, NLT).
Others say that it refers to accusing Jesus Christ of being demon possessed.
However, these explanations do not hold water because Jesus has already forgiven all the sins of the whole world by one sacrifice, including unwholesome speech.
So neither attributing God’s work as the devils work, nor accusing God being a demonic maniac is an unforgivable sin since these type of sins are already forgiven.
There is only ONE unforgivable sin
Jesus said there is only one unforgivable sin, and that is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:22-32, Mark 3:22-30, Luk 12:10).
The word “blasphemy” means to slander or to speak fasely of someone. So the unforgivable sin is to slander or to speak falsely of the Holy Spirit.
To understand how we can speak falsely of Him, we must first know what is true about Him and His ministry in regards to sin.
Jesus says about the Holy Spirit, “And when He has come, He will convict the world…of sin, because they do not believe in Me“ (John 16:8-9).
Notice, it doesn’t say the Holy Spirit convicts the world of “sins” (plural). You know why? Because all of the sins of the whole word has been dealt with on the cross. Therefore, God is not holding people’s individual sins against them (2 Cor. 5:19).
Unlike we often think, God is not relating to mankind based on their individual actions, whether good or bad – God looks at the heart.
Since God doesn’t hold men’s sin against them, the Holy Spirit does not convict the world of their indiviual sins.
It says, He convicts the world of “sin” (singular). Of what sin? “Because they do not believe in Me” (verse 9) – the sin of unbelief. Who are the ones in unbelief? Unbelievers.
The singular sin the Holy Spirit convicts unbelievers of is the sin of not believing in Jesus.
All sin has already been paid for and is already forgiven by the blood of the Lamb, except the sin of rejecting Jesus. It is not a person’s many sins that sends them to hell; sin has already been paid for and is forgiven. It’s the singular sin of not believing on Jesus that sends a person to hell.
The Holy Spirit convicts unbelievers of their unbelief in Jesus and if they reject that conviction, it is a sin against the Holy Spirit which cannot be forgiven.
Unbelief in Jesus Christ is the only sin that Jesus couldn’t die for. This is the only sin that God can’t forgive. A person has to believe in Jesus to receive forgiveness….
In the next post I’ll be giving more definition to what the unforgivable sin is and answer the question if you can be in danger of committing this sin. So, more on this topic next week Tuesday; keep an eye on your e-mail inbox. Plus I’ll be sending you the video blog on this topic.
Go to part 2 by clicking here.