The “Unforgivable Sin”
Mt. 12:31-32; Mark 3:29; Luke 12:10
Matthew 12:31-32 (NIV) And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 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.
Do you know someone who is concerned that they have committed the ‘unforgivable sin’ or know someone who thinks they have? No need to live in fear.
The context of this verse is Jesus exorcising a demon and declaring that the Kingdom of God has come in Him. However, the Pharisees declare Jesus is casting out demons not by the Holy Spirit but by Satan himself. Jesus goes on and states that every sin against him will be forgiven. This is a bit of hyperbole in that sins against him that are not repented of are not forgiven. Jesus is saying he is more than ready to forgive any sin when on comes in confession and repentance, e.g., Peter and Saul/Paul.
The ‘unforgivable sin’ is against the Holy Spirt in this; God sends his Spirit to illumine darkened minds with the knowledge of salvation in Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who works to turn the hardened hearts of unfaithful and rebellious people to God through faith and repentance.
Blasphemy is when one attributes the work and actions of God to Satan and demons. It is calling Jesus a liar and the Father who sent Him and whose will he is doing, a liar. So the sin of blasphemy is against the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, because it claims His working is really that of Satan and Jesus is not the Messiah.
This sin is not one that can never be forgiven as noted above with Peter and Saul/Paul. They both denied Jesus, their association with him and Saul (Paul) killed His followers. However, they both came to repentance and were saved and forgiven. The Pharisees and Sadducees and people today who continue in the sin of blasphemy – who continue to resist and reject the Spirit’s call to repent, who attribute the Spirits word to that of darkness and refuse to place their faith in Christ, will one day become unresponsive to the Holy Spirit and to the Word of God to where recognizing sin becomes impossible. Also when one continues in unbelief (rejecting Christ and His salvation) until their death, there remains no longer an opportunity to be forgiven.
One important note to those who are worried or fearful they or someone they love are guilty of the ‘unforgivable sin,’ their fear and worry is a clear indication they haven’t since they feel guilt. It is not one act of blasphemy or sin that keeps one out of heaven but a continued denial and rejection of Christ.
By the Way:
Wednesday 15, 6:30 Bible Study Lutheranism 101 chapter 27.
Sunday 19, 9:00 AM Morning Worship. Sermon: Superseding Love Matthew 5:43-48
Sunday school at 10:30.
Reception of new members February 26. Coffee and SS follows.
—Pastor Bob Snitzer
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