The Unpardonable Sin -

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Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;


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This article examines different aspects of sin from a Biblical standpoint.

I am a Sinner

Are you a sinner? Join the club. You are a member of the human race. Everyone who has ever lived has also been a sinner except Christ Jesus Himself.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

My Sins are Too Great to be Forgiven

We are all sinners, but some of us have committed far worse sins than others. Right? Have you committed a really bad sin? Adultery? Murder? Worse? ALL of the prophets in the Bible committed sin. We will look at a few examples here.

Moses committed murder.

Exo 2:11 And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. Exo 2:12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.

David knowingly and willingly committed adultery.

2Sa 11:3 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? 2Sa 11:4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.

David knowingly and willingly committed murder.

2Sa 11:14 And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 2Sa 11:15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die. 2Sa 11:16 And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were. 2Sa 11:17 And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.

As you have just read, King David committed adultery with Uriah's wife and then had Uriah murdered. To top it all off, he had Uriah deliver his own death sentence.

Paul, who was also known as Saul, persecuted Christians unmercifully, yet he wrote most of the New Testament.

Act 22:4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

Paul even stood by while Stephen was stoned to death.

Act 7:58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.

Act 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Paul admits he consented to the stoning of Stephen.

Act 22:20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.

These are just a few examples of sins committed by prophets. These examples demonstrate we can still have hope even if we have committed particularly heinous sins like these prophets did. The truth is all sins are the same before God.

Jas 2:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. Jas 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. Jas 2:11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

These verses tell us all sin is still sin. It does not matter if it is stealing, idolatry, murder, or failing to keep the Sabbath day holy. These are all sin. One sin is not worse than the others. Any sin is still failure to be obedient to God.

The Unpardonable Sin

Mat 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. Mat 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

Many people misunderstand these verses. A quick search on the internet will turn up tales of people who believe they have committed the unpardonable sin. People may believe they are damned because they had an instance in their life when they were mad at God and cussed at Him. Others may believe they are damned, no matter what they do now, because they denied God or worshiped under a false religion at some point in their life. The simple fact these folks are worried about their actions toward God is evidence God is still working with them.

We must understand the meaning of Holy Ghost in order to understand the unpardonable sin. This is the definition from Strong’s dictionary for the word Holy.


From ἅγος hagos (an awful thing) compare G53, [H2282]; sacred (physically pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated): - (most) holy (one, thing), saint.

We have the first piece of the puzzle. We learn from this definition the Holy Ghost is physically pure, morally blameless, and consecrated by God. The next piece of the puzzle will fall into place only when we understand the meaning of the word ghost. We can turn to Strong’s dictionary to get this definition also. This is the definition from Strong’s dictionary for the word ghost.


From G4154; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christs spirit, the Holy spirit: - ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind. Compare G5590.

We learn from this definition the Holy Ghost is like a current of air. It is not something we can touch or contain any more than we can touch or contain a breeze. Yet, we can feel a breeze. We comprehend the presence of a breeze when the air current caresses our face on a warm summer day. Therefore, the Holy Ghost is something we can sense, but it is not something we can grab or contain. The definition continues by telling us the ghost is a rational soul, a vital principle, a mental disposition.

We can put these two definitions together in order to understand the full definition of the phrase Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is a rational soul, a vital principle, a mental disposition which is physically pure, morally blameless, and consecrated by God. We cannot force the Holy Ghost upon ourselves any more than we can force the wind to blow across the earth. We cannot reach out and grab it. We must wait for it. The same God who causes the wind to blow across the plains of the Serengeti and the hills of Texas is the only One who can cause the Holy Ghost to caress our being. We understand the definition of the Holy Ghost. We can now turn to the book of Hebrews to better understand how these definitions apply to us.

Heb 10:15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, Heb 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; Heb 10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

This is how these definitions apply to us: God has put His laws in our hearts and minds. The Holy Ghost is the moral and ethical compass directly from God. This moral and ethical compass agrees precisely with God’s teachings in the Bible. It is soft, kind, and gentle in its urging. But, it is firm, steadfast, and unwavering in its principles. We must embrace the Holy Ghost and internalize its essence. Our first priority must be to become one with the Holy Ghost. This means we must recognize sin and not swim within its waters. Once we have overcome the water, and planted our feet firmly on the Rock, we must attempt to help others do likewise. We must not chastise those who are drowning in sinful waters, but throw out the lifeline in the hopes they will grab hold. If they grab hold, pull the rope steadfastly, but gently, with soft reminders and kind words. Pull with a firm hand, unwavering in our determination to prevent their drowning and to lead them to the Rock upon which we stand.

We now have a good definition for the Holy Ghost. Next we must understand what blasphemy is in order to understand the meaning of the warning of the unpardnable sin. The Bible is very consistent on the meaning of blasphemy.

If we go to 2 Kings Chapter 18, we are told of a great man of God named Hezekiah. The Bible tells us there was no other King of Judah who trusted the Lord as much as Hezekiah (2Ki 18:5). This same chapter tells of how the king of Assyria wanted the people of Judah to surrender to him. He told the people of Judah God would not be able to save them. He compared God to the idols worshipped by the fallen nations of his earlier conquests. He went so far as to say the people of Judah should "give pledge" to him. In other words, the King of Assyria wanted the people of Judah to choose him over God. He was placing himself in a position equal to God. Hezekiah calls this behavior blasphemy in 2 Kings 19:3. Then in 2 Kings 19:22, God, by the mouth of His prophet Isaiah, also calls this behavior blasphemy.

2Ki 19:22 Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel.

These same accounts are also recorded almost verbatim in Isaiah 37. The verses which mention blasphemy are Isaiah 37:3 and 37:23.

Jesus was accused of blasphemy in Matthew 26:65 for making the following statement.

Mat 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

We see this same scenario in the book of Mark.

Mar 14:62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Jesus is again accused of blasphemy when he forgave a man's sin.

Mar 2:7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

The definition of blasphemy is summed up in the book of John.

Joh 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

Blasphemy is not simply being angry with God and saying something foolish in a moment of rage. Blasphemy is not ignorantly partaking in a false system of worship. Blasphemy is attempting to take the place of God or attempting to make oneself equal to God.

We can put all we have learned together in order to understand the words of Christ in Matthew 12:31 and 12:32.

The Holy Ghost is a rational soul, a vital principle, a mental disposition which is physically pure, morally blameless, and consecrated by God. Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is attempting to take the place of the Holy Ghost. Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is attempting to replace the perfect, sacred, and vital principles given by God with the flawed principles of man. Blasphemy is calling these principles equal. Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is accepting the values of man in place of the physically pure and morally blameless mental disposition which is consecrated by God. These types of actions are prevelant in our society today as ideas which are contrary to God's word are passed into law by those who trust their own moral compass rather than the moral compass of God. Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is more damaging than other sins like rape and murder. The enemy knows victims of rape, and the family members of those murdered, will often call upon the LORD in their day of anguish. Hardship often brings us closer to God. The enemy does not kill a man in order to hurt the kingdom of God. The enemy teaches that man to deny God and trust in man's wisdom rather than in God's perfection. That man will then teach generation after generation the same. This is the manner in which blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is the most damaging of all sins.

That said, we have reason to believe it may be possible for even these acts to be overcome IF one repents of those actions and begins to follow God. Paul is a perfect example of this. Paul (Saul) persecuted Christians unmercifully, yet he was used by God to pen most of the New Testament

Here is the Good News

1Jn 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

There is nothing in anyone's past which cannot be forgiven, IF that person repents and begins following God. Take a look at these verses which make this point remarkably well.

Isa 59:1 Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

Paul wrote these next two verses in which he calls himself the "chief sinner" and states he was chosen in order to show God is extremely long suffering and merciful.

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 1Ti 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

These next two verses tell us to call upon the LORD. They continue by telling us God will forgive us and have mercy on us if we stop being unrighteous and wicked.

Isa 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

The next two verses tell us God will blot our sins out, as if they never existed, even if those sins are very great. These verses use the colors of scarlet, red, and crimson to symbolize blood and death. These colors, and the symbolism, go hand-in-hand with the premise of the sacrificial system where those guilty of sin deserve death but are spared and cleansed by a sacrificial lamb. The verses then use the color white to symbolize wool or a lamb. This is symbolic of Christ who is often portrayed as a lamb in the Bible. Again, this ties in with the sacrificial system where an innocent lamb was substituted for the guilt of a person. A verse which correlates well with these scriptures is John 1:29. In this verse, John the Baptist tells us Jesus is the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the whole world. This is where our hope comes from. This is the good news. Christ has substituted himself for our guilt. The symbolism of the sacrificial system has come to fruition in Christ. The entire point of the sacrificial system is to show us that Christ would forgive our sins if we simply follow Him and live righteously. God will forgive us. All we need to do is turn away from wickedness and start following Him. Our past is irrelevant if we make the choice to start following God.

Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isa 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

A Bump in the Road

Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

Some people take this verse to mean we cannot sin after we come to the knowledge of Christ. The fact is we will all sin from time to time. We can again turn to the words of Paul. He tells us he continued to sin. He states there were times when he knew he should do something, yet he did not do it, and at other times, he knew he should not do something, yet he did it anyway.

Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Paul really struggled with his human condition. He knew he was a sinner and he was sorrowful.

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Paul also knew whereby his strength originated. He drew his strength and comfort from God. This is what we all must do. We will all fall off the righteous wagon from time to time. We need to recognize it when that happens. Then we must repent. This means we should be truly sorry for our actions, and we should make a sincere and honest attempt to never do that action again. Then we must seek God. We must ask for forgiveness and go about life with the intention of not sinning again. That does not mean we will not sin again in ten minutes. It may happen, but we will handle that sin in the same manner. Repent and ask for forgiveness. This is also how God instructs us to deal with others who offend us.

Luk 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. Luk 17:4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

Would God ask us to be more merciful than He is with us? Of course not. Therefore, we can use the ideas presented in these scriptures to put our theories and doubts to the test. For example, we have just read that we are to forgive a person seven times in one day for doing any wrong against us if that person asks for forgiveness. Suppose Bob is living up to that scripture and his son curses at him. A little while later, Bob's child starts feeling very bad for what he has done. The child then returns to Bob. The child feels so guilty he cannot even look Bob in the face. He comes with his face buried in his hands, crying, and apologizes and asks for forgiveness. Bob can see the sincerity in his child's plea for forgiveness. Would Bob forgive him? Of course he would. Not only would Bob forgive the child, he would most likely hug the child and comfort him. He would also tell his son not to do that again. This is how we are told to treat each other, and this is how God will treat us. However, God is exponentially more merciful than we are. The above scripture states we should forgive a person seven times in a day. However, Christ also said we should forgive a person 7 x 70 times in Matthew 18:22. The point being we should forgive a person as many times as they ask for forgiveness. God will do no less for us if we are sincere in our efforts to live righteously.

1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Sometimes we may see others and think they must never sin. We may think we are not good enough. We may think we are not worthy to ask God for forgiveness because of things we have done. That line of thought could not be further from the truth.

Mat 9:12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. Mat 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Have a blessed day.

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Picture of a pardon request with the word denied stamped across it.