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Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and the Unforgivable Sin

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What does it mean to “blaspheme the Holy Spirit”? I overheard some people at church talking about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and calling it the unforgivable sin. But I didn’t think there was any sin that God couldn’t forgive! I’m scared I committed this terrible sin without knowing.

Before anything else, we want to assure you: If you’re worried that you might have committed the sin of “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit,” then you haven’t.

We’re glad for the chance to explain.

What is “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit”?

The sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit is essentially the sin of rejecting Christ.

By continually rejecting God’s free gift of salvation in Jesus, a sinner sears his conscience (ignores the voice of the Holy Spirit) and stiffens his neck. Eventually, he gets to the place where genuine repentance is no longer possible.

This stubborn and unrepentant attitude — persistent self-hardening — is the chief mark of true blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

That’s why we feel certain that you can’t possibly be guilty of this sin. If you’re afraid that you may have offended God without realizing it, your heart is obviously in the right place.

Context is key

Jesus’ statement about this “unpardonable sin” came as He was speaking specifically about the grumblings of the scribes and Pharisees.

After witnessing the power of Christ in the healing of a demon-possessed man, these religious leaders made comments like, “It is only by Beelzebul,” or “By the prince of demons he casts out the demons” (Matthew 12:22-24 and Mark 3:22).

Basically, the scribes and Pharisees were rejecting the grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ. They were rejecting it by attributing Jesus’ works to the power of the devil. They weren’t just doubting or even denying the truth. Instead, they were wickedly contradicting what they had seen with their own eyes.

The writer to the Hebrews might have been thinking of the scribes and Pharisees when he spoke about those who have “trampled underfoot the Son of God  … and outraged the Spirit of grace” (Hebrews 10:29, ESV).

Their proud and high-minded attitude was exactly the opposite of yours.

Would you like to talk more? Call us for a free over-the-phone consultation. We have a staff of licensed or pastoral counselors who’d be glad to speak with you. In the meantime, you might like to dig into the resources listed here.


If a title is currently unavailable through Focus on the Family, we encourage you to use another retailer.

What Every Christian Ought to Know Day by Day: Essential Truths for Growing Your Faith

The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters

Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know

Mere Christianity

Basic Christianity

What the Bible Teaches: The Truths of the Bible Made Plain, Simple, and Understandable

Tame Your Fears: And Transform Them Into Faith, Confidence, and Action

Christian Research Institute

Insight for Living

Lee Strobel

Becoming a Christian

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