What Is the Unpardonable Sin?
In Matthew 12, Jesus talked about the unpardonable sin. Christians sometimes misconstrue His comments and end up fearful that they could commit an unforgivable offense. The context of today's passage helps us understand why that is not the case.
Christ used the power of the Holy Spirit to heal a demon-possessed man who was deaf and mute. Amazed onlookers began to suspect He was the promised Messiah (v. 22), so religious leaders tried to quell the crowd's growing excitement: they claimed the Lord was Satan's fellow worker, who had used the Devil's power to accomplish this miracle. Christ refuted their statement and in verse 32 said, "Whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him."
Jesus' comments addressed a very specific situation unique to His time. Though the Pharisees had themselves seen the Lord heal many people through the Spirit, they attributed the miraculous work to Satan. Jesus declared that this sin—claiming that God's Holy Spirit was the unclean spirit of the Devil—was unforgivable.
The sin was blasphemy, done deliberately and without repentance, by knowledgeable religious people, despite irrefutable evidence to the contrary. This situation—personally witnessing Jesus' miracles and blaspheming the Spirit—cannot be repeated today.
Numerous New Testament verses assure us that no iniquity committed today is beyond the scope of divine forgiveness. The unpardonable sin Jesus referred to was something that could take place only when He lived on earth. So if guilt threatens to overwhelm you, read Romans 8:1 with gratitude.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
Join Dr. Charles Stanley and In Touch Ministries as we intercede for our great nation. It is immensely important for believers to seriously consider where we are as a nation and understand the dangerous spiritual tide that is engulfing us. By clicking "Yes!" you are making the commitment to pray for our nation. In response to this pledge, we will be sending you a weekly e-mail to help you in this important endeavor. Each e-mail will include Scripture and prayer points to help unite us as a body of believers. There will be one e-mail per week for the 140 days, beginning July 5th.
Please click here to join this nationwide prayer effort.
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.