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The DEEP

There is an Unforgiveable Sin

You can make some whoppers of a mistake without crossing this line though.

Luke 12:8-12 (ESV)

“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

Jesus makes a distinction here that isn’t easy to sort out. Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Also, the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

So, speaking a word against the Son of Man is forgivable, but denying Him isn’t. Also, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit isn’t forgivable. It seems that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and denying Christ are related, if not equivalent. But what about Peter’s denial?

But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. – Luke 22:57-60

Note that Peter’s denial is about whether he was with Jesus, not about who Jesus is. It’s a lie, but it doesn’t blaspheme anything. It isn’t an unforgivable sin because he’s not denying Christ in the sense of verse 9 here.

The topic of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is way too long for a daily devotional. There are too many references to even list them all.

But they all point to getting good and evil backwards – calling Holy things evil and evil things good. It makes sense that this would be a fatal error since it’s aligning with the other side.

We all make mistakes, but that’s a far cry from seeing the world through enemy eyes.


We usually don’t need to concern ourselves with blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. It’s pretty extraordinary, and it’s not our job to judge someone’s spiritual state anyway. Non-Christians can be aggressively nasty, but they usually don’t even know enough to commit blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

Still, we need to be sensitive about how open someone is to the gospel. If they make it clear that they’re not interested, you should take the hint. Pre-evangelism is important too.

You can be an excellent witness for Christ without being a recruiter.


The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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