James K. Bridges
It is sobering
to realize that the One who introduced the subject of
a sin that can never be pardoned is the only Person in
the world who is capable of forgiving sin our Lord
Jesus Christ, the Savior of all men.
12:31,32, the Lord Jesus declared that "blasphemy
or speaking profanely against the Holy Spirit" is
the sin for which there was neither forgiveness in this
world or the world to come. Thus, whoever is guilty of
committing such a sin is "subject to eternal condemnation"
(Mark 3:29, NKJV).
It is vital
that we understand the role of the Holy Spirit in Gods
plan of salvation in order to grasp the Saviors
meaning of how one sins against the Holy Spirit. Only
through the ministry of the Holy Spirit can a person know
conviction of sin (John 16:8), be drawn to God (John 6:44;
Revelation 22:17), and receive a revelation of the saving
work of the cross of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:18; 2:14).
Those who deliberately
reject the only means by which Gods grace is mediated
to lost sinners remove themselves from the only source
of pardon provided by divine mercy. When Christ is willfully
rejected, the Scripture states, "There no longer
remains a sacrifice for sins" (Hebrews 10:26). Such
a sin is called unpardonable because the basis for pardon
has been rejected.
the Holy Spirit is described as "insulting the Spirit
of grace" (Hebrews 10:29). For when a person with
full understanding of what he or she is doing "tramples
the Son of God underfoot, and counts the blood of the
covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing,"
the Holy Spirit is denied the opportunity to administer
the grace and pardon of Christ.
unpardonable sin, J. Oswald Sanders wrote in his Bible
Studies in Matthews Gospel: "These things
should be noted: (1) It is a calculated sin, not one of
impulse. (2) It is a sin of knowledge, not ignorance,
but a sin against spiritual knowledge and light (Hebrews
10:26,32). (3) It is not an isolated act but a habitual
attitude. (4) It is a sin of the heart, not merely of
the intellect or the tongue. (5) It is a sin of finality
complete rejection of Christ." The harsh term
"blasphemy" indicates a deliberate and godless
rejection of the saving power and grace of God.
the devil has led some people to believe they have committed
the unpardonable sin. People who are fearful they have
committed such a sin would do well to heed the words of
William Barclay: "The person who cannot have committed
the sin against the Holy Spirit is the person who fears
he/she has, for the sin against the Holy Spirit can be
truly described as the loss of all sense of sin"
(The Gospel of Matthew, Volume 2, p.50). The capacity
to have concern regarding whether or not one has committed
the unpardonable sin is a certain indicator the person
has not done so.
K. Bridges is general treasurer for the Assemblies of