Perspectives Column - November 29, 2023 - The Pardonable Sin

All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men:

but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men.

~Matthew 12.31



Our naturally curious and guilty minds read these words of our Lord and are immediately drawn to the unpardonable sin, “What is it and have I done it?” We know that it is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, but what is that? Blasphemy is slandering or speaking ill of someone, so blasphemy against the Spirit of God would be to peak slanderously against the Spirit of God, accusing Him of wickedness or some such thing.


In my opinion, blasphemy against the Spirit of God was possible only during the natural lifetime of the Lord Jesus. It cannot even be committed in our day. Consider the context of our Lord’s words: The Lord was constantly doing miraculous works which fulfilled OT prophesies concerning Messiah. Moreover, according to Luke 4.18, 19, He did these works, not by His own Divine power, but by the power of the Spirit of God. In response to these obvious messianic, Spirit-empowered works, some claimed Christ’s miracles to be the work of “Beelzebub the prince of the devils” (v.24). This was as willful an act of unbelief as one could imagine – a revelation of such a hatred for God and His Christ that it would move someone to attribute wonderful, miraculous, works of the Spirit of God to the devil, himself.


But let us not allow our curiosity over something not clearly defined in the Bible to hide from us a much more glorious truth.  Read those blessed words again, “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men…”   In the list of unpardonable sins there is only one; but in the list of pardonable sins the list goes on and on. 


If you are concerned about your sin and the forgiveness of it, you need not fear that you are guilty of the unpardonable sin. Those to whom that word of judgment was directed had no sense of the need for pardon.  But you who feel the need for pardon may cling to the glorious truth declared at the beginning of the verse, “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men.” No matter the nature of your sin, it may be pardoned, for “all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men.”  


Do you feel your sin is unpardonable because it is so corrupt and vile?  “Maybe the Lord would forgive lesser sins than mine,” you think, “but surely sins so wretched as those chargeable to me are beyond the scope the Divine promise.”  Ah, read it again, “All manner of sin…” 


Is there a guilt upon you that you dare not bring before the Lord for fear He would not forgive it?  With this promise in hand, lay your sin before the Lord, and put Him to the test.  You can be sure He will forgive all sin brought to Him for pardon.  Rest yourself in this word from the Lord, Himself, and let all guilt fall away.  Your sins, no matter what sort they are, do not outstrip the promise, for, “All manner of sin shall be forgiven.”