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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: What Is the Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?

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Don Stewart

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Jesus spoke of a sin called the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. What is it? Can someone who commits this sin be forgiven?


The background of Jesus statement can be found in Matthew 12:22-30. Jesus healed a man who was possessed by a demon. His demon possession made him blind, mute, and probably deaf. This combination of illnesses made it impossible for anyone to cast the demon out of the man because there was no way anyone could communicate with him. When the people saw Jesus heal the man, they wondered if He could be the Messiah.


The suggestion that Jesus could be the Messiah brought a quick response from the religious leaders.

But when the Pharisees heard it they said, "This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons" (Matthew 12:24).

They accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Satan. Who would want to follow someone who is working with Satan?


Jesus responded by showing how illogical their arguments were (Matthew 12:25-30). He then made this statement:

Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come (Matthew 12:31,32).

What Is It?

From the statements of Jesus we learn the following concerning the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit:

1. The sin was against the Holy Spirit. The accusation was made by the Pharisees was not only against Christ; ultimately it was against the Holy Spirit who was performing the miracles through Christ.

2. Those who sin against Jesus can be forgiven. But sinning against the Holy Spirit, who personifies the power of God, is unforgivable. There could be no question that the miracle had been through the power of the Holy Spirit. Those who attribute the Holy Spirits work to Satan cannot expect to be forgiven.

3. The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is more than one particular sin; it is a continuous state of being. The religious leaders were constantly attributing the works of Christ through the Holy Spirit, to the devil. This revealed the evil condition of their hearts.

4. The consequences of blaspheming the Holy Spirit meant eternal damnation. There could be no forgiveness in this life or in eternity.

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