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What is the One Unforgivable Sin?
by Michael Edwards
3/03/2018 / Bible Studies
This Bible study as most I have written is designed to rid the believer of any doubt regarding God’s love for them and their complete and total forgiveness in Christ. It is only satan who wants you to doubt your total forgiveness and righteousness in Christ which leads you to doubt God’s love. Satan knows that doubting these truths is specifically what keeps a believer trapped in reoccurring sin and ineffective for God. These studies are designed to renew the mind.
This study goes in depth with abundant scripture to prove what the Bible teaches is the only unforgivable sin. It is crucial to grasp that there is only one unforgivable sin. It is not a sin a believer can commit. Get your Bible out and study with me. If you have any questions, comments or objections, I hope you will post them below the study or contact me through private messenger.
While the title of this article and the word of God both state there is only one unforgivable sin, I believe it is worth stating it emphatically. There is only one unforgivable sin. In other words, many of the sins people claim are unforgivable are indeed forgivable.
“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matt 12: 30-32 ESV).
Jesus speaking prior to the cross is very clear that EVERY (all, the whole, every kind of – Stongs 3956.) sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people. Wow, that is a powerful statement.
Jesus is not placing any conditions on every sin and blasphemy being forgiven. He is saying this will be done, period. He then lists ONLY ONE notable exception. If we can discover what this one sin is, we will know that everything else is forgivable.
To most, it is obvious that this sin is unbelief. Believers are called righteous in the Bible, which means right with God. Unbelievers by default are the unrighteous.
Repent Greek defined = change mind.
I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." Luke 13:5
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and
believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15
Jesus says it is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit that is unforgivable, so let’s review and see if unbelief is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit Comes
Jesus told this to the disciples, believers. “And He, when He (Holy Spirit) comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8 NASB).
For many years as a Christian, I was told that based on Jesus’s words to his disciples in John 16:8, the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins. However, if we read verses 9-11, we see that Jesus in speaking to the disciples expounds and clarifies exactly what he meant.
"… concerning sin [singular sin], because they [unbelievers] do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you [disciples/believers] no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged" (John 16: 8-11 NASB).
So we learn directly from Jesus that the Holy Spirit convicts non-believers of the singular sin of unbelief. He also convicts believers, but not of sin, of righteousness (our right standing with God). In verse 11 we see the Holy Spirit also convicts Satan of his judgment. The Greek word for convict is elégxÅÂ. It is defined as “to convince with solid, compelling evidence.” So the Holy Spirit shows unbelievers their sin of unbelief with solid, compelling evidence.
In the letter to the Romans, Paul emphasizes the compelling evidence God provides. “For what can be known about God is plain to them [those who refuse to believe in God], because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Rom 1:19-20).
The Holy Spirit convicts unbelievers of the sin of unbelief by testifying to them about Jesus, the Son of God and about eternal life in the Son. If they continue to reject, blaspheme the Holy Spirit’s true testimony, the unbelievers call God a liar.
But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from God's Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually. 1 Cor 2:14 HCSB
They have committed the one unforgivable sin if they hold to this position unto death. You can see below in 1 John 5:12 that a person who does this, “does not have life.”
Jesus also states: this will “not be forgiven in this age or in the age to come.” He is saying we need to make the decision here in this life. This goes against any teaching of purgatory or a Mormon teaching of a second chance to believe. Here are further supporting verses about the one unforgivable sin being unbelief:
“This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.For there are three that testify:the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:6-12).
Therefore, the ONE unforgivable sin is continued unbelief despite the Holy Spirit’s testimony that convicts them of their error. This makes perfect sense since the only way any person was ever declared righteous, right with God in the entire Bible was by believing. HERE
In the end the rejection of Jesus is the ONLY unforgivable sin as these two verses reveal.
"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:18)
"So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven" (Matt 10:32-33).
The Righteous in the Bible are Exclusively Those Who are Righteous by Faith, Believers.
It is only those who refuse to believe that are referred to as wicked or evil because they refuse to be cleansed by the blood of Christ. It is His righteousness as listed in Matt 6:33 they need. The righteous/believers/holy/sanctified/perfected/cleansed/saints/light/etc. and the unrighteous/unbelievers/wicked/evil/unholy/ungodly/lawless/darkness/etc. are contrasted innumerable times in scripture.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 Cor 6:14 NIV
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 2 Cor 6:14 ESV
So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief. Heb 3:19 ESV
Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. Heb 3:12 ESV
A Believer Cannot Commit the Unforgivable Sin
This tells us for certain that a believer cannot commit the unforgivable sin. It is logical since there is only one unforgivable sin. Therefore, suicide, homosexuality, believers not confessing their sins (1 John 1:9) and any other sins that you have been told are unforgivable, are actually forgivable. Let that peace wash over you.
Additionally, this refutes the claim that that 1 John 1:9 teaches a believer must ask for forgiveness every time they sin or they will not be forgiven. If that was true, that would make non-confession of sins by believers the only unforgivable sin. That would mean unbelief by believers is forgivable, which makes no sense.
1 John 1:9 is actually a salvation verse written to the Gnostics, who did not believe in sin or that Jesus came in the flesh. If you read 1 John 1 you can clearly see John is making a salvation plea. By the way, God never instructs us to withhold forgiveness unless a person asks for it. Why would anyone think we would hold to a higher standard than God? Go HERE for more on 1 John 1:9.
If you are an unbeliever, the good news is that the way to Jesus is still open to you no matter how you may have rejected Him to this point. God loves you and wants to save you. You do not want to die without His saving grace. Go Here
We have an amazing God who loves us very much. It is very easy to be saved, but it was not cheap. God gave his only begotten Son for us—the Son he dearly loves, the best he could give. He gave everything. Just believe, and you will be saved and inherit eternal life.
If you are a believer, the good news is that the Holy Spirit (our comforter and advocate) is here to convince you with solid and compelling evidence of your right standing with God, your righteousness in Christ. If you are sin conscious instead of righteousness conscious, you cannot lose your salvation, but you grieve the Holy Spirit and you are making this life much more difficult for yourself. Read HERE , HERE and HERE.
“He [God the Father] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him [Jesus]” (2 Cor 5:21 NASB).
I can tell you without hesitation that it is Satan who wants us to believe we are not totally forgiven of all of our sins. He wants us to think we are not forgiven or can lose our salvation/inheritance by committing outward acts of sin. He does not want us to know unbelief is the only unforgivable sin. The more we think we are not forgiven of all of our sins or that we can lose our salvation, the higher the chance we could turn back to unbelief. Love is the one thing that fulfills all of God's laws Rom 13:8-10, the one way a Christian can overcome acts of sin in this life. The enemy knows that the only way a Christian will ever fulfill the law by walking in the spirit of love in their daily walk is to lean heavily on their total and complete forgiveness in Christ. The only way to walk in that love is to believe we are forgiven. Luke 7:47 say’s those who think they are forgiven little will love little, which means they will sin more. 2 Peter 1:9 tells us that those who do not really believe they are forgiven will lack faith, goodness, knowledge, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love. The fruits we need to overcome outward acts of sin.
The answer is to just believe Gods word. You are totally forgiven and greatly loved by God. Unbelief is the only unforgivable sin.
Many more New Covenant Bible Studies HERE. Jesus poured out His blood for the New Covenant of grace and truth, replacing the Old Covenant law of Moses. Believers are exclusively under the New Covenant, the last will and testament of Jesus that began after the cross.
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:20
New Covenant Bible Studies
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Read more articles by Michael Edwards
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