“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? This is a question that has given many believers — this one included — some anxious moments. Going by what Jesus says in this passage, it appears that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an unforgivable sin. We worry that we might have blasphemed him and, consequently, are unforgiven. I know that in my days as an atheist, at some point, I most certainly said unkind things about the Holy Spirit. So am I unforgiven?
But how can a sin be unforgivable when Scripture states that everyone can be saved? Hebrews 7:25 says that Jesus "is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them." Acts 10:43 says that "all the prophets testify about (Jesus) that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name." And 1 John 1:9 says, "if we confess our sins, (God) who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
In these very verses, however (and similar ones), we find our answer. God can save all who approach him. Everyone who believes in Jesus will receive forgiveness of sins. We will be forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness if we confess our sins. But when we don't do this, we are basically telling God that we don't need his salvation or his Holy Spirit, who is the seal of redemption. How can we obtain forgiveness when we don't seek it?
The Pharisees who accused Jesus of delivering a man from demons by the power of Beelzebul, who was a demon too, didn't think they needed forgiveness because they led what they imagined were good lives. So, not only did they reject the salvation that came through Christ, but they also called the Holy Spirit the devil! What hope for them?
I want to reassure you that you have absolutely no cause for alarm or anxiety if you are a believing and born-again Christian. Considering you are listening to these reflections, undoubtedly with the idea of growing in your faith, you are definitely one. So enjoy your journey with the Holy Spirit as you let him guide you and encourage you on the path of holiness.
May the Spirit be with you.