Can you lose your Salvation by blaspheming the Holy Spirit? What does it mean to sin against the Holy Spirit?
For years, I feared being sent to Hell for “blaspheming” the Holy Spirit. “What if I said the wrong thing,” or another action put fear in my mind about losing my Salvation. Learning to read this passage put my mind at ease about the unforgivable sin.
First, let’s get into some Greek.
The phrase “speak against the Holy Ghost” in Matthew 12:32 (KJV) is a translation of the Greek word βλασφημήσαι τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, which means “to blaspheme the Holy Spirit.” The word βλασφημήσαι is a strong word that means “to speak evil of, revile,” or “to speak impiously of God or sacred things.” The word τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον refers to the Holy Spirit, who is the third person of the Trinity.
Now, let’s discuss the context.
In Matthew 12:32, Jesus is speaking about the sin of attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan. The Pharisees were accusing Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Satan when in fact, Jesus was casting out demons by the power of the Holy Spirit. By attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan, the Pharisees were effectively blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
Let’s put it together.
The Greek word βλασφημήσαι can also have a more general sense, meaning “to speak evil of” or “to revile.” In this sense, to speak against the Holy Ghost could mean to reject the Holy Spirit’s work, deny the Holy Spirit’s existence, or speak evil of the Holy Spirit.
The belief holds that the Holy Spirit does not forgive the sin of blasphemy, rendering it unforgivable—deliberate malice and hatred cause individuals to commit this sin. When someone blasphemes the Holy Spirit, they reject the Holy Spirit’s work and deny its existence. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is a sin that God cannot forgive because it is a sin against the very nature of God.
There are a few different ways to interpret the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. One interpretation is that it is a sin that can only be committed by those who have seen the work of the Holy Spirit firsthand. In the case of the Pharisees, they had seen Jesus casting out demons, but they still accused him of doing so by the power of Satan. Sinning in this context suggests that they were deliberately rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit and denying the Holy Spirit’s existence.
Another interpretation of the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is that it is a sin that can be committed by anyone, regardless of whether they have seen the work of the Holy Spirit firsthand. The fact that the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is said to be unforgivable forms the basis for this interpretation. If this sin could only be committed by those who had seen the work of the Holy Spirit firsthand, then it would not be unforgivable because anyone who had seen the work of the Holy Spirit would be able to repent and be forgiven.
The matter of debate revolves around the nature of the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, but there is no doubt that it is a grave sin that cannot receive forgiveness.
Here are some additional points that I would like to make about the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit:
- The sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not the same as simply denying the existence of the Holy Spirit. It is a more severe sin because it involves rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit.
- Accidentally sinning blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is impossible. It is a sin that is committed deliberately out of malice and hatred.
- God will not forgive the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit because it is blasphemy. After all, it is a sin against the very nature of God.
My fear at the beginning of my faith walk was unjustified. I was not going to Hell for saying something that might be wrong. I was not going to see Heaven because I had doubts or questions. I had, nor have, no malice or hatred at the Holy Spirit. I love the very nature of God.
You are probably incorrect if you think you “slipped up” and accidentally blasphemed against the Holy Spirit.