Many Christians wonder about the nature of the unforgivable sin and whether or not they have committed it. It is often taught in some churches and Bible studies that cursing the Holy Spirit is the unforgivable sin. This post shows that while it is a sin to curse the Holy Spirit, cursing the Holy Spirit is not the unforgivable sin.
First of all, we must recognize that there are various sins we can commit against the Holy Spirit. These include the sins of grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30; 1 Thess 5:19). Quenching and grieving the Holy Spirit are basically a denial of what the Spirit is doing or a refusal to participate in His work, which means blasphemy against the Spirit must be more serious than these.
Blasphemy against the Spirit is also a sin, and is a sin which will not be forgiven. In fact, it is the only sin which Scripture says is unforgivable. But is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit the same thing as cursing the Holy Spirit? Some think so. In Matthew 12:31-32, Jesus equates blasphemy of the Spirit with speaking against the Spirit. As a result, many argue that the unforgivable sin is cursing the Holy Spirit.
But when we understand what a curse is and what it means to curse the Holy Spirit, we will see that cursing the Spirit, though a grievous sin, is not the unforgivable sin.
What is a Curse?
We begin to understand what it means to curse the Holy Spirit by first understanding what constitutes a curse.
To curse someone is more than just being angry at someone, or calling them bad names.
A curse is when one person wishes or expresses a desire that some sort of adversity, calamity, or misfortune would fall upon someone else. A curse is when we tell someone, “Go to hell,” or “I wish you were dead.”
But a curse is different than blasphemy.
Blasphemy is best defined as “a reviling judgment,” usually in reference to God. It is a decision about God in regard to His source, origin, destiny, purpose, goals, or intents, which equates these things with the devil. Blasphemy is not condemning someone with a curse.
While cursing God and blaspheming God are similar, they are not the same thing.
We will discuss in a later post exactly what the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is, but note for now that it is not cursing the Holy Spirit.
Not only are the words “cursing” and “blasphemy” different, but notice that in the context of Matthew 12:31-32, there is no hint anywhere of anybody actually cursing the Holy Spirit. There is no hint of anyone in the context committing this sin, or even thinking of doing so.
In fact, most Jewish people at that time did not even believe in the Holy Spirit, so how could they curse Him? They couldn’t.
So cursing the Holy Spirit is not what Jesus had in mind when He spoke about the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit in Matthew 12:31. Cursing the Holy Spirit is not the unpardonable sin.
If you have made the mistake of cursing the Holy Spirit, or cursing at Him, do not be afraid that you have committed the unforgivable sin.
Instead, go to God, confess your sin, and thank Him for the forgiveness you already have in Jesus Christ.