Is Cursing the Holy Spirit the Unforgivable Sin?

Cursing the Holy SpiritMany 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?

But what constitutes a curse?

It 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.

Blasphemy is best defined as “a reviling judgment” which is not the same thing as a curse.

Furthermore, there is no hint anywhere in Matthew 12:31-32 of anybody cursing the Holy Spirit.

Thus, cursing the Holy Spirit is not the unpardonable sin. 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.

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.

You haven’t.

Instead, go to God, confessing your sin, and thanking Him for the forgiveness you already have in Jesus Christ.

Learn More About the Unforgivable Sin

If you have questions about whether or not you have committed the unforgivable sin, here is a whole series of posts I have done on this topic. Feel free to read them all! Please note that most of these posts were drawn from my book, Why You Have Not Committed the Unforgivable Sin, which you can purchase from Amazon for less than $6.


Comments

  1. RM says

    I copied this from another site, this confuse me , ther are so much teaching that it’s confusing
    Yeah, I believe all sins have been forgiven through the finished work of Jesus (except the one that Jesus said would not be forgiven – see below). If a person doesn’t believe before they die, they have already been forgiven of all sins, but they haven’t received it by faith. They die as someone who has been forgiven through what Jesus did, but without having received His life. That’s the difference right there. Being forgiven isn’t the same as being born again as a new creation… born again into new life.

    The sin that won’t be forgiven… blasphemy against the Holy Spirit… is made a little more clear in the Mark 3 account of this same story. Jesus has just cast out a demon from a man, and the scribes are accusing Him of casting out demons by Beelzebub.

    Jesus responds to them by saying that a house divided against itself cannot stand, etc. He says a strong man’s house can’t be plundered unless the strong man is first bound. In other words, it’s a silly notion to say that Satan can cast out Satan.

    Jesus then leads into His talk about the unforgivable sin.

    Mark 3:28-30
    “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” — because they said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’”

    They are saying that the spirit that Jesus has is UNCLEAN. They are blaspheming (speaking evil of) the Holy Spirit. And to that effect, they are unbelievers.

    Rejply

    • says

      I am not sure I understand your questions, but I think I answered it in some of the other posts on this topic, which are listed in the links above. Read through some of them and let me know what you think.

  2. Michael Robinson says

    I’m sure I have committed this sin, because one night when I was praying to God I thought of when the Holy Spirit talking to me and a I said the word bad. I don’t know why but for some reason I meant that it was bad at the time. I don’t know if you can help but I don’t know what to do.

    • says

      You definitely have not committed this sin.

      God is not so petty that a misspoken word will offend Him enough to send you to hell. He loves you WAY more than that. Even if you had spoken bad words on purpose, this is still not enough for God to cast you away from Himself forever.

  3. says

    THANK YOU so much for “doing your homework” and breaking apart these words. I have done a lot of studying in the past (and heard lots of sermons) on blaspheming the Holy Ghost, but they never addressed this particular topic which I have always wondered about–off and on–because of my cursing the Spirit long ago in my past (but after being saved). One of the best teachings I had heard, that you alluded to, was that the religious leaders wanted the praise of men more than the approval of God, and hence condemned Jesus. Knowing that I hadn’t done that brought some degree of comfort; but under the Mosiac covenant anyone who spoke God’s name lightly was put to death; therefore, I thought, one could deduce that saying, “I curse you, _____,” etc., would be much worse than simply saying, “God,” or “Yahweh,” in the O.T. as a byword. I am so glad I found your website, thank you so much. I feel this nagging doubt I have had has somewhat crippled me spiritually. I will “arise” now by the grace of God;) and move on up spiritually, with, I feel, more strength and confidence in God. Thank you.

    • says

      Thank you Tresha. I really want to write more on this subject (and related topics) in the future, and will hopefully be able to do so later this year. Hope you stick around and learn more along with the rest of the people who are here.

  4. suanne says

    many years ago i had just given my life to jesus and was in a great deal of emotional pain and turmoil because my mother had been very verbally abusive to me and i came home and was looking for comfort in the bible-i instead found those words and in my pain cried out to god that this holy spirit as a comfort was a lie because i felt no comfort and was afraid he was rejecting me like my mother had-i was so upset when i told him this, but immediately told him i was sorry for saying such things and talked to him about how i was feeling, that i was just really confused…i never thought of the holy spirit being demonic or that jesus was demonic-nothing like that…i had not always understood people falling out under the spirit and never had it happen but even in my lack of understanding it was not because i thought jesus or god or the spirit was demonic or anything….what has worried me is that a few years after that i had forgotten it, assuming i was
    forgiven because i repented straight away and did not revisits i, but other things in my life were causing me continued pain and hurt…i became so overwhelmed by it and thought maybe god had abandoned me, i still was going to church and clinging to what faith i could, was even playing music for ministry and yet because of the depression and pain i got really sick and stayed so for many years, to the point of being bedridden…i had committed some other sins during this time but a year ago began to make my way back to god and it was like being a lost prodigal child…at first it all seemed very exciting…i prayed and asked jesus to heal me and in a week was off over many medications and out of bed and able to walk without help i was elated and was doing my everything to really have him back in my life-i felt it was his conviction of my sins which led me to repent of them fully and i truly did end them all as i was being shown them…but one day i came
    across a scripture from hebrews talking about sinning after knowing jesus and suddenly felt all this condemnation flooding my very being….suddenly all my sins were right back on me including the words i spoke that day about the holy spirit being a lie as a comfort because i hurt so bad…it seemed someone was yelling in my chest that all these were held against me….i was now more confused and terrified because why would i feel the holy spirit convict me of sin and lead me to repent and also to be healed the way i was if i was unforgiven, yet the fears and terror of this have haunted me to this day…try as i might and i have my husband and some friends who are saved tell me i did not commit the sin i thought i had and that because i had repented and had been so seeking after him , that i am allowing the enemy to accuse me….it is awful because i have no lasting peace in this…beyond healing and then the conviction of sins and a few visions and
    what what i thought was jesus telling i was forgiven but to have faith in him, [my dad even called me up when this first happened and told me that the spirit had come to him in great power and told him to let me know i was forgiven and saved by his grace-he did not know i was going through this at the time and felt an urgent need to call me with this message] so why can i not get inner confirmation in this and why am i still so afraid….i need help and am not sure what to do….

    when i spoke out like that calling the holy spirit as a comfort a lie, i was really upset with god because i thought he had betrayed me by letting my mother keep hurting me…i even asked him am i now condemned do you hate ,me too? i then immediately regretted doing this and told him so and was very upset and then afraid he left me in that moment….after many years of going through much pain and having it brought back to my remembrance, i feel so hopeless….i have told him over and over how so sorry i am and have asked him to please come back into my life ….i need help and i truly now have no comfort from him at all

    • says

      Suanne,

      God loves you and forgives you and He wants you to know it.

      He fully understands the pain and suffering you have experienced, and He cries along with you at what you have experienced. You should not have been abused by your mother the way that you were.

      I am not a psychologist, but I believe that the separation you feel from God is probably related to the treatment you received from your mother. She should have protected you, loved you, and encouraged you, but did the opposite.

      So I would invite you to change your prayers a bit. Rather than asking God to forgive you and come back into your life, instead, KNOW that He does forgive you, love you, accept you, and is already in your life. Based on this, when you pray, thank Him for His love, forgiveness, and acceptance of you, and thank Him for being in your life, and ask Him to reveal things things to you in real ways as you go about your day. Then look for these ways that God is showing you how much He loves you.

      They may come as a word of encouragement from a friend. A bird landing on your hand. A beautiful sunset that brings you to tears. A song that speaks to your heart. A hug from a child. A lick from a puppy. You never know where these “kisses from God” might come from, so be on the lookout!

      God DOES love you, and He wants to show you.

  5. suzanne says

    thank you jeremy-i have one other worry and it is in regard to teh hebrews books of chapters 6 and 10…i am afraid that because i was so afraid he had rejected me, for the past 20-ish years i had resorted to trying to earn back his love but i lied about many things, giving a flase testimony and a fasle idnetity….i have since repented fully of those things which were many and now worry of this also is unforgivable/ it is these things and the post aboe which are keeping me stuck in accepting He loves me and is willing to truly forgive me…i really would like to know that i know he truly has forgiven me even after all this time and for those many sins…thank you for any help in this…

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