I have written this blog because I have had four people in the last three weeks approach me with fear that they had committed the unpardonable sin.
The unpardonable sin is hardening one's heart so it no longer responds to the Holy Spirit.
Let's explore the role of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, so we can respond properly and continuously to His leadings.
On the cross, Jesus' blood was shed once as an atonement for all sin. As we respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and in faith accept Jesus' shed blood on Calvary to wash away our sin, we are cleansed and born anew by the Spirit.
Our fellowship with Almighty God is restored! We can experience daily walks with Him in the Garden. Sometimes I walk with Jesus along the Sea of Galilee and sometimes Jesus asks me to come meet Him at His place, so we stroll through the courts of Heaven! Relationship is restored!
The Holy Spirit is the New Covenant reality which Jesus ushered in:
1. The prophets predicted that the New Covenant would involve the release of the Holy Spirit into the heart of the believer (Joel 2:28,29; Is. 59:21).
2. All four Gospels agree that Jesus came to baptize us in the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33).
3. Peter concluded his great sermon at Pentecost (Acts 2:38,39) with an "altar call" stating that if they would repent and be baptized they would receive the Holy Spirit (Hmm ... today we tend to minimize repentance, perhaps skip water baptism and replace "receiving the Holy Spirit" with "You will receive heaven").
4. Since the Holy Spirit is received at salvation it is unwise to renounce Him (Acts 2:38, 8:14-17, 10:44-48, 19:1-7; 2 Cor. 4:6,7; 1 Cor. 6:17). "You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him" (Rom. 8:9). Since the Holy Spirit is received at salvation, it makes sense that when we blaspheme the Holy Spirit, we are renouncing the One Whom we received at salvation. We could say we are renouncing the gift of the New Covenant. We are renouncing our salvation.
5. We live by the Spirit. "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Gal. 5:25). Jesus lived completely by the Spirit (John 5:19,20,30). "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God" (Rom. 8:14). "For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if through the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live" (Rom. 8:13). Notice it's all about living by the Spirit!
The Holy Spirit, living within, speaks from within our hearts:
The New Covenant provides restoration of relationship with God through the cleansing blood of Jesus which results in the Holy Spirit indwelling our hearts (1 Cor. 6:19) and releasing God's voice, vision, revelation and anointing upon our lives.
1. The Holy Spirit teaches us. In the New Covenant, God places His law within our hearts (Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:6-13). This is accomplished by God putting His Spirit within us (John 14:26; 1 John 2:27).
2. The Ministry of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit releases life and liberty (2 Cor. 3). The Old Covenant released law and death (Ex. 20; 2 Cor. 3:7).
3. The Israelites rejected God's voice. At Mount Sinai, the Israelites chose not to hear God's voice, but to live out of law (Heb. 12:18-24) so in the New Covenant God offers His voice again (Heb. 8-10 and Jer. 31:31-34).
4. Do NOT reject His voice this time! Today, if you hear his voice" (Heb. 3:7-19; 4:7; 12:25), "See that you do not refuse Him who is speaking" (Heb. 12:25).
God's passion is fellowship with mankind and walks in the garden. So "hearing God's voice," as the central experience of the Bible, is the essence of the New Covenant.
Through the indwelling Holy Spirit our relationship with God is restored:
1. Personal acceptance of Christ's shed blood on the cross removes the barrier of sin, which ushers in God's Spirit to the believer's heart (1 Cor. 6:17; 2 Pet. 1:4).
2. The Holy Spirit provides restored relationship with our Heavenly Father, allowing us to once again take walks with God in the garden in the cool of the day and share our hearts together (Gen. 3:8,9; Gal. 5:25).
3. The indwelling Holy Spirit grants everything: salvation, sanctification, fellowship, revelation, power ... (1 Cor. 1:30,31; John 7:38,39; 2 Thess. 2:13,14; Acts 1:8, 2:17,18 and more ...).
A short summary of some of the believer's experiences with the Holy Spirit:
The statements below are from the conclusion of the book, Intimacy with the Holy Spirit. This book explores hundreds of Scriptures on the Holy Spirit. It is clear that to walk by the Spirit and live by the Spirit is to be constantly energized and guided by His indwelling presence. He directs and fills our hearts and lives. This is what the New Covenant offers to us—life lived in the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:25). So our prayer is ...
1. Holy Spirit, I come to You. I welcome You (Eph. 1:17,18). I will not grieve You (Eph. 4:25-32).
2. Holy Spirit, I look to see You, and You show me Your perspective (John 5:19,20,30).
3. You give me Your thoughts (1 Cor. 2:12-16). You tell me what's on the heart of God (Heb. 3:7).
4. I feel You (Ezek. 3:14). You release God's emotions within me (Gal. 5:22-23).
5. You guide me. You sanctify me for my life's work (Matt. 12:18; Rom. 15:16).
6. You anoint my lips, my mind, my heart, my hands (2 Sam. 23:2; Ex. 28:3, 31:3).
7. You make me creative (Ex. 35:31-33). Let Your words flow through me (Luke 1:67).
8. You release Your ability through me (1 Cor. 12:7-11). You release in me the power to be holy (2 Cor. 3:4-6; John 6:63).
9. You release the power of God to me. Authenticate Your words with Your power (Acts 4:31).
10. You take me away (Rev. 21:10; 22:17).
The unpardonable sin is not honoring the Holy Spirit:
1. Attributing the works of the Holy Spirit to Satan: "the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven men" (Matt. 12:31).
Note the context: Jesus was healing the sick and casting out demons by the Spirit, and the Pharisees were saying it was the work of Satan, not the Holy Spirit. They were attributing the work of God to Satan!
Blasphemy is "to speak evil against, to vilify, to rail against." Why is this sin unpardonable? Well, they saw the compassion of God displayed as Jesus reached out and healed through the power of the Holy Spirit, yet they resisted any conviction of the Holy Spirit concerning the truth that this was God in action. To become hardened to the Holy Spirit's conviction leaves no way to receive or experience the salvation offered through the New Covenant.
The solution to this problem is to keep your heart open to the conviction of sin in your life, and repent whenever convicted. Also, cool the judging (Rom. 14:13).
2. Turning away from the Holy Spirit. In the case of those who have once been (1) enlightened and (2) have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been (3) made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and (4) have tasted the good word (rhema) of God and (5) the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame (Heb. 6:4-6).
Note on the action: Hebrews 6:4-6 describes the process of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit because it represents the denial of the central covenant that Jesus came to bring. All of those 5 sins are the same: a denial of the gift of the New Covenant, which is a restored relationship with God through the Holy Spirit.
The Greek word translated "to fall away" is only found this one time in the New Testament and means "to apostatize" or to totally desert, depart, forsake and abandon your faith. It cannot mean to commit a 'huge' sin, as we will see from the verses below where spiritual leaders commit huge sins and are forgiven. Apostasy is knowingly, willfully, and maliciously turning against the Lord.
3. "Not honoring the Holy Spirit's gifts within individuals in the Body of Christ and yet taking Communion" (1 Cor. 11:18-34). Dr. Jon Ruthven suggests the following: The Corinthians were divisive and not honoring of one another (1 Cor. 11:18). This cuts off the ministry of spiritual gifts one to another. Therefore, "many were weak, and sick, and some have fallen asleep." If we will not honor one another (1 Pet. 2:17), enough to allow them to minister the grace of God within them to us (1 Cor. 12:7-14), the result is we will not fully appropriate God's grace to us. This can result in sickness and death. James surely tells us to receive healing through one another's ministry (James 5:14-16), and here is a blog of 36 One Another commands. I have seen much healing as we minister the grace of God one to another.
So when one turns his back on the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, whether within himself or others, he has turned his back on the central reality of the New Covenant, which is the Holy Spirit who ministers the power of God into our lives. Can we stand against the destructive intent of Satan if we do not avail ourselves of God's grace?
The Corinthians were offered the following solution for their problem of sectarianism and not honoring the Holy Spirit within people:
"If we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord, so that we would not be condemned with the world" (1 Cor. 11:31-32).
So a nice truth is expressed here: If I quickly and easily repent (change my mind) when the Holy Spirit convicts me, (thus judging myself rightly), then I can stay blessed (Deut. 28:1-14), and not fall under the judgment of God (Deut. 28:15-68).
Repent when convicted. Renounce when accused:
1. Accept that sin is a part of life. Even the "greats" committed sins. Abraham took Lot his relative with him to Israel even though God had told him to leave his relatives (Gen. 12:1;12:5), and he let his wife be moved into two harems (Gen. 12:11-20; 20:1-18), yet God considers him the father of those that believe (Rom. 4:11). David committed adultery (2 Sam. 11), and mass murder of his most faithful warriors to cover it up (2 Sam. 11:15-27), and yet God considered David a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22), and brought Jesus Christ through the lineage of David and Bathsheba (the woman he committed adultery with). God brought Jesus, the greatest gift the world has ever experienced, through King David's greatest sin. That means God can and will use us, even in the midst of our greatest sins. Peter sinned. He denied Jesus three times (Mark 14:72) and yet was welcomed back into the fold to preach and teach. So committing horrific sins appears to be a part of life, and it sure does not cut you off from salvation. God truly is a God who works ALL things out for good (Rom. 8:28). So if Satan whispers in your ear, "You have committed this huge sin and God's grace will never cover it," just laugh in his face, and let him know that God will probably highlight this sin to release His blessing through. That way, we all stay humble realizing it is the goodness of God and not our strivings that get things done.
a. Feeling conviction of sin is a good sign. If someone is terrified about committing the unpardonable sin then they almost certainly have not done so, simply because their awareness that they have sinned against God is only present because the Holy Spirit is present, convicting them of sin (John 16:7-8).
b. Confess sin, repent (change your mind) and declare God's truth over the situation! As long as we acknowledge that we have sinned and confess it (1 John 1:8-10), Christ's blood covers the sin and fellowship with the Holy Spirit continues on. Salvation is intact. So I have no problem accepting the fact that I am a sinner, saved by grace, and I easily confess any sins the Spirit brings to my mind, declare my sorrow for committing them, and my intention to turn back to righteousness. I then confess truth, "I am cleansed. I am washed by the blood. I put on Christ's righteousness and stand complete in Him! Thank You, Lord, for this wonderful salvation!" And I do two-way journaling, letting Jesus speak words of comfort and love into my being.
c. When someone says to me, "I believe I've committed the unpardonable sin," I always tell them, "I know you haven't." "Well, how do you know?" "Because you called. If you committed the unpardonable sin you wouldn't care. The Holy Spirit wouldn't be dealing with you at all. You'd be so cold, callous and indifferent that you wouldn't even care if you did. The fact that you're concerned and care is the sign that you haven't. God's Spirit is still dealing with you." But Satan loves to use this as a club over people's head and he beats them to death with it.
2. Accusation comes from Satan (Accusative thoughts which urge your destruction, rather than your repentance). Satan and his demonic host constantly accuse us (Rev. 12:10) and will give us accusative thoughts that we have committed the unpardonable sin, or we cannot be forgiven because the sin we have committed is so bad or so continuous that the blood of Jesus does not cleanse it. He also gives thoughts that we should give up, we will never make it, God no longer loves us. Well, these are all lies from the pit of hell! Christ's blood covers all sin (1 John 1:7). God loves us with an unending love. Nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:38-39).
a. Bind demons in Jesus' name. In this case, we need to take authority over the demons of accusation which are speaking these accusative thoughts, and bind and cast them out in Jesus' name. Say, out loud, "In the name of Jesus, I bind this demon of accusation and command you to leave."
b. Never fix your eyes on yourself. The Bible commands us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. If we look at ourselves, we see our frame is dust (Ps. 103:14), and therefore weak and unable to keep God's laws (Gal. 6:13-16) so we put no confidence in our flesh (Phil. 3:3). While in this earthly body, we clearly sin (1 John 1:8), and thus need to confess our sins until the day we die and God already knows that. It is ME who needs to accept these truths, and get my eyes OFF my sinfulness and onto Jesus. Whatever we fix our eyes upon grows within us, and whatever grows within us, we become. Therefore, since I don't need weakness, sinfulness, condemnation or self growing within me, I will not look at me. "I will look only where King David chose to look: at the Lord, Whom he set at his right hand" (Ps. 16:8; Acts 2:25).
C. Speak your new reality of who you are in Christ. We have consolidated these verses and put them into a confession which you can speak over yourself evening and morning. It is found here. Speak this over yourself to silence the enemy.
3. Always live with your eyes fixed on Jesus (Heb. 12:1-2). See Him always standing at your right side (Acts 2:25; Ps. 16:8). See yourself cleansed by His blood, clothed in His robe of righteousness (Gal. 3:27), and radiating His glory. Life is all about Him and His finished work on the cross which we freely avail ourselves of through faith in His word. So don't look at yourself, unless you want to become either depressed or prideful. You are not instructed in Scripture to look at yourself. You become a reflection of whom you look at (2 Cor. 3:18). So look only at Jesus and reflect Him and you can live in peace.
4. Don't judge others (or yourself). There is no need for any of us to judge who may have committed the unpardonable sin. Eternal judgment is in God's hands. We do not have the wisdom or authority to execute eternal judgment. The only judgment I desire to make is that I have judged it to be wise to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. We live our lives honoring and loving all people (1 Pet. 2:11—and this includes ourselves since we are part of ALL PEOPLE). Also, we in everything and for everything give thanks (1 Thess. 5;18; Eph. 5:20). If you are constantly giving thanks as part of your throne room worship, demonic darkness will flee and divine light will flood your heart and mind.
"Thank You, Lord, for Your light which fills me. I bathe in Your light, and darkness has no hold on me."
God promises that we are secure in His passionate embrace:
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life. They shall never perish, nor shall anyone snatch them from My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them from My Father's hand." (John 10:27-29)
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, yes, who is risen, who is also at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities nor powers, neither things present nor things to come, neither height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 8:31-39)
5. Resources to Take You Deeper Into the Holy Spirit
Since the New Covenant is about fellowship with the Holy Spirit in our hearts, it is wise for us to learn all we can about joining hands with His indwelling Spirit and releasing Him easily and daily out through our lives in all the ways He desires to manifest Himself. With that in mind we offer you the following training experiences.
1. Learn to Hear God's Voice. This is the foundation of the restoration of our walk with God—relationship restored! We hear and see and feel him through the work of the Holy Spirit which He has placed within us. Available as: School of the Spirit training module, an online college course titled Communion With God or individual resources.
2. Naturally Supernatural. This module explores "The Great Mystery" which is Christ living within the heart of the believer through the Holy Spirit. We meditate on each verse in the New Testament which discusses the in-working power of Christ and how one connects with and releases the person of the Holy Spirit. It is AMAZING to discover the awesome resources and power God has placed within the heart of the believer! Available as: School of the Spirit training module, an online college course titled Naturally Supernatural or individual resources.
3. How to Walk by the Spirit. Since we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and we are to live and walk by the promptings and leadings of this indwelling Holy Spirit, we will look up every verse in the Bible on heart and spirit so we have a biblical vocabulary and a deep understanding of spirit sensations. Available as: School of the Spirit training module, an online college course titled Increasing the Anointing or individual resources.
4. Intimacy with the Holy Spirit. Since the Holy Spirit grants us everything we need in life, in this book we will look up every verse in the Bible on the Holy Spirit, getting personally acquainted with Him, His ways, and His workings within.
5. What's Wrong with Protestant Theology? by Dr. Jon Ruthven. Explores in-depth the revelation that "hearing God's voice" is the central experience of the Bible and is the essence of the New Covenant.
Mark Virkler is founder and president of Christian Leadership University and co-founder of Communion With God Ministries. The co-author of more than 50 books with his wife, Patti, Mark has received a Master of Theology from Miami Christian University and a Ph.D. from Carolina Christian University.
For the original article, visit cwgministries.org.