Question:

I'm ashamed of my sin. I know you and others say that God forgives, but I committed the sin willingly. Is that not blasphemy of the Holy Spirit that Jesus discussed?


Answer:

We need to get a good definition of what blasphemy is:

  • Smith Bible Dictionary: "in its technical English sense, signifies the speaking evil of God ... according to its derivation it may mean any species of calumny and abuse."
  • International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: "In classical Greek meant primarily "defamation" or "evil-speaking" in general; "a word of evil omen," hence, "impious, and irreverent speech against God.""
  • American Tract Society Dictionary: "A man is guilty of blasphemy, when he speaks of God, or his attributes, injuriously; when he calumniously ascribe such qualities to him as do not belong to him, or robs him of those which do."

There is a good definition of blasphemy in the Old Testament. "But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him." (Numbers 15:30-31). Hence, we learn that God's definition of blaspheme is acting in defiance of the Lord and His commandments. In others words, blaspheme is willfully sinning when you know full well that it is wrong. But the defiance involves a particular type of sin: slandering God's reputation before other people. Thus, blasphemy is a willful attempt to ruin God's reputation, even though you know what you are saying is wrong.

Korah and his followers illustrate this in Numbers 16. They knew that God made Moses the leader and Aaron his High Priest; yet they believed they had equal rights to talk with God as Moses did. Even when warned, they stubbornly persisted in asserting what they believed to be their rights. In doing so, they were claiming that God made a mistake in selecting Moses and Aaron and that they were better choices for the job. This is how people treat a god made up by men. It is not how you treat the Creator of the Universe who had displayed His power repeatedly in your sight. For their defiance of God, they died in a dramatic fashion.

"For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins" (Hebrews 10:26). Draw your attention to the phrase "go on sinning." Not all translations make this clear, but in the Greek it refers to continue in willful sins. There is no forgiveness while a person remains in sin. This passage does not address the person who sinned, but then turned from his sins.

The Bible does not call sins unforgivable or irremissible. There are only sins that are unforgiven because the person refuses to repent of his sins, like Esau. "See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears" (Hebrews 12:15-17). Esau wanted the benefits of living godly without leaving his sins and such cannot happen.