DEFINITION: The phrase “unpardonable sin” is not actually used in the Bible, but the term is based on Matthew 12:30-31 where Jesus mentions a sin that cannot be forgiven, a transgression that is deemed “unpardonable.”
FACTS ABOUT THE UNPARDONABLE SIN:
The unpardonable sin is a scriptural concept. Although the actual phrase is not used, it is drawn from an event recorded in Matthew 12:22-31. When Jesus cast a demon out of a blind and mute man, the Pharisees claimed He had cast it out by the power of Bellzebub, the prince of demons. From this reference comes the concept of the unpardonable sin. The Pharisees were attributing the work of God to Satan and Jesus said this was an unpardonable sin.
The unpardonable sin is attributing the work of God to Satan. This results in a reprobate mind that does not desire or seek repentance: “Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done” (Romans 1:28).
Satan often uses this to torment those seeking forgiveness from sin. They think their case is hopeless because they have committed the unpardonable sin. When a person truly has committed this sin, he will not have any interest in spiritual things, nor will he have any desire to repent because he believes that the work of God is actually that of Satan.
DEALING WITH THE UNPARDONABLE SIN:
Distinguish between other sins and the unpardonable sin. People who have murdered or abused a child, etc., may believe they have committed the unpardonable sin. Their guilt and shame may make them think their transgression is unpardonable. Do not minimize the seriousness of sin–whatever it is–but know that even such vile things as these are not unpardonable.
Recognize that because you are concerned, this indicates that you have not committed the unpardonable sin. It is God that draws men to repentance (John 6:44). You would not be concerned about repenting and being forgiven, nor would you desire absolution for sin if you had committed the unpardonable sin.
Realize that God is willing to forgive all other sins. He forgives all your sins (Psalm 103:3). Aside from the “unpardonable sin”, the only other sin that cannot be pardoned is sin which is not confessed: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” (1 John 1:9-10)
Pray a prayer of repentance. Confess your sin to God, ask forgiveness, and He will forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
Bind the torment of Satan. If Satan returns with thoughts that you have committed the unpardonable sin, bind these thought sin the name of Jesus. Command them to go!
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT THE UNPARDONABLE SIN:
Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.
He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”
He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him… (John 6:44)
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. (Romans 1:28).
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (1 John 1:9-10)
(See also the topics of “Assurance” and “Doubt” in this database.)
DEFINITION: Biblically, sin is any transgression of the law of God (1 John 3:4).
FACTS ABOUT SIN:
The first sin was committed by Lucifer, now known as Satan. Read about it in Isaiah 14:12-15.
Sin entered the world through the transgression committed by Adam and Eve (Genesis 3). Because of their sin, we are all born with a basic sin nature (Psalm 51:5). In addition, we all commit personal sins of omission (things we should do that we don’t) and commission (sins we commit).
Man’s greatest problem is sin. In Romans 3:23 we read, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” The Bible says all people are sinners and that sin separates us from God.
The process of sin. James describes the process of sin: “…but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:14-15). The end result of sin is spiritual deathBseparation from God: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
God loves you and has provided forgiveness for your sins. The Bible says, “This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world…as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10). God loves you so much that He has provided a way for your sins to be forgiven so that you do not have to reap the wages of sin – spiritual death through separation from God.
The answer to your sin problem is Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”( John 14:6). Acts 4:12 confirms, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Jesus Christ is the answer to your sin problem. He is the only way to God and the only way to be forgiven. You must accept Jesus as your personal Savior. Romans 10:9 declares, “If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord: and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Your past sins. When you accepted Jesus as your Savior, He forgave the sins you confessed, but He also cleansed you from all unrighteousness ; even those sins you did not remember and acts you did not realize were sin. You do not need to confess these past sins ever again. They are forgiven and forgotten by God who declaresA… for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).
Sins committed after you accept Christ should be dealt with daily. Part of the model prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 to be prayed daily includes asking forgiveness for sins you commit after receiving Christ. A true believer will not desire to continue in known sin (1 John 3:6-10).
Temptation to sin is common to all people. It is not temptation that is wrong, but yielding to it. (James 1:13-15). God does not tempt you. You are tempted when you are drawn away by your own lusts and yield to them (James 1:13-15).
DEALING WITH SIN:
Admit your sin. Do not attempt to cover it, try to hide from God, or blame others. Adam and Eve tried these methods and they did not work. Admit that your sin is disobedience.
Ask God to forgive you. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives” (1 John 1:8-10).
Walk in the Spirit. If you walk in the Spirit, you will not fulfill the desires of your sinful flesh. Walking in the Spirit means allowing spiritual fruit to be manifested in your life instead of the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-25).
Put off sinful behaviors. Strip yourself of these as you would remove a dirty garment. Replace these with godly behaviors. See “Put Off and Put On” in Appendix Three of this database.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT SIN:
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalm 1:6)
He who digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit he has made. The trouble he causes recoils on himself; his violence comes down on his own head. (Psalm 7:15-16)
All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. (Psalm 14:3)
Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. (Psalm 19:13)
Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.
Selah Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’–and you forgave the guilt of my sin. (Psalm 32:2-5)
See how the evildoers lie fallen–thrown down, not able to rise! (Psalm 36:12)
The Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming. (Psalm 37:13)
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. (Psalm 51:2-5)
Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies. (Psalm 58:3)
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.(Psalm 103:12)
The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. (Proverbs 5:22)
The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires. (Proverbs 11:6)
Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”? (Proverbs 20:9)
The evil man has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out. (Proverbs 24:20)
He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)
There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins. (Ecclesiastes 7:20)
Although a wicked man commits a hundred crimes and still lives a long time, I know that it will go better with God-fearing men, who are reverent before God. (Ecclesiastes 8:12)
There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve. (Ecclesiastes 8:14)
One sinner destroys much good. (Ecclesiastes 9:18)
God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:14)
I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. (Isaiah 43:25)
“There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.” (Isaiah 57:21)
Your own conduct and actions have brought this upon you. This is your punishment. How bitter it is! How it pierces to the heart! (Jeremiah 4:18)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)
If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. (John 8:7)
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34)
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men. (Romans 1:18)
But because of your stubbornness and you unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. (Romans 2:5)
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23-24)
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned– for before the law was given, sin was in the world. (Romans 5:12-13)
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. (Romans 6:11-14)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. (Romans 7:18)
Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. (Romans 7:20-21)
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:16-26)
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. the one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8)
The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. (1 Timothy 5:24)
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. (Hebrews 10:26-27)
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:13-15)
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. (James 2:10-11)
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. (James 4:17)
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (1 John 1:8-10)
No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:6-10)
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10)
Sins listed in scripture. Some are repeated in more than one list. There are…
-Seven which come from the heart and defile: Matthew 15:18-20
-Thirteen which come from the heart and defile: Mark 7:21-23
-Twenty-three which bring the judgment of God: Romans 1:29-32
-Seven which believers cannot do: Romans 13:13,14
-Six with which believers should not associate: 1 Corinthians 5:9-11
-Ten which prevent entrance into the Kingdom of God: 1 Corinthians 6:9,10
-Seventeen more which prevent entrance into the Kingdom of God: Galatians 5:19-21
-Four which bring wrath and prevent entrance into the Kingdom of God: Ephesians 5:5-6
-Eleven from which believers must turn away: 2 Corinthians 12:20-21
-Nine in which the unsaved live and in which believers should not live: Ephesians 4:17-19
-Six which must not exist among believers: Ephesians 5:3,4
-Nine which believers should put away: Ephesians 4:25,28,29,31
-Six which believers must put off: Colossians 3:8,9
-Six which believers must mortify and which bring the wrath of God: Colossians 3:5-6
-Fourteen for which the law was given: 1 Timothy 1:9-10
-Nineteen from which believers must turn away: 2 Timothy 3:1-5
-Nine from which believers are saved: Titus 3:3-5
-Five which believers must lay aside: 1 Peter 2:1
-Seven sins of the flesh in which believers no longer live: 1 Peter 4:2-4
-Eight which condemn to the lake of fire: Revelation 21:8
-Six which prevent access to the tree of life and the holy city: Revelation 22:14