Have I Committed the Unpardonable Sin?

Context Matters


How do you know if you’ve committed the unpardonable sin mentioned in Matthew 12:31? Dr. Ed Welch, counselor and faculty member at Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF), talks about the unpardonable sin found in Scripture and gives hope to all who fear they’ve committed it. 


Ed Welch has been counseling for over 30 years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear, and addictions. He is the author of When People Are Big and God is Small, Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave, Blame it on the Brain, Depression—A Stubborn Darkness, and When I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety. 



Ed begins his answer by urging people to consider the context of passages that speak about the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Spirit. He said the passages refer to Pharisees who have truly hardened their hearts. Ed said that the people who ask whether or not they have committed the unpardonable sin are not the Pharisees. Clearly they love and consider the Lord enough to wonder and be afraid.  

To what extent are you familiar with the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit in Scripture? Have you ever been afraid you’ve committed it? Why or why not?
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Psalm 103:8-13 (ESV)

8The Lord is merciful and gracious,

slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

9 He will not always chide,

nor will he keep his anger forever.

10He does not deal with us according to our sins,

nor repay us according to our iniquities.

11For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

12as far as the east is from the west,

so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

13As a father shows compassion to his children,

so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Psalm 103 is only one of many Scriptures that speak of God’s eagerness and willingness to forgive His children. Ed said it’s as if when we make the smallest turn in God’s direction, He responds. When have you experienced God’s quickness to forgive you?
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Ed said that people who truly wrestle with wondering whether or not they have committed the unpardonable sin are anxious, scrupulous people who are particularly aware of their own sins. They need to hear that God is with them, loves them, and forgives them. They also need to have friends to pray for them so they won’t feel the burden of their own guilt.  

Can you think of someone you know who needs to experience the grace and mercy of God in their lives? If so, who is it, and how can you help?
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Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV)

9 Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

10 Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread,

12and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Ed suggested praying the Lord’s Prayer as a regular habit for all who wrestle with guilt over sin. The repetition of the prayer continues a person’s confession of sin and reception of God’s grace and mercy. How might you incorporate the Lord’s Prayer into your life, if you haven’t already?
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We are all in need of God’s grace and forgiveness daily. Rather than worry whether or not we have committed the unpardonable sin, Ed urges us to instead stay focused on what we know: in the midst of our inevitable sin, God is loving, forgiving, and full of mercy. Confess and repent from your everyday offenses and rest in the Lord’s compassion for you.  


 This video is a publication of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). All content is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in any manner without written permission from CCEF. For more information on classes, materials, speaking events, distance education and other services, please visit www.ccef.org