What Sins Can Be Forgiven?

We must take both parts of this statement very seriously. Let’s start with the warning. There is a sin which cannot be forgiven. This “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” renders one incapable of salvation, now or in the age to come (32). The Pharisees obviously committed this unpardonable transgression when they said that Jesus was casting out demons by the power of Satan, not God. Jesus countered by insisting that His exorcisms were worked by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Pharisees’ sin apparently consisted in their total rejection of the ministry Jesus came to do. What was in fact good. Thus, they placed themselves beyond the range of Jesus’ saving grace, for they rejected the essence of His ministry, which was salvation from sin and its effects. Those who, like Paul, at first did not believe in Jesus but later repented could be forgiven. On the other hand, those who did not even want the kind of deliverance Jesus came to bring, and who in fact considered it satanic, would not even ask forgiveness, for they did not consider themselves wrong before God. What about the promise? How wonderful and comprehensive it is! “Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven”! Dishonoring parents, adultery, murder, stealing, lying, covetousness, not loving and serving God – all these can be covered with the blood of Jesus, who came to “save His people from their sins” (1:21). Traitors and prostitutes, adulterers and thieves, even Matthew the tax collector and Peter the coward, knew the grace of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And so can we, as long as we truly repent and trust in Jesus each day.