Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Matthew 12:31
The Unpardonable Sin
He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the one to come.…
The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.—Better, against the Spirit, the word “Holy” not being found in any MSS. of authority. The question, What is the nature of the terrible sin thus excluded from forgiveness? has, naturally enough, largely occupied the thoughts of men. What, we ask, is this blasphemy against the Holy Ghost? (1.) The context at least helps us to understand something of its nature. The Pharisees were warned against a sin to which they were drawing perilously near. To condemn the Christ as a gluttonous man and a wine-bibber, as breaking the Sabbath, or blaspheming when He said, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,” was to speak a word against the Son of Man. These offences might be sins of ignorance, not implying more than narrowness and prejudice. But to see a man delivered from the power of Satan unto God, to watch the work of the Spirit of God, and then to ascribe that work to the power of evil, this was to be out of sympathy with goodness and mercy altogether. In such a character there was no opening for repentance, and therefore none for forgiveness. The capacity for goodness in any form was destroyed by this kind of antagonism. (2.) We dare not say, and our Lord does not say it, that the Pharisees had actually committed this sin, but it was towards this that they were drifting. And in reference to later times, we may say that this is the ultimate stage of antagonism to God and to His truth, when the clearest proofs of divine power and goodness are distorted into evidence that the power is evil. The human nature in that extremest debasement has identified itself with the devil nature, and must share its doom.
By the blasphemy here spoken of, we are evidently to understand injurious or impious speaking against the Spirit of God, such as the Pharisees were now guilty of; that is, attributing to the devil those miracles which Christ gave full proof that he wrought by the Holy Spirit. That this, and nothing but this, is the sin here intended, is manifest from the connection in which the words stand in this place; and more especially still from the parallel passage, Mark 3:28-30, in which the evangelist, assigning the reason of our Lord’s making this declaration, adds, Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit; that is, “hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of devils casteth out devils.” This, then, and this only, is the sin, or blasphemy, as it should rather be called, (and as the Scriptures always call it,) against the Holy Ghost. It is an offence of the tongue; it is committed not by thinking, but by speaking, by evil-speaking, by belying, slandering, or reviling the Divine Spirit, by which our Lord wrought his miracles, ascribing them to the devil: which in fact was calling the Holy Ghost, or the Spirit of the one living and true God, the devil: a more heinous crime than which is not to be conceived.