Ask An Eastern Orthodox Christian: Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit
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Will God Forgive the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?
The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit occurs when a person actively pursues a conscious, continuous, deliberate and malicious attitude of rejecting the Holy Spirit of God, calling God who is good, evil. This sin is unforgivable as long as that person continues in this intentional, continuous, declarative state, leaving no hope of salvation in this life or the next.
Many Christian fathers, including St. John Chrysostom, said that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, “Would be forgiven to those who sincerely repent.” They go on to say that there are no unforgivable sins if a blasphemer turns towards God with a truly contrite spirit and genuinely repents of this sin.
We are a spiritual being existing in a carnal body. We are also the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). It is God, the Holy Spirit, that brings God the Father and God the Son to dwell within us. John 14:16 states that God is life itself. If God, the “life source,” does not dwell within a person’s temple, they are spiritually dead (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
Christ’s first and major message to be saved was in Matthew 3:2, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” God forgives and does not condemn the repentant sinner. However, true repentance includes striving to sin no more.
God’s unconditional love for us never changes no matter what we have done, what we are doing, or what we will do. There is nothing that anyone can do to change his love for us.
Access to the Kingdom
The presence of the Holy Spirit of God within us enables one to gain access to the Kingdom of God. It is there that one experiences the fruit of the spirit; unconditional love, joy that is eternal, peace beyond understanding, patience beyond our capability, kindness that bathes those around us, goodness that edifies the heart, faithfulness that gives hope, gentleness that is comforting, and self-control that comes from His strength (Galatians 5:22).
Although fasting, prayer, almsgiving, and vigilance are all well and good, the primary aim of every Christian should be “the acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God” by providing the environment where he may intimately dwell within us.
As an infant, I was baptized as an Eastern Orthodox Christian. However, I would say that becoming a Christian is a work in progress, and I often wonder would there be enough evidence to convict me of becoming a Christian. The Orthodox Church is the ancient Church that Christ and the Apostles established. It is not a religion but rather a way of life. It is not about rules and regulations but rather guide posts to make choices to transition to what we were designed to become. Becoming Orthodox is not a conversion but more so a transformation of self. It’s not about being right: it is about “right being.” In John 14:6, Christ says I am the Way (to love and serve one another), the Truth (there is only one reality), and the Life (that life source is love). I invite you to submit any topics or questions to “Ask An Eastern Orthodox Christian” on the website. Join me in finding our way back home to the original teachings of the Church. When you change the way you look at things, things change the way they look.