Ask an Eastern Orthodox Christian: Will God Forgive the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit of God?
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Commentary by Nicholas Damascus | FāVS News
What happens when you blaspheme the Holy Spirit but want to be forgiven?
The question directly relates to Matthew 12:32 that reads, “… but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” (See also Luke 12:10 and Mark 3:29.)
Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit occurs when a person actively and willingly pursues a conscious, continuous deliberate 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 of mind, leaving no hope of salvation in this life or the next.
Repentance is Key
Many Christian fathers, including St. John Chrysostom said 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. However, true repentance includes striving to sin no more. God forgives and does not condemn a genuine repentant sinner. Christ never implies this sin is “unforgivable.”
For example, in 2 Peter 3:9, the Bible says, “The Lord … not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” This is also implied in 1 Timothy 2:4, John 6:37 and Acts 2:21.
God’s unconditional love for believers and nonbelievers 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 unconditional love for each and every one of us. During our entire earthly life, God continually chases after us to redeem us as a good Christian parent seeks to always be concerned about the salvation of the souls of his children.
Our Bodies are a Conduit
Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). It is the Holy Spirit of God that brings Christ to indwell in us (Galatians 2:20). Christ is life himself (John 14:6). He is the “life source,” and if he does not dwell within a person’s temple, they are spiritually dead (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
More simply put, the Holy Spirit is the conduit and connection to the Father and the Son. When one willfully rejects the Holy Spirit, one severs that connection to the other two.
It is the Holy Spirit of God, the Creator of life, who brought the presence of God in the burning bush on Mount Horeb, in the Ark of the Covenant, in the Temple in Jerusalem, in the womb of the Theotokos, the Virgin Mary and finally to dwell in each one of us who now have become a temple of the Holy Spirit.
In conclusion, although fasting, prayer and almsgiving are all well and good in the Christian life, the primary aim of every Christian should be “the acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God” by providing an environment where he may intimately indwell in us.
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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.