The unpardonable sin and TULIP

Who can commit the unpardonable sin; the elect, non-elect, or both? I presume everyone would argue that only the non-elect can commit it.

If this is the case, why does Christ speak of an unpardonable sin at all? Every sin that a non-elect person commits is, in truth, unpardonable. How could God forgive a sin which Christ has not atoned for?
 

Redeemed

Well-known member
It's going to be interesting to see where this thread goes. It must've taken some time to come up with your questions. They're very thought-provoking.
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
Who can commit the unpardonable sin; the elect, non-elect, or both? I presume everyone would argue that only the non-elect can commit it.

If this is the case, why does Christ speak of an unpardonable sin at all?

I tend to avoid answering questions about "why", if the answer isn't clearly revealed in Scripture. After all, I'm not God. We can speculate about why, but speculation is not truth. In the same way, I'm not really impressed by arguments against Calvinism (or against any theology) based on speculative answers about "why", or "I don't think there's a good reason why".

Every sin that a non-elect person commits is, in truth, unpardonable.

That's simply not true.
"unpardonable" means UNABLE to pardon.
The other sins of the non-elect are those God is UNWILLING to pardon, not "unable" to pardon.

For instance, God pardons the sin of murder, if it was committed by one of the elect (hopefully before they came to Christ). Therefore murder is NOT an "unpardonable" sin, since God has and does pardon it. If it's committed by a non-elect person, it's not that God "can't" pardon murder (because He has), it is because He CHOOSES NOT to.

How could God forgive a sin which Christ has not atoned for?

Now this is a weird question, and bordering on heretical, IMO, since it seems not only to deny the unity of the Father and the Son, but also seems to make God the Father a slave to the Son.

You seem to forget that it is God the Father who has originally elected whom He will save.
You seem to be ASSUMING that Christ atoned for someone who was not of the Father's elect.

God elects His people, and He draws them to Christ.
Christ died for them.
The Spirit regenerated them.
There is AMAZING unity among the actions of the Triune God.
 
That's simply not true.
"unpardonable" means UNABLE to pardon.
The other sins of the non-elect are those God is UNWILLING to pardon, not "unable" to pardon.
I don’t put much confidence in that distinction, but since you do; the text says that God is unwilling to forgive this particular sin.

“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” (Matt. 12:31-32)
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
I don’t put much confidence in that distinction, but since you do; the text says that God is unwilling to forgive this particular sin.

“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” (Matt. 12:31-32)

Um, where do you see the word, "unwilling" in this passage?
It's nowhere to be found.

The Greek words for "willing" are "θελω" ("thelo") and "βουλομαι" ("boulomai").
Neither word is found in that passage.

The occurrences of the word "will" that you see in the text (eg. "will not be forgiven men") are not references to the will of God, but are simply "helper" words to produce the future tense.
 

Redeemed

Well-known member
“Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” (Mark 3:28–29).

THANKS BE TO GOD THAT THE SIN THAT IS UNPARDONABLE IS NOT A SIN HE ALLOWS HIS PEOPLE TO COMMIT. —R.C. SPROUL
 

Redeemed

Well-known member
"There's some things even Jesus won't forgive" Sorry Bob C. I couldn't resist.
 
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zerinus

Well-known member
Who can commit the unpardonable sin; the elect, non-elect, or both? I presume everyone would argue that only the non-elect can commit it.

If this is the case, why does Christ speak of an unpardonable sin at all? Every sin that a non-elect person commits is, in truth, unpardonable. How could God forgive a sin which Christ has not atoned for?
That question exposes the theological flaw that is inherent in your definition of the "elect". If that flaw is removed, the dilemma does not arise. If you start with the Calvinistic definition of the "elect," meaning those predestined and predetermined from eternity to be the "elect," then that dilemma arises; but if you start with the Arminian definition of the "elect," meaning those who are elect because God foresees in his foreknowledge to choose by their own (libertarian) free actions to be righteous, that dilemma does not arise; because if they choose by their own (libertarian) free actions to commit the unpardonable sin, that means that they would not have been chosen in God's foreknowledge to be among the elect to start with. But to answer your initial question, "who can commit the unpardonable sin?" The answer is, Anybody can who fulfills the required conditions, which is, to receive a divine witness of the Holy Spirit of something being sacred and divine, and originating from God; and then knowingly and wilfully opposing and turning against it. That is the criteria for committing the unpardonable sin.
 

armylngst

Active member
That question exposes the theological flaw that is inherent in your definition of the "elect". If that flaw is removed, the dilemma does not arise. If you start with the Calvinistic definition of the "elect," meaning those predestined and predetermined from eternity to be the "elect," then that dilemma arises; but if you start with the Arminian definition of the "elect," meaning those who are elect because God foresees in his foreknowledge to choose by their own (libertarian) free actions to be righteous, that dilemma does not arise; because if they choose by their own (libertarian) free actions to commit the unpardonable sin, that means that they would not have been chosen in God's foreknowledge to be among the elect to start with. But to answer your initial question, "who can commit the unpardonable sin?" The answer is, Anybody can who fulfills the required conditions, which is, to receive a divine witness of the Holy Spirit of something being sacred and divine, and originating from God; and then knowingly and wilfully opposing and turning against it. That is the criteria for committing the unpardonable sin.
There is no theological flaw. You need to reason it rationally, using logical proofs. (Even God said, come let us reason together.) If the Calvinistic definition of the elect is that God chose whom He would save before the foundation of the world, then is it possible, given the definition of God Himself, for any of them not to be saved? If it is not possible for anyone whom God has chosen to declare justified, through the way He made in His own Son, to escape God, can they, using sound reasoning, sin the unpardonable sin? We do have a thought process today that has thrown out objectivity, rationality, and sound reasoning. It has invaded the church, and has found a home in "libertarian" free will and action. Your Arminian thought process complicates things A LOT. On one hand, the Calvinistic belief is that one who has been chosen by God to be saved, cannot undo that, because it is God we are talking about. They will not sin the unpardonable sin by the grace, mercy, and faithfulness of God, which you seem to ignore. The choice of those who commit the unpardonable sin is BOUND. They are slaves of sin, and cannot choose to be righteous. For even God said that our righteousness is as filthy rags...in other words, not really righteousness. So, in God's foreknowledge/foresight, was He looking for people wearing filthy rags, or for those people who were wearing filthy rags?

Jesus spoke of the unpardonable sin in condemnation of those religious leaders who were committing it right at that moment. It had nothing to do with elect or non-elect, but the condemnation of those who at that moments damned themselves to hell with no hope of salvation, as clearly explained by the Author of salvation. This He did before the people, who can heed what Jesus said, or not heed what He said. Don't forget
context means everything.

The last question by the OP is not even worth mentioning, but I will anyway, "How could God forgive a sin which Christ has not atoned for?" Reread the context and you will learn that God WILL NOT forgive/pardon anyone committing the unpardonable sin, and it isn't because He can't, it is because He won't. As they aren't elect, Jesus sacrifice does not atone for their sins. It could, but Christ's sacrifice is the ground floor for Salvation, and so if they aren't saved, they aren't atoned for. Universalism is a heresy.
 
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zerinus

Well-known member
There is no theological flaw. You need to reason it rationally, using logical proofs. (Even God said, come let us reason together.) If the Calvinistic definition of the elect is that God chose whom He would save before the foundation of the world, then is it possible, given the definition of God Himself, for any of them not to be saved? If it is not possible for anyone whom God has chosen to declare justified, through the way He made in His own Son, to escape God, can they, using sound reasoning, sin the unpardonable sin? We do have a thought process today that has thrown out objectivity, rationality, and sound reasoning. It has invaded the church, and has found a home in "libertarian" free will and action. Your Arminian thought process complicates things A LOT. On one hand, the Calvinistic belief is that one who has been chosen by God to be saved, cannot undo that, because it is God we are talking about. They will not sin the unpardonable sin by the grace, mercy, and faithfulness of God, which you seem to ignore. The choice of those who commit the unpardonable sin is BOUND. They are slaves of sin, and cannot choose to be righteous. For even God said that our righteousness is as filthy rags...in other words, not really righteousness. So, in God's foreknowledge/foresight, was He looking for people wearing filthy rags, or for those people who were wearing filthy rags?

Jesus spoke of the unpardonable sin in condemnation of those religious leaders who were committing it right at that moment. It had nothing to do with elect or non-elect, but the condemnation of those who at that moments damned themselves to hell with no hope of salvation, as clearly explained by the Author of salvation. This He did before the people, who can heed what Jesus said, or not heed what He said. Don't forget
context means everything.

The last question by the OP is not even worth mentioning, but I will anyway, "How could God forgive a sin which Christ has not atoned for?" Reread the context and you will learn that God WILL NOT forgive/pardon anyone committing the unpardonable sin, and it isn't because He can't, it is because He won't. As they aren't elect, Jesus sacrifice does not atone for their sins. It could, but Christ's sacrifice is the ground floor for Salvation, and so if they aren't saved, they aren't atoned for. Universalism is a heresy.
You are dodging the dilemma demonstrated by the OP, and not addressing it. That can only mean that you don't have a proper response to give, and so you are trying to rescue your Calvinistic theology by any means possible by turning a blind eye to the OP. Not a very promising defense of Calvinism.
 

SovereignGrace

Well-known member
The questions that need asked are:

1) What is the unpardonable sin?

&

2) Can ppl alive today commit it?

1) It was those who literally saw the miracles Jesus performed and attributed it to Beelzebul.

2) I don’t think so, seeing none of see Jesus doing these miracles He did.
 

zerinus

Well-known member
The questions that need asked are:

1) What is the unpardonable sin?

&

2) Can ppl alive today commit it?

1) It was those who literally saw the miracles Jesus performed and attributed it to Beelzebul.

2) I don’t think so, seeing none of see Jesus doing these miracles He did.
Accusing Jesus while he was alive was not the only way that one could commit the unpardonable sin, as the following verses demonstrate:

Hebrews 6:

4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

Hebrews 10:

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

2 Peter 2:

20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.


These all refer to committing the unpardonable sin long after Jesus had died, been resurrected, and taken to heaven. So the answer is Yes, it is possible to commit the unpardonable sin today as it was then; but not everyone can do it. It requires a special divine witness that something is true, sacred, and came from God; and then wilfully and actively turning against it, with full knowledge of the fact.
 
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SovereignGrace

Well-known member
Accusing Jesus while he was alive was not the only way that one could commit the unpardonable sin, as the following verses demonstrate:

Hebrews 6:

4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

Hebrews 10:

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

2 Peter 2:

20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.


These all refer to committing the unpardonable sin long after Jesus had died, been resurrected, and taken to heaven. So the answer is Yes, it is possible to commit the unpardonable sin today as it was then; but not everyone can do it. It requires a special divine witness that something is true, sacred, and came from God; and then wilfully and actively turning against it, with full knowledge of the fact.
Go just a little further in Hebrews 6...But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way.[vs 9]

In regards to your Hebrews 10 passage, it says if we willfully sin. Seeing that not one single Christian is sinless, and that none commit sin unwillingly(meaning every sin we commit is committed willingly), you’re in a conundrum. What that passage is teaching is a lifestyle of sinning. It is backed up by John in 1 John 3...No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.[vss 9-10] Those who are truly saved do sin, but they do not practice sin. As the NASB puts Hebrews 10:26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, so it’s not that they willingly commit a sin and are therefore cut off, but by living a lifestyle of sin(showing no signs of repentance in their life), it’s evidence of no conversion taking place.

2 Peter 2 is addressing false prophets. He even mentions Balaam in that chapter. Just like the parable of the unclean spirit that was cast out. When he came back, he saw it swept and clean. Then he took seven other spirits and the state of that person was worse afterwards[Matthew 12:43-45]. Both those passages show that ppl can show piety, live better lives, but there was no change made in their lives. Just like the second soil [rocky ground] in Matthew 13:5-6, Jesus’ explanation of the rocky ground [vss20-21]. It immediately sprung, but there was no fruit.

To make a long story short, none of those passages refer to the unpardonable sin, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
 
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zerinus

Well-known member
Go just a little further in Hebrews 6...But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way.[vs 9]

In regards to your Hebrews 10 passage, it says if we willfully sin. Seeing that not one single Christian is sinless, and that none commit sin unwillingly(meaning every sin we commit is committed willingly), you’re in a conundrum. What that passage is teaching is a lifestyle of sinning. It is backed up by John in 1 John 3...No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.[vss 9-10] Those are truly saved do sin, but they do not practice sin. As the NASB puts Hebrews 10:26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, so it’s not that they willingly commit a sin and are therefore cut off, but by living a lifestyle of sin(showing no signs of repentance in their life), it’s evidence of no conversion taking place.

2 Peter 2 is addressing false prophets. He even mentions Balaam in that chapter. Just like the parable of the unclean spirit that was cast out. When he came back, he saw it swept and clean. Then he took seven other spirits and the state of that person was worse afterwards[Matthew 12:43-45]. Both those passages show that ppl can show piety, live better lives, but there was no change made in their lives. Just like the second soil [rocky ground] in Matthew 13:5-6, Jesus’ explanation of the rocky ground [vss20-21]. It immediately sprung, but there was no fruit.

To make a long story short, none of those passages refer to the unpardonable sin, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
You are simply ignoring the context of those verses, which I have highlighted to make as plain and obvious as possible. You are closing your eyes to the truth. Nobody is going to be fooled by that, and no further comment is required.
I just addressed them. 🙂
And did it all wrong! :(
 

SovereignGrace

Well-known member
No, I understand the context of those passages just fine. I don’t hold to the ideology that man’s will thwarts God’s will. Jesus said those the Father gave Him, He would lose none[John 6:39].
 

armylngst

Active member
You are dodging the dilemma demonstrated by the OP, and not addressing it. That can only mean that you don't have a proper response to give, and so you are trying to rescue your Calvinistic theology by any means possible by turning a blind eye to the OP. Not a very promising defense of Calvinism.
So, this is your dodgy way of saying you can't disprove what I said. Very nice. I could have gone deeper, but I was keeping it short. (My last comment, different thread, took about two hours to write.) If you note, I quoted someone who was not the OP, and the argument is aimed at HIS COMMENT. I did add some parts of the OP, but the point was to show that there is no rational, logical dilemma if you take the Calvinistic approach. It is actually pretty cut and dry. Just because you don't believe God is faithful, does not mean that I also don't believe God is faithful.
 
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