How Much Sin Will God Forgive?

Written by John Benza

First of all, we all sin. Sin is very real in our lives. We do many things that aren’t pleasing to God.

Acknowledging that you sin is a huge step. A lot of people sin and don’t think there’s anything wrong with it while some people finally come to see how destructive sin can be. But God does not want us to live with guilt. He wants us to know and fully experience His forgiveness.

God does not simply overlook our sin and say, “You’re forgiven.” God sees our sin but is ready to forgive us because Jesus fully took OUR sin on himself and paid for our sin by his death on the cross. Our sin is serious and it cost Jesus incredible suffering. But from the moment we believe in Christ and make him a part of our lives, his forgiveness is ours. We can’t ever make up for our own sin or suffer enough for it—nor does God want us to. In the Bible, it says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

But what happens when we struggle in an area and keep on sinning? Does God get so weary forgiving us that we, at some point, reach our limit?

Jesus was asked by the disciples how many times they needed to forgive someone. Jesus said, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22).

It’s unlikely that we all can keep track of whether we forgive a particular individual 490 times, so you see Jesus’ point. We always forgive, because God always forgives us. God does not have a limit. He died for every one of your sins—those you’ve committed and those you will commit—past, present, and future. You need to begin looking at your sin the way God looks at it. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9) “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)

If you’ve asked God to forgive you and to come into your life—you are forgiven! Thank him for his forgiveness and begin to rejoice in your secure relationship with him. He is able to change areas of your life for the best. Remember, God is able to forgive all sin.

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552 Responses to “How Much Sin Will God Forgive?”

  • Tom Tom says:

    Dez–
    You and others are always welcome to offer your input, so don’t feel limited.
    Here is a brief explanation of the passage to which you refer:

    What is Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit?
    The word blasphemy (blasphemia), “impious and reproachful speech injurious to the divine majesty” (Thayer), in this context denotes an attitude of “defiant irreverence.” The scribes who accused Jesus were guilty of blaspheming the Holy Spirit because they defied the truth. They treated his miracles with something worse than indifference; they blasphemously attributed them to Satan. They were like those condemned by Isaiah the prophet (5:20): “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Philo thus commented that those who blaspheme against the divine and ascribe the origin of evil to God and not man can expect no forgiveness. By accusing Jesus of being in league with Satan when he was really acting through the power of the Holy Spirit, they had blasphemed the Spirit, hardening their hearts against the Spirit’s influence.

    Why is This an Unpardonable Sin?
    Jesus said that every other sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven. “And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him . . .” (Matt. 12:32). Christ referred to himself as the “Son of Man” to emphasize his humanity. To speak evil words against Jesus as a man working among men, though deplorable, was an evil that could be forgiven. The Son of Man in his earthly ministry was as liable to misunderstanding and ill treatment by others as any new messenger. When the source of evil speaking against Christ is ignorance, misconception, or ill-informed prejudice, then that blasphemy is as pardonable as any sin. Men could repent of their careless neglect of his work or their mistaken opposition to it, and when they did repent, they were forgiven. There are many examples in the New Testament of people who first opposed Jesus but later turned to accept him. Peter, perhaps through fear, denied Jesus in his hour of trial (Mark 14:71-72), but he found forgiveness, and when he was restored he was able to strengthen others (Luke 22:31-32). Paul marveled at the mercy extended to him even though he had been “a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor” (1 Tim.1: 12-16, emphasis mine, dwp). The apostle described himself as the “chief of sinners” to show, in fact, the perfect patience of Christ as the Savior of all.

    The person who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, how ever, places himself beyond the reach of forgiveness. This is true because the Holy Spirit is the agent in the revelation of divine truth (2 Sam. 23:2; John 15:26; 16:13; Eph. 6:17; 2 Pet. 1:21). It is only through the work of the Spirit that we come to know of God, our sins, the atonement provided through Christ, and our need for repentance and obedience. Blasphemy against the Spirit is unforgivable because its source is a heart of malice, selfish preference of wrong over right and evil over good, and a willful refusal to believe. The Pharisees had revealed that their hearts were evil, and Jesus called them a “brood of vipers” (Matt. 12:34). Such a perverse spirit consciously and deliberately rejects the truth and thus the salvation it brings. “Either in this age, or in the age to come” (Matt.12:32) simply means “never.” In Mark’s account, Jesus called it an “eternal sin” (3:29). As long as a person persists in this state, genuine repentance is impossible. There is no room in this person’s heart for penitence, which is a prerequisite for forgiveness. His sin is unpardonable simply because he is unwilling to travel the road that leads to pardon. The only sin that God is unable to forgive is the unwillingness to accept forgiveness.

    Mark’s use of the imperfect tense in 3:30, “because they were saying,” implies a continued rejection of the truth on the part of the scribes: they “kept on saying” that he had an unclean spirit. The continuous refusal to respond to the guidance of the Spirit of God as revealed in his word may eventually lead to a state of moral insensitivity. Grieving (Eph. 4:30), resisting (Acts 7:51), and quenching (1 Thess. 5:19) the Holy Spirit may lead one to become so calloused that he will not even hear the truth.

    Conclusion
    There is such a thing as opposition to divine influence that is so persistent and deliberate, because of continual preference of darkness to light, that repentance, and therefore forgiveness become impossible. The Law of Moses made a distinction between sins committed unintentionally, for which atonement could be made, and sins committed in open defiance of God. The person who acts “defiantly . . .. is blaspheming the Lord . . ., has despised the word of the Lord and has broken his commandment . . ., shall be completely cut off; his guilt shall be on him” (Num. 15:30-31). The Hebrews writer said it is impossible to renew to repentance those who crucify the Son of God afresh, placing themselves in a state of open repudiation of the only way of salvation (Heb. 6:4-6). For them “there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins” (10:26f). They have sinned the sin “unto death” (1 John 5:16).

    The gospel is God’s power to salvation. But we must have an honest and good heart to receive it. “He who has ears, let him hear.”

  • Lee says:

    If anyone is worried about having had blasphemous thoughts, I would encourage them to read this link: http://www.net-burst.net/guilty/sin.htm

    I would also generally caution against seeking answers to major spiritual problems from strangers on an online forum. I think it’s probably not always bad, but sometimes the focus in the spiritual answers given is on providing “steps” without love, relationship, or grace. I do not believe that this is done in a malicious way. I think there are a lot of cases where people know what they need to do (eg “repent”), but it’s the “how” that gets people stuck. It is important to seek out wise, loving counsel. God Bless

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