Can you be forgiven of all sins or not? The Bible implies in some verses that all sins are forgiven but elsewhere says that some sins are not forgiven. How do we reconcile this apparent discrepancy?
Not all sins are forgiven
Matthew 12:31-32, “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32 And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age, or in the age to come.”
Mark 3:29, “but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”
All sins are forgiven
Acts 13:39, “and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.”
Titus 2:13-14, “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; 14who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”
1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
When interpreting the Bible, context is everything. Anyone can take a verse out of context in one place and compare it to another verse out of context in another. Such is often the case when critics quote these types of scriptures listed above as criticism of the Bible. Each verse must be examined in its own context to see what the author is really saying.
So, does the Bible teach that all sins are forgiven or not? The answer is simple. We are to take all of God’s word into account, in context, when developing a teaching. Therefore, the Bible teaches us that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable. All other sins are forgivable. However, this does not mean that all sins will be forgiven. It means that all these other sins can be forgiven. We are forgiven only when we trust in Christ and Him alone for the forgiveness of our sins. Those who have committed blasphemy of the Holy Spirit will never seek Christ because the Holy Spirit will not work on them. So, for the believer who comes to Christ by faith, each and every transgression will indeed be wiped away.