All sins are serious, and, in a general sense, against the Holy Spirit as every sin is against God who is in three persons, which include the Holy Spirit. But there are six acts that are especially regarded as sins against the Holy Spirit, namely, Lying to, or Testing the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3, 9); Resisting the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51); Quenching the Holy Spirit (1Thes. 5:19 – extinguish, suppress, stifle, thoroughly neglecting the operations of the Holy Spirit); Grieving the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30 – offending the Holy Spirit, making him sad or sorrowful); Insulting the Holy Spirit (Heb. 10:29 – outraging the Spirit of grace, persistent sinning with full knowledge and no desire to repent); Blaspheming the Spirit (Mat.12:31-32 – ascribing the work of the Holy Spirit to the Devil, rejecting the testimony of the Holy Spirit. It also connotes speaking evil of the Holy Spirit and misusing his name. The consequence of blaspheming the Holy Spirit is grave. It deprives one of the forgiveness found only in Christ!)
The sins against the Holy Spirit hinder or even paralyse the work of the Holy Spirit in a person. This is disastrous. It can prevent a person from becoming a Christian, and make a Christian to become worse than the unbeliever.
Sins against the Holy Spirit can lead progressively into apostasy: Resisting the Spirit can lead to quenching the Spirit. Quenching the Spirit can lead to grieving the Spirit. Grieving the Spirit can lead to insulting the Spirit. Insulting the Spirit can lead to blaspheming the Spirit, and blaspheming the Spirit leads to a condition where forgiveness is not possible
“All wrong doing is sin” but “there is sin that leads to death.” (1Jn 5:16, 17). Sins against the Holy Spirit are evidently such sins.
The Ven. Dr Princewill Onyinyechukwu Ireoba is the Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.