1 John 5:16–17 (ESV)
16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit
sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.
This passage leaves
many people scratching their heads saying “What?” Sin not leading to death? Doesn’t the Bible say in Romans 10:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
So how do we make sense out of this? Any unrepented sin can lead to death, but if a believer repents, God will forgive. The one sin that the Bible calls the “unforgivable sin” is the denial of the Holy Spirit. This is confirmed in Matthew’s
Gospel 12:31–32. "Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the
Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” The Gospel writer Mark also states this found in 3:28–30. 28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and
whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.” All other sin is forgivable if you are a believer and repent of your sins. Every Sunday morning,
we begin our service with a confession and absolution. At the very beginning, we humbly come before the Lord confessing that we have sinned and that we repent of our sins. The absolution takes us to the cross. I pray: Lord, I come
to you and acknowledge that I have fallen short in thought, word, and deed. Lord, I am sorry and want to do better. Forgive me Lord and guide me in all my ways. Protect me from the evil one. Amen.