“For this reason, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself first, and in this way let him eat the bread and drink of the cup. For the one who eats and drinks without careful regard for the body eats and drinks judgment against himself. That is why many of you are weak and sick, and quite a few are dead. But if we examined ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned with the world.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭11‬:‭27‬-‭32‬ ‭NET‬‬

Does this suggest that this sin is unforgivable since they are guilty of the blood and body of the lord?

  • 2
    From which denomination's perspective are you asking the question?
    – guest37
    Feb 15 at 19:37
  • Although the scripture is clear on the one unforgivable sin, what Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit means is not clear. I think this question need to be closed until you can add a denomination so we know what you mean by communion.
    – Peter Turner
    Feb 16 at 14:51
  • @PeterTurner, is the communion tag insufficient?
    – JBH
    Feb 19 at 21:32
  • @JBH definitely not, for some the celebration of the Eucharist is the source and summit of their faith, for others it is just a symbol. The difference may be as big as God is.
    – Peter Turner
    Feb 20 at 13:23

3 Answers 3


Wherefore I say unto you,

All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. Matthew 12:31.

Jesus makes clear that there is only one sin that is unforgivable, due to the importance of the Person who is rejected by that sinful act.


Is taking communion in an unworthy manner unforgivable?

The short answer is no.

No Christian denomination holds this to be an unforgivable sin.

Eastern Christianity

"Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" is conscious and hardened opposition to the truth, "because the Spirit is truth" (1 John 5:6). Conscious and hardened resistance to the truth leads man away from humility and repentance, and without repentance there can be no forgiveness. That is why the sin of blasphemy against the Spirit cannot be forgiven, since one who does not acknowledge his sin does not seek to have it forgiven. — Serafim Alexivich Slobodskoy, The Eighth Article of the Creed

Roman Catholicism

Thomas Aquinas lists, or has responded to, six sins that go against the Holy Spirit:[29][30]

  • despair: which consists in thinking that one's own malice is greater than Divine Goodness, as the Master of the Sentences teaches,

  • presumption: if a man wants to obtain glory without merits or pardon without repentance

  • resistance to the known truth,

  • envy of a brother's spiritual good, i.e., of the increase of Divine grace in the world,

  • impenitence, i.e., the specific purpose of not repenting a sin,

  • obstinacy, whereby a man, clinging to his sin, becomes immune to the thought that the good searched in it is a very little one.

Thomas Aquinas explains that the unforgivability of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit means that it removes the entrance to these means of salvation; however, it cannot hinder God in taking away this obstacle by way of a miracle.


John Calvin, the founder of the Reformed tradition of Christianity (which includes the Continental Reformed, Presbyterian, Congregationalist and Reformed Anglican denominations) wrote:

I say, therefore, that he sins against the Holy Spirit who, while so constrained by the power of divine truth that he cannot plead ignorance, yet deliberately resists, and that merely for the sake of resisting. - Eternal sin


This is often a deeply misunderstood passage and it is more than questionable that this passage deals with 'communion' as it is currently undertaken; that is to say the doling out of a wafer, cracker, or piece of bread and a sip or dipping of either wine or grape juice:

For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. - v.21

The picture we have is one of a proper meal (like Passover) not a sacramental ritual. Hence the observation that some eat first while others are left hungry and that some get drunk as well as the tongue in cheek exhortation to eat and get drunk in one's own home:

What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. - v.22

Indeed the reference made by Paul in verses 23-25 is to the last supper prior to Jesus' death and that was most definitively a meal and not a smidgen of bread:

Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. - Matthew 26:17-21

Since the specific act of Jesus breaking bread and sharing wine during the meal is referenced as being done for the body (the church) and as a remembrance and proclamation of His death and coming again:

And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. - v. 24-26

The overarching context of eating and drinking in an unworthy manner has less to do, then, with participating without searching and repenting personal sins and much more to do with participating in disregard of everyone else in the body of Christ:

Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. - v.27-29

Some translations (like KJV) have 'the Lord's body" here and others (like NASB) have just "body". The distinction between 'the Lord's body' at the end of v. 29 and 'guilty of the body and blood of the Lord' at the end of v. 27 is given in the entire context and summarized at the closing of the passage:

Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come. - v.33-34

The incorrect behavior being rebuked in this passage and the resultant condemnation for improper participation have to do with self-serving rather than regard for others within the context of a meal which is supposed to be a remembrance of what Jesus has done for them. Jesus laid down his life for others and they are, figuratively, gobbling Him up at the expense of others.

This isn't so much unforgivable as it is revelatory. They are, perhaps, not behaving as a part of the body because they are not. They are sick and dying (v.30) because they have no vital connection to the vine. They are tares amongst wheat and have not committed an unforgivable sin but, rather, have yet to be forgiven at all:

For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. - v.18-19

There is application to be made in how various churches come together but not just the one aspect of 'communion'. In this, let every one examine themselves ... have I been made a part of the body of Christ or do I serve myself when we come together?

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