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Keys, Power of
The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia
A phrase used in reference to the discipline of the Church which our Lord has intrusted to the Bishops and Pastors of the Flock as "ministers and stewards of His grace." This phrase involves the doctrines of Absolution and Excommunication; the idea of opening and shutting, admission and rejection, and the administration of the Sacraments. In Holy Scripture, the "Power of the Keys" is called a "binding and loosing"; also a "remitting and retaining of sin," having reference to the authority to admit into communion with the Church or to exclude therefrom. (See St. Matt. 16:19; 18:18; and St. John 20:23.)
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Miller, William James. Entry for 'Keys, Power of'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​acd/​k/keys-power-of.html. 1901.