Bible Dictionaries
Binding and Loosing

Holman Bible Dictionary

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describe the concept that the church has the power and means to announce that sin was condemned or forgiven.

The keys to the kingdom given to Peter was a symbol in locking or unlocking sins and illustrate his authority in binding or loosing (Matthew 16:19 ). Later (Matthew 18:18 ) the same power was given to the apostles and the church as a whole. It is not an exclusive gift to any one person or church. The question of how sins are forgiven is raised in the meaning of binding and loosing. Whatever the church declared to be wrong or right would have been anticipated and ratified in heaven by divine sanction. This means that whatsoever shall have been forgiven on earth shall have been forgiven in heaven. Heaven sets the standard, earth follows heaven's lead. It is the responsibility of believers to have a forgiving spirit and to teach the conditions of forgiveness (Matthew 6:12 ). In John 20:23 Jesus said “Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” This means that the church is to proclaim the way of salvation and those who accept Him are forgiven, but those who reject Him are condemned. Binding and loosing is determined by the hearer's response. Sins have been washed (loosed) by the blood of Jesus ( Revelation 1:5 )

Lawson Hatfield

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Binding and Loosing'. Holman Bible Dictionary.​dictionaries/​eng/​hbd/​b/binding-and-loosing.html. 1991.