Monday, February 10, 2014

THE APOSTOLIC MINISTRY

When Jesus appeared to the Apostles who were locked up in their house, it says, "And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” Jn 20:22f.

This seems to be an unusual topic to bring up on this first meeting after His resurrection. But then again, maybe not.

In introducing the church in Matthew 16 and in detailing the process of church discipline in Matthew 18, Jesus brings up the matter of loosing and binding of sins. Here's the text:
"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." Mt 16:19
"15 If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. 17 “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." Mt 18:15-18
So perhaps the binding and loosing which Jesus speaks of on this important visit after His resurrection is intended to remind the Apostles of their future ministry. In other words, Jesus is saying, "You are going to be building the Kingdom, and you'll be involved in calling for men to repent of their sins. If they repent, you will loose. And if they do not repent, you will bind.

Your thoughts please....

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