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God Forgives Sins and We Forgive Others

Jesus’ teaching on binding and loosing is a bit perplexing and worthy of careful contemplation. A parallel passage talks about forgiving sin and is even more disconcerting.

Jesus says that if we forgive someone’s sins, they will be forgiven; conversely, if we don’t forgive someone’s sins, they will not be forgiven.

That is an even heavier burden, realizing that our holding of a grudge—that is, not forgiving someone—will result in the withholding of forgiveness for their sins.

However, it is even more weighty than that.

Consider the “Lord’s Prayer” and the phrase “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” Through this prayer, we are actually asking God to only forgive us to the degree to which we forgive others.

Given the severity of the ramifications, we need to be most diligent in forgiving all others and not holding a grudge.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

The Art of Binding and Loosing

In the post about the easy yoke, we learned that a yoke was essentially a Rabbi’s teaching, of what was prohibited and what was allowed. Jesus had his own yoke and he said it was easy.

The process of ascertaining what things where to be prohibited, was the act of binding. To “bind” something, was to prohibit it; that is, to hold to it tightly. To “bind” implies obligation.

The process of determining what things were to be allowed, was the act of loosing. To “loose” something was to allow it; that is, to let to go. To “loose” implies freedom.

Since Jesus’ yoke was light, there must have been only a few things that he wanted to “bind” and many things that he wanted to “loose.”

However, Jesus doesn’t stop there. He also told his disciples that “whatever you bind (prohibit) on earth will be bound (prohibited) in heaven and whatever you loose (allow) on earth will be loosed (allowed) in heaven.”

In doing so, he implicitly gave them—and us—the opportunity to interpret scripture just like he and the Rabbis were doing—with the promise of agreement in heaven.

We need to be extremely careful about the things we bind and loose. Click To Tweet

As such, we need to be extremely careful about the things we bind and loose; there are eternal consequences.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.