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Edward O’Hara

In Mat.18 Jesus says “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” When taken out of context, as from what I have heard taught on this before seems to be the norm, it can mean almost anything. Most have the idea that this means we can bind anything and it is bound in heaven. And lose anything and it is loosed in heaven. But, when understood in context we see a very specific issue that Jesus was referring to here. And that issue is love. And more precisely the love of God. 

From the beginning of this chapter, Jesus speaks of offenses and forgiveness saying of little children, “At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?… But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which belief in me, it were better for him that a millstone was hanged around his neck, and that he was drowned in the depth of the sea”. This then is the key to understanding what this binding and loosening Jesus spoke of here is all about. When we forgive as we have been forgiven by God we walk in love. And by walking in love we lose ourselves from the prison of unforgiveness. A prison that Jesus spoke of in Mt.18 as by telling the story of a king who would take account of his servants. The king in the story of course represents God. And the servant represents the Israelites Jesus said He came for. Here Jesus is telling them that if they do not forgive each other as God has forgiven them, freely without anyone paying for it in their place as in going to prison instead of them, or someone else literally paying for it for them, they will have placed themselves in a prison of sorts. A prison of anger and bitterness that destroys lives unless it is dealt with by walking in the love of God by forgiving as God has forgiven us. 

This then is how what is bound on earth is bound in heaven. And what is loosed on earth is loosed in heaven. Forgiving as God has forgiven us. Or not forgiving as God has forgiven us. Unforgiveness causes us to be bound in that prison of anger and bitterness until the “uttermost farthing is paid”. That is until we forgive as we have been forgiven. And when we forgive as we have been forgiven we are “loosed” from that prison of unforgiveness both on earth and in heaven. 

The reason this is so important to God is that He is love. And because He is love everything that He does is done because of that love. We see that even God’s wrath is the no side of His love. Shown in Israel’s captivity when they went whoring after other gods. He always raised up judges to do His justice which was to deliver them from those who oppressed them as Judges2:16 plainly says. So for us to have a relationship with Him it must be based on that love. Because faith works by love as Gal.5:6 says. And it is by grace through faith that we are delivered from death to life. Into a loving, personal, and intimate fellowship with our Creator. 

This is why John wrote to those he was teaching saying, 

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love

God’s Love Letter! – Our Journey With God

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”

See how important love is? It is the key to our relationship with God that is the only way to eternal life. Without it, we do not have a relationship with Him. Because except that we have His love shed abroad in our hearts we can not know Him. So anytime we think we have a good reason not to forgive someone their offenses against us, or worse yet against someone we care about, we must remember that this is not the choice a believer in Jesus makes. Because as John so plainly stated in these verses, love is the defining factor for the believer in Jesus. And if you really think about it what right do we have not to forgive when we have been forgiven so much? And why can we not forgive the offenses that come our way when Jesus hanging on the cross said “Father forgive them”. 

Will you believe in Jesus so that you too could have His love shed abroad in your heart so that you can forgive as He did? So that you can be free from the anger and bitterness prison that binds those who do not forgive? We can not do this on our own. It’s not in our self-preservation mindset that God gave the natural man so he could be able to survive in this natural world. It can only be accessed through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us who sheds His love abroad in our hearts as Rom.5:1-5 says He does if we will trust in Him. 

If you are reading this God is calling you. He wants you to be loosed from the unforgiveness with its resultant anger and bitterness that binds you. He loves you and wants you to know His love. Because knowing Him is to know His love. Knowing Him and His love is eternal life that provides you with the spirit that makes you God’s child.John17:3. Because while all men are created by God, not all men are born of His Spirit so that they are children of God. It is only those who have come to know Him that is spiritual because knowing Him is to be born of His Spirit. So if you do not know Him, but now want to be loosed, to be free from the anger and bitterness that unforgiveness causes. If you have now believed that He is Lord and that He has raised from the dead to conquer death for you, then please take the time right now to talk to Him and confess to Jesus that He is Lord of your life. And believe that He has raised from the dead to conquer death for you. If you do believe in Him then tell Him something like this and you will have eternal life: 

Dear Jesus, I believe you. Thank you for joining with me in death so that by conquering death by your resurrection I could join with you in eternal life. Thank you that you raised from the dead so that I could raise from the dead too by trusting in, clinging to, and relying solely on you. Thank you for giving me a new spirit now Lord so that I can live with you in your kingdom forever. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

Κληθείς Παρρησίᾳ = Called to Boldness: We Pray in Jesus' Name: The Theme of Prayer in John 13.31 ...

By praying a prayer similar to this one and really meaning it from your heart you have been saved from death to life. From sin to righteousness. And from the wrath to peace with God. And now as you begin reading the Bible and believing what it plainly says it will begin to change the way you think and believe. Because when you trust in Jesus you leave the old life behind where you were only able to relate to and trust in what has been made. And now will be equipped for God’s kingdom because you are no longer only natural flesh and blood, but are a new creature made a spiritual being ready to inherit God’s spiritual kingdom. It is because of Jesus’ resurrection that He is the only WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. Because only Jesus has broken through the wall of death that the flesh and blood natural body can never get through. And only by the new birth are we made ready to receive the spiritual body that can go through the wall of death as Jesus’ did first so we could follow Him in the way He has prepared for us. 

God Bless you in your new life in Christ.  

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Edward O'Hara

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