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The meaning of Matthew 18:18?

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by WalterPlinge, Sep 11, 2009.

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  1. WalterPlinge

    WalterPlinge Newbie

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    Hello.

    I'd appreciate some help understanding Matthew 18:18 please.

    What is the proper context this passage should be read in?
    Are there other parts of the Bible that are helpful in understanding it?
    What does this passage mean...
    A. Specifically, i.e., what was Jesus talking about there and then?
    and...
    B. Generally, i.e., in terms of Christianity as a whole?

    Thanks for any help given.

    Walter.
     
  2. Van

    Van Contributor

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    Yet another verse where views of the meaning are widespread.

    In context, Jesus is teaching (instructing) his disciples. So the idea seems that they will make declarations consistent with the will of God. If they say we may do this, even though it was against the Law of Moses, they are setting us free from that requirement, for whatever they "loose" on earth, shall be "loosed" in heaven. So the scope of this insight seems to be limited to the inspired words of the Apostles and not applicable to leaders of our time.
     
  3. 98cwitr

    98cwitr Lord forgive me Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    let's take a look at the context of the passage

    15"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'[c] 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
    18"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be[d]bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.

    19"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

    I believe Jesus is referring to our relationships with others, and how we treat them. We are bound to others through love and compassion, but if we or the church are unable to resolve with others the relationship is loosed and we are no longer bound. The binds of love will endure forever is what Jesus is saying in this passage to me when I read it.
     
  4. freeport

    freeport Guest





    Basically means you can do anything, if you believe.




    Binding and loosing... like the statement 'whatever door is closed, can not be opened... whatever door is open can not be closed'.
     
  5. freeport

    freeport Guest

    Doesn't really matter what people think... someone can google matters and find a wide variety of opinions. That effectively acts like disinformation, hiding any true meaning someone might gain so that they could believe.


    All of Scripture was written for Christians to be guided by the Holy Spirit within... so it does not matter if a matter is hidden or not, it serves its' purpose.
     
  6. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    In context, the passage you're asking about has to do with church discipline (vs. 15-17). In particular, verse 18 expresses the apostolic authority Jesus gave to the twelve disciples to declare the conduct of a member of the Body as right (to loose) or wrong (to bind) and to expel wrongly behaved members from the community of believers. (see also Jn. 20:23) Essentially, what the apostles decreed in this regard was to be taken as from heaven (or from God).

    This passage is also important in showing that Peter was not alone invested with this kind of authority, as Roman Catholics incorrectly contend.

    Peace.
     
  7. 98cwitr

    98cwitr Lord forgive me Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    aiki, why do you find that loosening is right and binding is wrong? I would like to hear your interpretations on that.
     
  8. Van

    Van Contributor

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    Hi Walter, are there other parts of the Bible helpful in understanding it? As you can see from the widespread responses, the other verses seem not helpful enough.

    In Matthew 16:19 we see Jesus tell Peter he has the keys to the kingdom and whatever he binds on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever he turns loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. So again, a statement indicating an Apostle can declare God's will, which includes the keys to the kingdom. Peter had just declared, by divine insight, that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God.

    In John 20:23, we again see Jesus investing his disciples with seeming authority to forgive sin, but since only God can forgive sin, then the idea is that by divine insight the Apostles can declare those who are forgiven, and declare those who have not been forgiven. Note when Peter was preaching to the Gentiles and the Holy Spirit came upon them, Peter declared that they should be baptized, indicating they were forgiven born again believers, just as he was.
     
  9. bsd31

    bsd31 Newbie

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    I don't believe you can read any scripture and find "THE" meaning to it. There's a reason it's called the "manifold wisdom of God" As many times as I've read that part of the scripture the Holy Ghost reveals it to me in a different way. Same with all the scriptures as I read through the Bible. Each time it is revealed differently to me.
     
  10. drich0150

    drich0150 Regular Member

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    If you look at verses 15 through 17 Jesus is speaking to us about those who sin against us, and what we should do if they do not come to a state of repentance.
    Then comes, What you bind here will be bound in Heaven and what we loose Here will be loosed in Heaven..

    I believe this was also taught or rephrased in the parable of the unmerciful servant that can be found just a few verses later in verse 21-35.

    21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"

    22Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[f]
    23"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents[g] was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
    26"The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' 27The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
    28"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.[h] He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.
    29"His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'
    30"But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.
    32"Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

    What the wicked servant bound Here on this Earth was his unforgivingness for the small amount owed to Him, So in turn His attitude of Unforgivingness was Bound later before his Master. The Master would have Let the wicked servant's debt go if He simply loosed what was owed Him.

    It means, that it takes more than ceremony, and religion for any of us to become true Christians/servants of God. We have to Live, and Forgive, as we wished to be forgiven. All of which are second nature, if we Have the Love that we are supposed to have for God in the First place.
     
  11. WalterPlinge

    WalterPlinge Newbie

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    Many thanks for your replies. They're very helpful.

    Walter.
     
  12. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

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    I'm afraid you are misinformed here.

    Roman Catholics do not contend that Peter was the only apostle with the authority to bind or loose. If they did, there would be no priests, bishops or cardinals, and all confession would have to be to the Holy Father himself.

    Might make for long queues.

    What they contend is that the Church has unique authority to ordain men to such authority, through the authority first given to Peter, and then through him to other priests, bishops etc. I would agree with that, and would only differ from Rome in the interpretation of what 'the Church' actually comprises.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
  13. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

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    I take this to mean, in relation to my own personal walk with Christ, that if I forgive my brother for his sin against me, God honours that, and does not set that sin against him. And if I carry resentment with me, I will carry it into eternity, and my brother's sin will remain to testify against him.

    Therefore it is important for me not to carry resentment, and to forgive those who have inadvertantly hurt me, whenever I possibly can. I cannot always do this, but I can always try.

    I am sure there is a broader meaning in relation to the ministry, but I am not a minister, so I don't have to worry about that one. :)
     
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