Binding and loosing what?

Jesus is the complete revelation of God the Father.  The Holy Spirit in us prepares us, teaches us and reveals to us the love of Jesus and in that we find the fullness of God.  Here is a really good passage:

Eph 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (ESV)

Jesus also said this:

John 17:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (ESV)

Want to have some fun with word substitution?

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have (eternal life) knowledge of the only true God. (ESV)

Yay!  That is just awesome!  So what happens when we are being transformed from glory to glory (manifest goodness of God revealed) and listen to our minds of Christ and process information as a new creation in Christ Jesus?  We start to “see” differently.  Want to “see” something different today?  I think it will change the way you approach “spiritual warfare” and likely your approach to every person you meet.  Ready, set, go!

Here is the verse:

Matt 18: 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (ESV)

The context is Jesus telling people how to resolve issues among brothers (other believers).  He says if we have an offense between two parties we should approach the offender (or the offended since I believe it works both ways) and do this:

Matt 18:15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 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.

OK listen to your mind of Christ and let’s ask a few questions.  What would Jesus mean when He says “treat them like a Gentile and a tax collector?”  Come on, you got it.  Remember the story of the “good Samaritan?”  How about what Jesus said about “loving your enemy” and “loving your neighbor” and “forgiving everyone always and forever (70×7)?”  OK, what about when Jesus picked Matthew as an Apostle (tax collector)? Or maybe you remember the story of the “wee little man Zacchaeus?”

The “brother” in this passage would have understood forgiveness, loving your neighbor and all that if he was a born-again, new creation in Jesus.  He would have desired to follow Jesus if He knew Him.  He would have been motivated by love if He had been transformed by love.  Instead the “brother” is resisting love and forgiveness as a solution.  So then he should be treated like an “outsider.”  But what does Jesus do with outsiders?  He loves them, heals them, blesses them and dies for them.  So that is what we should be doing to the Gentile and tax collector.  We should treat out brother like someone who doesn’t know Jesus and we bring Jesus to love them.  We show them the mercy of Jesus.  We show them the Grace of Jesus.  We show them the forgiveness of Jesus.  We reveal the Father to the child.  We bring them into the family.  We introduce them to the source of love.

So what about the “binding and loosing?”  Go ahead and ask another simple question.  Break out your new creation and your transformed mind.  What would you find in Heaven?  What would you find in the Kingdom of Heaven?  Paul says this:

 Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

It also contains blessings, Grace, mercy, love, favor, provision and so much more.  It is good stuff.  It is not bad stuff and cannot be bad stuff and will never be bad stuff.  It is good stuff from the place of good stuff from the Father of good stuff.  OK, I guess you get that it is good stuff.

So here is the verse again:

Matt 18: 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (ESV)

This is a declaration and a caution.  I should be giving blessings and provision and favor to the “Gentile” and the “tax collector.”  If I am not then Heaven is not.  Ooops, ouch, wait a minute…  It is also saying we have the power to give those things and more by just agreeing with Heaven.  We “loose” what is already there ready and waiting.  That should get you really excited.

Now can you “see” this passage differently.  First our “brother” becomes our “target” for loving and redeeming.  I bring the salvation of Jesus into his life.  Second our “warfare” is releasing the power of the Kingdom of Heaven (really really good stuff).  Paul said we should battle evil with good.  This is a good example of what that looks like.

One last thing.  This same verse (concept) is found in another place:

Matt 16:16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (ESV)

So knowing what we have learned…  Which side of the “gates” are we on?  Where is the Kingdom of Heaven coming from?  Where is the church located?  What are we bringing to the “battle?”

Let me suggest that the “church” is an outpost of the Kingdom of Heaven in the Kingdom of hell.  Before you get too excited and toss your mobile device, think about it with your mind of Christ.  Who is the ruler of this world?  Who is the prince of the air?  What do you call the place of the King?  So couldn’t you say that this world is the Kingdom of the devil?  Couldn’t you say that our purpose on planet Earth is to recapture this real estate for the Kingdom of Heaven?  You don’t have to agree, just feel free to ask the question.  I think Jesus has given us the answer.

The best part is we are “binding and loosing” what Heaven has to offer.  If we are in fact on the inside of the gates of hell, those gates don’t keep us in or keep the Kingdom of Heaven out.  Those gates cannot “prevail” against our movement or desires.  We also have unlimited access to the Kingdom of Heaven.  We have the keys to unlock good stuff.  We get to spread it around.  In this plan the good of Heaven defeats the evil of hell.  That is what we are a part of.  That is what Jesus came to demonstrate and die for.  That was the plan from the beginning.  It isn’t fire and brimstone, wrath and vengeance, curses and lightning bolts.  It is Jesus on a cross.  It is US filled with Him.  We bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth.  That is biding and loosing.

Yay God!

Lance

Grace

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