Bible Studies/Matthew

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Question
Hi Teacher Scott? Guess who?  What I am wondering this time is about Matthew. I believe it is chapter 18. That 'whatever is bound in earth will be bound in heaven' and vice versa. I don't understand this. Does this mean that if I let my cat loose on Earth that she will also be loose in Heaven? I know better than to think it does but what exactly does it mean?

Answer
Hi Joyce! Merry Christmas!

Matthew 18:15-18:

"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. But 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.' If 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. I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

Your question has to do with the words, bind/bound, and the related term, loose. The most common usage of these terms has to do with tying something up, such as binding someone with cords, or binding or loosing an animal. However, consider some of these definitions found at Merriam-Webster.com and Dictionary.Reference.com:


:  to make a firm commitment for <a handshake binds the deal>

:  to exert a restraining or compelling effect <a promise that binds>

:  to unite by any legal or moral tie: to be bound by a contract.

:  to be obligatory: an obligation that binds.


In this passage, I believe these definitions provide the best connotation. Jesus is speaking of the authority given to the church when dealing with matters of church discipline. Basically, what He is saying is that, if the church follows proper protocol, their decision will be binding--not just on a human level, on a heavenly level, as well.

I hope that helps.

Enjoy the Christmas season, Joyce.

Scott

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Scott Talbot

Expertise

I have studied the Bible and Bible-related topics since the time I was very young. My education includes a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Bible, and a Master of Divinity degree. I enjoy delving into deep theological issues and always enjoy a healthy debate. But more importantly, I like working with people and helping them to find the answers that they are looking for. And I am convinced that these answers are available in the Bible.

Experience

By the grace and mercy of God, I have been saved, born again, adopted into the family of God. God has given me a love for the Bible, and for Bible-related subjects. In addition, He has blessed me with ongoing training in the Scriptures, from my youth on up. The more I learn about God through His Word, the more I want to share!

Organizations
Campus Crusade for Christ, Grace Church at Willow Valley

Education/Credentials
Pillsbury Baptist Bible College - B.S. Bible & Pastorology; Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary - M.Div.

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