马太福音 16:19-20 我要把天国的钥匙给你，凡你在地上所捆绑的，在天上也要捆绑；凡你在地上所释放的，在天上也要释放。” 当下，耶稣嘱咐门徒，不可对人说他是基督。
但是什么时候使用“捆绑”呢? 从某种意义上说，每当我们指出我们周围人的罪时，我们都在使用它。尤其是当有些人顽固地拒绝为罪而悔改的时候。在我的服侍生涯中，我并不经常对人说:“ 我奉耶稣的名对你说，因你拒绝悔改，所以你的罪不被赦免。” 但同时我也看到了，其实这些话在一个人的心里起到了强有力的作用，使他悔改。
我也常被指责当我说这些话的时候显得没有爱心。但是，不教导人悔改是爱吗? 让你的儿子、女儿、兄弟或朋友走上通往不信和地狱的道路是一件充满爱心的事情吗? 捆绑的钥匙也是来自耶稣，在需要使用它的时候，我们不应该害怕。当我们必须说出这些话的时候，同样，从这些话语里也听到了耶稣对那些迷失者的爱。
Matthew 16:19-20: I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
Jesus did not give the “keys of the kingdom” to Peter alone, but to all of his disciples, to every believer. That is made clear in Matthew 18, where Jesus shows us how to win a brother over who has been caught in a sin. For those who do not repent, you bind their sins to them. For those who do not repent, you loose their sins.
It is easy for us to use the loosing key. If our child has done something wrong and we have called them on it and there are tears in their eyes, we say, “Jesus forgives you.” That’s using the authority that Jesus gives us in these verses. Those words give comfort to the afflicted conscience. I never tire of speaking those words to people. One of the joys of being a pastor is to speak those words to God’s people on Sunday morning in response to their confession.
But when would you use the binding key? In a sense, we use it every time we point out our neighbor’s sin. We use it especially if someone stubbornly refuses to repent of a sin. In my ministry, I have not often told someone, “In Jesus’ name, I have to tell you that your sins are not forgiven because of your impenitence.” But I have, and I have seen those words work powerfully in a person’s heart to bring them to repentance.
I have also been accused of not being very loving for speaking those words. But is it a loving thing to NOT call someone to repentance? Is it a loving thing to let your son or daughter or brother or friend go down the path to unbelief and hell? The binding key, too, is from Jesus, and we should not be afraid to use it when it is called for. And when we must speak those words, the love of Jesus for the lost should be heard in our voice as well. .
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you have given us great authority by giving us the binding and loosing key. Help us to use this powerful tool to win back the lost and to comfort those afflicted with their guilt. Give us your love for the lost as we do so. In your name we pray. Amen.