一起读经 | 马太福音18:18-20

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马太福音18:18-20我实在告诉你们,凡你们在地上所捆绑的,在天上也要捆绑;凡你们在地上所释放的,在天上也要释放。10:19我实在告诉你们,你们中间,若有两个人在地上,同心合意地求什么事,我在天上的父,必为他们成就。因为无论在那里,有两三个人奉我的名聚集,那里有我与他们同在。”

这些经文给基督徒会众勇气,因为他们把耶稣的话应用在他们所关心的人身上。说“你的罪赦免了”总是一种喜乐。说:“你的罪赦不了”,总是叫人惊恐。耶稣提醒我们,当我们以他的名义聚集在一起继续他的工作时,他总是与我们同在,指引我们。

他的应许用英语很难翻译,希腊文也不太好理解。它更像是,“你在地上捆绑的任何东西,都将在天堂被捆绑。”并不是我们说了这些话,然后上帝肯定了这些话。我们所说的,乃是神在天上已经说过的。当一个人不为他的罪悔改时,他就得不到宽恕。通过向他们宣布这个判决,我们只是告诉他们上帝已经说过的关于他们不信的结局。

不止一次,我不得不对别人说这些话。这是多么艰难啊!另一方面,有时这些话会触动他们的心,他们会回来向我忏悔。对他们说:“神已经赦免了你们的罪。”这是何等的喜乐啊!

祷告:主耶稣,求你给我信心,让我在基督里,特别是当我的弟兄姐妹们陷在罪里的时候,用爱向他们讲出真理。这并不容易,我祈祷你能与我同行,让我在你安排的时机说合适的话。我奉你的名祷告。阿们

Matthew 18:18-20:  “18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

These verses give courage to a Christian congregation as they apply Jesus’ words to people under their care. It’s always a joy to say, “Your sins are forgiven.” It is always frightening to say, “Your sins are not forgiven.”  Jesus reminds us that when we gather in his name as a congregation to carry on his work, he is always with us to guide us.

The translation of his promise is difficult in English and does not capture the Greek well. It’s more like, “Whatever you bind on earth, will have been bound in heaven.”   It’s not that we are speaking the words and God is affirming them. Rather, we are only speaking what God has already spoken in heaven. When someone does not repent of their sins, they are not forgiven. By announcing that verdict to them, we are only telling them what God has already said about their unbelief.

On more than one occasion, I have had to speak those words to someone. How hard it was! On the other hand, there were times when those words affected their hearts and they came back to confess their sins to me. What a joy it was to tell them, “God has forgiven your sins!”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, give me confidence to speak the truth in love to my brothers and sisters in Christ, especially when they are caught in a sin. This is not easy, and I pray that you will be with me and give me the right words to speak at the right time.  I ask this in your name.  Amen.

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