Binding and Loosing in Heaven and on Earth

The Ministry of the word belongs to all. To bind and to loose clearly is nothing else then to proclaim and to apply the gospel. For what is it to loose, if not to announce the forgiveness of sins before God? What is it to bind, except to withdraw the gospel and to declare the retention of sins? Whether they [that is, the Roman Catholic Church] want to or not, they must concede that the keys are the exercise of the Ministry of the word and belong to all Christians.

Martin Luther in Colin Marshall and Tony Payne, The Trellis and the Vine (Kingsford NSW Australia: Matthias Media, 2009), 58.

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