Tonight’s subject is “Binding and Loosing.” It may be an odd title, but you’ll find it a very practical one. When we open the Bible, we are in the midst of mystery. But I promise you, every one of you, everyone in the world will one day experience scripture for himself; and then and only then will he know how truly wonderful it really is. It’s all true. Don’t change it. Don’t attempt to change it. It’s altogether true when you experience scripture for yourself.
This segment is taken from the gospels…that is, not the gospels, but in the Book of John we are told: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (20:23). That is true, and one day you will experience that in depth. But tonight, on this level, we’ll show you how altogether marvelous it really is here before you experience that in depth. But I mean every sin is forgiven in depth, everything. But, on this level, you and I can forgive it. But now we must search the scriptures. We’re told this is said to the disciples. And you might think you are not a disciple.
May I tell you that you are if you are willing to accept the story of Jesus Christ as told you in the 9th chapter of the Book of Acts—that Saul went out to find all the disciples of The Way. The early Christians were not called Christians; they were called people of The Way; those who believed in a certain way of salvation. And he went out determined to find anyone that he could find of The Way, whether they be male or female, and bring them bound into Jerusalem to be condemned. Now here in the scriptures, if you read the story on the surface there was no woman made a disciple.
But in the 9th chapter of the Book of Acts they are—anyone, regardless of sex, who accepts this way of life is a disciple. So I say to you, if you believe this story, the story of salvation, you are a disciple, and to you it is said, if you forgive a sin, it’s forgiven; if you retain a sin, it’s retained. What a responsibility! But in the same book, the wonderful Bible, we are told, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.” Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. You’ll read that in the 9th chapter of the Book of Hebrews (verse 22). Now, these words are true. Then what does it mean?
To this very day, in the year l964, there are those who believe on a certain day called the Day of Atonement that some living being must be destroyed for the salvation of those who will adhere to the law; and they keep it literally. I’m not taking it on that level; that’s the most external of all levels, where we do everything on the outside in the hope of appeasing some god. I take it on the next level, the psychological level, where you and I tonight can prove beyond all doubt the truth of this law. And it is true, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.
If you take it literally, it would be the twenty-fourth chapter of the Book of Exodus, where something alive was slain, and then the blood was sprinkled on the altar and then sprinkled on those who were present. And then came the atonement, and you wonder what is this atonement? The English word “atone” originally meant “at one.” It’s an at-one. I must perform a certain act to become attuned or at-one with a state.
But, how could I do it? I do it only by the shedding of blood. Now we are told, when man really discovers it, it is the blood of Christ Jesus that must be shed. Well, how could I shed the blood of Christ Jesus? Yet I am told, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin; therefore, what is sin now? Sin is “missing the mark.” If I have a goal in life and I do not realize it, I am sinning. I don’t care what the world will tell me, it’s the one sin of scripture if I have a goal. .And I am told: “If I had not come unto them and spoken unto them, they would not have sin; but now that I have spoken unto them, they have no excuse for their sin” (John15:22).
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