Matthew 16:19
"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

There have been many sermons given on the subject of Binding and Loosing. Many use this Scripture as binding the works of the Devil, others preach that you are bound unless you give and loose yourself. Well, the truth is, Jesus was not speaking about binding the Devil or giving in this passage. He is talking about something we do or do not do.

Jesus spoke to His Disciples about the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Then Jesus asked His Disciples who did people say He was? They told Him what they heard, and then Peter spoke and said in Matthew 16:16
And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Jesus told Peter in Matthew 16:17-20
And Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. [18] "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. [19] "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." [20] Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.

What was Jesus saying about binding and loosing? I truly believe He was saying we have the ability to bind and loose ourselves by the way we respond to people and situations. We can bind ourselves by not forgiving others when they offend or wound us. We can also bind ourselves if we are offended with ourselves because of some decision we have made that did not turn out the way we thought.

We are bound when we refuse to forgive others regardless what they did. Now, that does not mean that what others did was right, but it does mean we refuse to hold a debt over them. We have the ability to forgive and loose others from a debt toward us. We can if we choose to forgive and release others from whatever they did to us or they said about us. Jesus tells us how important it is to forgive in Matthew 6:12
'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Matthew 6:14-15
"For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. [15] "But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

If we desire our Heavenly Father forgive us of our sins then we must forgive others. Jesus said in Matthew 5:43-45
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.' [44] "But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you [45] in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Jesus tells us we are not only to forgive others when they hurt or wound us, but we are also required to pray and bless them. The word forgive in this Scripture means to separate, that would mean let it go. We are to forgive and loose others who offend us or hurt us and we are to pray for them and bless them. This is not always easy, but Jesus said if we do not forgive our Father will not forgive us.

When we refuse to forgive we take on the role as judge and jury. We condemn them by what we perceive they did and we also perceive we know why others did what they did to us. Jesus said in Matthew 7:1-2
"Do not judge lest you be judged. [2] "For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

I am sure none of us would desire we receive the punishment we desire others have when we refuse to forgive. Usually we do not extend mercy when we choose not to forgive, but we do want revenge. The Scripture tells us, revenge is God’s not ours. He will take care of all things that concern us if we forgive and release others.

We bind ourselves when we refuse to forgive and we loose ourselves when we forgive. We not only bind ourselves when we refuse to forgive, but we bind the one or ones we chose not to forgive. We must remember Jesus gave us the keys of the Kingdom, not the keys to the Kingdom. Jesus is the Door and we can not enter the Kingdom of God unless we go through Jesus. When we choose to forgive we use the key to release ourselves and others. We might do well to remember that whatever we choose not only affects us but also affects others.

Let us choose to forgive and allow the Lord to take care of all things. Unforgivness is the only sin that will stop God from forgiving us. Let us be quick to forgive and pray for the ones who did something to offend us. Our future depends on how we respond. We are to extend mercy and grace to others and pray their eyes be opened so they will have an opportunity to be saved.

Are you offended? Do you hold resentment toward others? When you see someone who hurt you in the past do you continue to feel anger and resentment rise up within you? If you can answer yes to this you might be wise to allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart and reveal if you are offended. He is the One who can bring you to the place of letting others go. Forgiving is a heart issue it is not a feeling. We forgive by faith just as we do everything in the Spirit. Let others go so you can be free to fulfill the purpose God has for you. Also pray for the ones who have offended you that they also may fulfill the purpose God has for them.