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  • ECT: Forgiveness of Sins


    Forgiveness of Sins

    Source: LINK
    Used with permission
    All pardon for sins ultimately comes from Christ’s finished work on Calvary, but how is this pardon received by individuals? Did Christ leave us any means within the Church to take away sin? The Bible says he gave us two means.

    Baptism was given to take away the sin inherited from Adam (original sin) and any sins we personally committed before baptism—sins we personally commit are called actual sins, because they come from our own acts. Thus on the day of Pentecost, Peter told the crowds, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38), and when Paul was baptized he was told, "And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name" (Acts 22:16). And so Peter later wrote, "Baptism . . . now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 3:21).

    For sins committed after baptism, a different sacrament is needed. It has been called penance, confession, and reconciliation, each word emphasizing one of its.aspects. During his life, Christ forgave sins, as in the case of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1–11) and the woman who anointed his feet (Luke 7:48). He exercised this power in his human capacity as the Messiah or Son of man, telling us, "the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" (Matt. 9:6), which is why the Gospel writer himself explains that God "had given such authority to men" (Matt. 9:8).

    Since he would not always be with the Church visibly, Christ gave this power to other men so the Church, which is the continuation of his presence throughout time (Matt. 28:20), would be able to offer forgiveness to future generations. He gave his power to the apostles, and it was a power that could be passed on to their successors and agents, since the apostles wouldn’t always be on earth either, but people would still be sinning.

    God had sent Jesus to forgive sins, but after his resurrection Jesus told the apostles, "‘As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’" (John 20:21–23). (This is one of only two times we are told that God breathed on man, the other being in Genesis 2:7, when he made man a living soul. It emphasizes how important the establishment of the sacrament of penance was.)


    The Commission

    Christ told the apostles to follow his example: "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you" (John 20:21). Just as the apostles were to carry Christ’s message to the whole world, so they were to carry his forgiveness: "Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 18:18).

    This power was understood as coming from God: "All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:18). Indeed, confirms Paul, "So we are ambassadors for Christ" (2 Cor. 5:20).

    Some say that any power given to the apostles died with them. Not so. Some powers must have, such as the ability to write Scripture. But the powers necessary to maintain the Church as a living, spiritual society had to be passed down from generation to generation. If they ceased, the Church would cease, except as a quaint abstraction. Christ ordered the apostles to, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations." It would take much time. And he promised them assistance: "Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Matt. 28:19–20).

    If the disciples believed that Christ instituted the power to sacramentally forgive sins in his stead, we would expect the apostles’ successors—the bishops—and Christians of later years to act as though such power was legitimately and habitually exercised. If, on the other hand, the sacramental forgiveness of sins was what Fundamentalists term it, an "invention," and if it was something foisted upon the young Church by ecclesiastical or political leaders, we’d expect to find records of protest. In fact, in early Christian writings we find no sign of protests concerning sacramental forgiveness of sins. Quite the contrary. We find confessing to a priest was accepted as part of the original deposit of faith handed down from the apostles.


    Lots of Gumption

    Loraine Boettner, in his book Roman Catholicism, claims "auricular confession to a priest instead of to God" was instituted in 1215 at the Fourth Lateran Council. This is an extreme example, even for a committed anti-Catholic. Few people have the gumption to place the "invention" of confession so late, since there is so much early Christian writing—a good portion of it one thousand or more years before that council—that refers to the practice of confession as something already long-established.

    Actually, the Fourth Lateran Council did discuss confession. To combat the lax morals of the time, the council regulated the already-existing duty to confess one’s sins by saying that Catholics should confess any mortal sins at least once a year. To issue an official decree about how frequently a sacrament must be celebrated is hardly the same as "inventing" that sacrament.

    The earliest Christian writings, such as the first-century Didache, are indefinite on the procedure for confession to be used in the forgiveness of sins, but a verbal confession is listed as part of the Church’s requirement by the time of Irenaeus (A.D. 180). He wrote that the disciples of the Gnostic heretic Marcus "have deluded many women. . . . Their consciences have been branded as with a hot iron. Some of these women make a public confession, but others are ashamed to do this, and in silence, as if withdrawing themselves from the hope of the life of God, they either apostatize entirely or hesitate between the two courses" (Against Heresies 1:22).

    The sacrament of penance is clearly in use, for Irenaeus speaks of making an outward confession (versus remaining silent) upon which the hope of eternal life hangs, but it is not yet clear from Irenaeus just how, or to whom, confession is to be made. Is it privately, to the priest, or before the whole congregation, with the priest presiding? The one thing we can say for sure is that the sacrament is understood by Irenaeus as having originated in the infant Church.

    Later writers, such as Origen (241), Cyprian (251), and Aphraates (337), are clear in saying confession is to be made to a priest. (In their writings the whole process of penance is termedexomologesis, which means confession—the confession was seen as the main part of the sacrament.) Cyprian writes that the forgiveness of sins can take place only "through the priests." Ambrose says "this right is given to priests only." Pope Leo I says absolution can be obtained only through the prayers of the priests. These utterances are not taken as novel, but as reminders of accepted belief. We have no record of anyone objecting, of anyone claiming these men were pushing an "invention." (See the Catholic Answers tract Confession for full quotes from the early Church Fathers on the sacrament of penance.)


    Confession Implied

    Note that the power Christ gave the apostles was twofold: to forgive sins or to hold them bound, which means to retain them unforgiven. Several things follow from this. First, the apostles could not know what sins to forgive and what not to forgive unless they were first told the sins by the sinner. This implies confession. Second, their authority was not merely to proclaim that God had already forgiven sins or that he would forgive sins if there were proper repentance.

    Such interpretations don’t account for the distinction between forgiving and retaining—nor do they account for the importance given to the utterance in John 20:21–23. If God has already forgiven all of a man’s sins, or will forgive them all (past and future) upon a single act of repentance, then it makes little sense to tell the apostles they have been given the power to "retain" sins, since forgiveness would be all-or-nothing and nothing could be "retained."

    Furthermore, if at conversion we were forgiven all sins, past, present, and future, it would make no sense for Christ to require us to pray, "And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors," which he explained is required because "if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matt. 6:12–15).

    If forgiveness really can be partial—not a once-for-all thing—how is one to tell which sins have been forgiven, which not, in the absence of a priestly decision? You can’t very well rely on your own gut feelings. No, the biblical passages make sense only if the apostles and their successors were given a real authority.

    Still, some people are not convinced. One is Paul Juris, a former priest, now a Fundamentalist, who has written a pamphlet on this subject. The pamphlet is widely distributed by organizations opposed to Catholicism. The cover describes the work as "a study of John 20:23, a much misunderstood and misused portion of Scripture pertaining to the forgiveness of sins." Juris mentions "two main schools of thought," the Catholic and the Fundamentalist positions.

    He correctly notes that "among Christians, it is generally agreed that regular confession of one’s sins is obviously necessary to remain in good relationship with God. So the issue is not whether we should or should not confess our sins. Rather, the real issue is, How does God say that our sins are forgiven or retained?"


    Verse Slinging

    This sounds fine, on the surface, but this apparently reasonable approach masks what really happens next. Juris engages in verse slinging, listing as many verses as he can find that refer to God forgiving sins, in hopes that the sheer mass of verses will settle the question. But none of the verses he lists specifically interprets John 20:23, and none contradicts the Catholic interpretation.

    For instance, he cites verses like these: "Let it be known to you therefore, brethren, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him every one that believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses" (Acts 13:38–39); "And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned’" (Mark 16:15–16).

    Juris says that verses like these demonstrate that "all that was left for the disciples to do was to ‘go’ and ‘proclaim’ this wonderful good news (the gospel) to all men. As they proclaimed this good news of the gospel, those who believed the gospel, their sins would be forgiven. Those who rejected (did not believe) the gospel, their sins would be retained." Juris does nothing more than show that the Bible says God will forgive sins and that it is through Jesus that our sins are forgiven—things no one doubts. He does not remotely prove that John 20:23 is equivalent to a command to "go" and to "preach," merely that going and preaching are part of God’s plan for saving people. He also sidesteps the evident problems in the Fundamentalist interpretation.

    The passage says nothing about preaching the good news. Instead, Jesus is telling the apostles that they have been empowered to do something. He does not say, "When God forgives men’s sins, they are forgiven." He uses the second person plural: "you." And he talks about the apostles forgiving, not preaching. When he refers to retaining sins, he uses the same form: "When you hold them bound, they are held bound."

    The best Juris can do is assert that John 20:23 means the apostles were given authority only to proclaim the forgiveness of sins—but asserting this is not proving it.

    His is a technique that often works because many readers believe that the Fundamentalist interpretation has been proven true. After all, if you propose to interpret one verse and accomplish that by listing irrelevant verses that refer to something other than the specific point in controversy, lazy readers will conclude that you have marshalled an impressive array of evidence. All they have to do is count the citations. Here’s one for the Catholics, they say, looking at John 20:21–23, but ten or twenty for the Fundamentalists. The Fundamentalists must be right!


    The Advantages

    Is the Catholic who confesses his sins to a priest any better off than the non-Catholic who confesses directly to God? Yes. First, he seeks forgiveness the way Christ intended. Second, by confessing to a priest, the Catholic learns a lesson in humility, which is avoided when one confesses only through private prayer. Third, the Catholic receives sacramental graces the non-Catholic doesn’t get; through the sacrament of penance sins are forgiven and graces are obtained. Fourth, the Catholic is assured that his sins are forgiven; he does not have to rely on a subjective "feeling." Lastly, the Catholic can also obtain sound advice on avoiding sin in the future.

    During his lifetime Christ sent out his followers to do his work. Just before he left this world, he gave the apostles special authority, commissioning them to make God’s forgiveness present to all people, and the whole Christian world accepted this, until just a few centuries ago. If there is an "invention" here, it is not the sacrament of penance, but the notion that the sacramental forgiveness of sins is not to be found in the Bible or in early Christian history

  • #2
    Well CC, at least your self-delusion is consistent with your RCC's ripped off view of what is actually Israel's yet future "kingdom of priests."

    Can't say the same for the consistency of the Reformed's equally ripped off view of Israel's yet future that so many on TOL and Churchianity so erroneously subscribe to, in one strain or another of.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Danoh View Post
      Well CC, at least your self-delusion is consistent with your RCC's ripped off view of what is actually Israel's yet future "kingdom of priests."

      Can't say the same for the consistency of the Reformed's equally ripped off view of Israel's yet future that so many on TOL and Churchianity so erroneously subscribe to, in one strain or another of.
      Stupidity.
      Next poster please.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Danoh View Post
        Well CC, at least your self-delusion is consistent with your RCC's ripped off view of what is actually Israel's yet future "kingdom of priests."
        Exactly.
        And, they look VERY much like the priests of Baal hired by the tribe of Dan.
        Originally posted by Interplanner
        They can't compete with a real writer and grammar scholar
        Originally posted by Interplanner
        You're too literal to get it.
        Originally posted by Interplanner
        The New Covenant preceded the Old Covenant.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SaulToPaul View Post
          Exactly.
          And, they look VERY much like the priests of Baal hired by the tribe of Dan.
          I suggest you read the scriptures instead of joining Danoh in the idiot pool and indulging in anti-Catholic propaganda.

          John 20:21-23:
          Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”


          Your problem is with Jesus, not us.

          Comment


          • #6

            PART ONE


            Last edited by CatholicCrusader; November 23rd, 2016, 11:04 AM.

            Comment


            • #7

              PART TWO


              Last edited by CatholicCrusader; November 23rd, 2016, 11:05 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CatholicCrusader View Post
                I suggest you read the scriptures instead of joining Danoh in the idiot pool and indulging in anti-Catholic propaganda.

                John 20:21-23:
                Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”


                Your problem is with Jesus, not us.
                I believe that verse, exactly as it's written, to who it's written, and for the purpose it's written.

                You do not.
                Originally posted by Interplanner
                They can't compete with a real writer and grammar scholar
                Originally posted by Interplanner
                You're too literal to get it.
                Originally posted by Interplanner
                The New Covenant preceded the Old Covenant.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SaulToPaul View Post
                  I believe that verse, exactly as it's written, to who it's written, and for the purpose it's written........
                  LOL. Simply saying "I'm right and your wrong" is no argument. It's just ignorance.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CatholicCrusader View Post
                    No you don't. You don't have the first clue what is happening in those verses.
                    Originally posted by Interplanner
                    They can't compete with a real writer and grammar scholar
                    Originally posted by Interplanner
                    You're too literal to get it.
                    Originally posted by Interplanner
                    The New Covenant preceded the Old Covenant.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CatholicCrusader View Post
                      Note that the power Christ gave the apostles was twofold: to forgive sins or to hold them bound, which means to retain them unforgiven.
                      Let us look at this passage:

                      "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven"
                      (Mt.16:18-19).

                      Here the Lord refers to the "keys of the kingdom of heaven," the same kingdom referred to here by the Lord Jesus:
                      "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Mt.4:17).

                      Since the nation of Israel failed to recognize the Lord Jesus as their promised Messiah the setting up of the earthly kingdom has been postponed until the return of the Lord Jesus to earth:
                      "And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand" (Lk.21:27-31).

                      It will not be until the kingdom is brought to earth when the Apostles will "bind on earth" what "shall be bound in heaven." That will not happen until the Apostles will sit upon twelve tribes judging the twelve tribes of Israel in the kingdom:
                      "That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Lk.22:30).

                      This speaks of the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus, the time when Israel will be restored to her previous position of being a special people unto the Lord. Therefore the "keys of the kingdom of heaven" have nothing to do with what is happening now within the Body of Christ.
                      Last edited by Jerry Shugart; November 23rd, 2016, 02:19 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yep

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          1. Why do I have to go to a priest for confession instead of going straight to God? After all, the Bible says that "there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5).

                          The Lord does want us to come to him when we fall into sin. He wants to bring us forgiveness so much that he gave the apostles the power to forgive sins. This power given to the apostles and their successors does not come from within them but from God. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus gave the apostles authority over unclean spirits, the authority to heal, the authority to raise people from the dead, et cetera. No Christian assumes that these powers came from the men themselves, since God is the one that has chosen to use them to manifest his power and mercy.

                          In the words of Paul, "All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:18). The apostles and their successors are merely ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20), bringing his forgiveness to the world through the sacraments and the message of the gospel. If God has chosen to bring his message of forgiveness to the world by means of sinful, human ambassadors, why would he not be able to give these messengers the power to forgive and retain sins? And why would this not be a natural way for Jesus to extent his merciful presence on earth for all generations?

                          If Jesus has set up a way for us to draw near to him and receive his grace, why should we prefer another route? We would be like the three-year-old with his father who, in a rush to get home from the store, begins to run. "Let me pick you up," the father offers. The child says, "No, Dad. I’m fast. Just watch me." It takes them much longer to get home because the child’s pride prevents him from accepting his father’s help. Likewise, God does hear us when we ask for forgiveness, but it is dangerous and often prideful to stay away from what the saints call the "medicine box"—the confessional. Why would a person wish to overcome their sins alone when they have the God-given power of the apostles’ successors at their disposal?


                          2. Where is the sacrament of confession in the Bible?

                          As soon as Jesus rose from the dead and earned salvation for us, he brought his apostles a new gift. After speaking peace to them, he said, "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you" (John 20:21). Just as Jesus was sent by the Father to reconcile the world to God, Jesus sent the apostles to continue his mission.

                          Jesus then breathed on the apostles. This is a verse that is often passed over, but it has extraordinary significance because it is only the second time in all of Scripture where God breathes on anyone. The other instance was at the moment of creation, when God breathed his own life into the nostrils of Adam. This should tell us that something of great importance is taking place. Upon doing this, Jesus said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained" (John 20:22–23).

                          Notice that Jesus is not simply commissioning the apostles to preach about God’s forgiveness. He is not saying, "Go tell everyone that when God forgives men’s sins, they’re forgiven." In using the second person plural you, Jesus is telling his apostles that by the power of the Holy Spirit he has given them the power to forgive and retain the sins of men. Having the power to forgive and to retain sins implies that the apostle knows what a person’s sins are, which in turn implies oral confession. Otherwise, how is the apostle to know what to retain or forgive?

                          In the same way that Jesus gave his apostles other supernatural powers (such as raising men from the dead), he gave them power to absolve sins (raising them from spiritual death). In Matthew 9, we read that Jesus forgave a paralytic and then healed him so "that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" (Matt. 9:6)

                          After he exercised this power as a man, the crowds glorified God for having given "such authority to men" (Matt. 9:8, emphasis added). Notice that Matthew indicates this power to forgive sins had been given to men, and not simply to a man.


                          3. Doesn’t confession of one’s sins imply that Christ’s work was insufficient? The Bible says that if I believe that Jesus is Lord, I’ll be saved.

                          The passage you referred to is Acts 16:31, which reads, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved." Sounds pretty simple. However, the Bible says much more about salvation and forgiveness. Jesus repeatedly affirmed that if we do not forgive others, we will not be forgiven (Matt. 6:15). When Jesus breathed on the apostles in John 20, he gave them the power to retain sins. But if one’s salvation is contingent upon nothing other than a verbal profession of faith, then there is no reason why Jesus would given any man the power to retain sins. In the midst of all of these passages what we need to be careful of is that we do not camp out on one particular Bible passage without consulting the rest of Scripture.

                          It is because of the work of Christ that we obtain forgiveness. All Christians can agree on that. What needs to be discussed is how that forgiveness comes to mankind. When Ananias spoke to Paul in Acts 22:16, he said, "And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins" (Acts 22:16). Later in the New Testament, the forgiveness of sins is tied to the sacrament of the anointing of the sick (James 5:13–15). Just as these Biblical practices are channels of God’s forgiving grace, the sacrament of confession does not add to or take away from the finished work of Christ. It is evidence of the finished work of Christ in our midst.


                          4. How can Catholics claim confession to a priest is an apostolic tradition? I heard it was invented in 1215 at the Fourth Lateran Council.

                          What you heard probably came from the anti-Catholic book Roman Catholicism by Loraine Boettner. This book is well known for its inaccurate history, and the reference you gave is a primary example. During the Fourth Lateran Council, the Church reminded the faithful in an official way what had already been the ancient practice of the Church—to confess mortal sins at least once a year. In no way was this the initiation of a new sacrament or even a new way to celebrate an old sacrament. If the Church did initiate the sacrament of reconciliation in 1215, why were there no cries at the time of invention? The obvious answer is no one objected because they were aware that the sacrament was over a millennium old at the time of the Council.

                          Consider the following early Christian writings from the first five centuries:

                          "Confess your sins in church, and do not go up to your prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of life. . . . On the Lord’s Day gather together, break bread, and give thanks, after confessing your transgressions so that your sacrifice may be pure" (Didache 4:14, 14:1 [A.D. 70]).

                          "[Regarding confession, some] flee from this work as being an exposure of themselves, or they put it off from day to day. I presume they are more mindful of modesty than of salvation, like those who contract a disease in the more shameful parts of the body and shun making themselves known to the physicians; and thus they perish along with their own bashfulness"(Tertullian, Repentance 10:1 [A.D. 203]).

                          "[The bishop conducting the ordination of the new bishop shall pray:] God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . pour forth now that power which comes from you, from your royal spirit, which you gave to your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, and which he bestowed upon his holy apostles . . . and grant this your servant, whom you have chosen for the episcopate, [the power] to feed your holy flock and to serve without blame as your high priest . . . and by the Spirit of the high-priesthood to have the authority to forgive sins, in accord with your command" (Hippolytus, Apostolic Tradition 3 [A.D. 215]).

                          "Priests have received a power which God has given neither to angels nor to archangels. It was said to them: ‘Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose, shall be loosed.’ Temporal rulers have indeed the power of binding; but they can only bind the body. Priests, in contrast, can bind with a bond which pertains to the soul itself and transcends the very heavens. Did [God] not give them all the powers of heaven? ‘Whose sins you shall forgive,’ he says, ‘they are forgiven them; whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.’ What greater power is there than this? The Father has given all judgment to the Son. And now I see the Son placing all this power in the hands of men" (John Chrysostom, The Priesthood 3:5 [A.D. 387]).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            (duplicate)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              All you guys have got it all wrong. Although, at least Jerry Shugart presents his scriptures for his side. I give him credit for that. You other two just engage in childish retorts. Jerry, I think though that your analysis of the "keys" is wrong. The correct analysis is in this other post of mine:

                              Originally posted by CatholicCrusader
                              I looked through the old threads, and unless I missed something, there is no thread addressing the Papacy itself. There's a couple of threads dealing with the "rock" of Matt 16, but not the office itself. So here goes.

                              I'm sure we all know THIS scripture, which most Christians argue over, by heart by now:

                              "...Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus 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. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven."

                              I'll try to make clear what the Pope actually is. Many people have mistaken ideas about what the Pope is, which is why they don't see the office in scripture.

                              Simply, the Pope is the fulfillment of the office of Prime Minister that existed in the Kingdoms of David and his successors, just as many things in the New Testament are fulfillments of their Old Testament "types".

                              "And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Helcias, and I will clothe him with thy Robe, and I will strengthen him with thy Sash, and will give thy Power (authority) into his hand; and he shall be as a FATHER (the word 'Pope' means 'Father') to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And I will lay the Key of the House of David (the symbol of primacy) upon his shoulder; and he shall open and none shall shut; and he shall shut and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a peg in a Sure Place(the Papal Office), and he shall be for a Throne of glory to the house of his Father. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his Fathers house, diverse kinds of vessels, every little vessel, from the vessels of cups even to every instrument of music." (Isaiah 22:20-24)

                              In the Davidic Kingdoms, there was the office of Prime Minister (who actually wore a key on his robe as a symbol of office). This position is what is referred to in the above text and in other historical documents. There were many "ministers" to the king, but only one Prime Minister, sometimes known as the "Vizier" of the House of David.

                              So now let's fast-forward to the New Testament: JESUS is the King, the "son of David", in the line of David. So, the apostles, steeped in their Jewish culture, knew EXACTLY what it meant when Jesus gave Peter the "Keys". Peter was to be the Prime Minister of Christ's Kingdom, the "Keeper of the Keys".

                              So this is what the Pope is: Prime Minister of the King's Kingdom: The Kings's representative, or "vicar" if you will. But the Pope also has a pastoral role, which is established in John 21: 15-17, when Christ told Peter: "feed my lambs.. ..feed my sheep.. ..tend my sheep."

                              This is the Pope: Prime Minister of Christs Kingdom, and Pastor of the flock. With that in mind, the Papacy is ALL THROUGH the scriptures. Now, throw into that mix the fact there is ample evidence in the New Testament that Peter was first in authority among the apostles. Whenever they were named, Peter headed the list (Matt. 10:1-4, Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:14-16, Acts 1:13) ; sometimes the apostles were referred to as "Peter and those who were with him" (Luke 9:32). Peter was the one who generally spoke for the apostles (Matt. 18:21, Mark 8:29, Luke 12:41, John 6), and he figured in many of the most dramatic scenes (Matt. 14:28-32, Matt. 17:24-27, Mark 10:23-28 ) . On Pentecost it was Peter who first preached to the crowds (Acts 2:14-40), and he worked the first healing in the Church age (Acts 3:6-7). It is Peter’s faith that will strengthen his brethren (Luke 22:32) and, as I said, Peter is given Christ’s flock to shepherd (John 21:17). An angel was sent to announce the resurrection to Peter (Mark 16:7), and the risen Christ first appeared to Peter (Luke 24:34). He headed the meeting that elected Matthias to replace Judas (Acts 1:13-26), and he received the first converts (Acts 2:41). He inflicted the first punishment (Acts 5:1-11), and excommunicated the first heretic (Acts 8:18-23). He led the first council in Jerusalem (Acts 15), and announced the first dogmatic decision (Acts 15:7-11). It was to Peter that the revelation came that Gentiles were to be baptized and accepted as Christians (Acts 10:46-48 ) .

                              So, as Cyprian of Carthage said in 251 A.D. (almost a hundred years before Constantine):

                              "The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever things you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, they shall be loosed also in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]). ... On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were also what Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all [the apostles] are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" - The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [A.D. 251]).

                              Much more info can be found here if you are interested:
                              Catholic Answers: Library

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