In my previous post, I sketched out an interpretation of Matthew 16:15-19 that hopefully helps to show that “binding and loosing” is not referring to “warfare prayer.” According to some, Matthew 16:19 allows us to personally “bind” Satan and his demons in specific situations and places.
I argued that “binding and loosing” refers to God’s people declaring with authority the truth about Jesus. Here in verse 16, Peter is the first to make this proclamation when he enthusiastically responds to the Lord’s question with the glorious words, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” When the truth about Jesus (the gospel message) is declared by God’s people, this proclamation frees some–“looses” them–to enter into eternal life. It is the key to the kingdom. For others, that same proclamation “binds” them, shutting them out of the kingdom as they choose to reject the truth.
Now that I have offered this as an interpretation, here is more detail why I think this is the correct way to understand binding and loosing. I also want to include in this post some thoughts on the implications of this interpretation for our efforts to complete the Great Commission and see Christ’s church advance to the ends of the earth.