Definition of the Doctrine
The doctrine of binding and loosing, in my view, has been built upon the Protestant Reformation and the priesthood of all believers. The authority of the believer, as a scriptural concept, is part of the completeness of every believer in Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:10). Consider yet again that the marvel, indeed the mystery, of Christ in you, the hope of glory" (1:27) is expressed in binding and loosing Jesus Christ, living in us, enables us to bind and loose as the expression of His power and authority. The impulse for binding and loosing comes from heaven, and we discover once we have bound or loosed that God has been there first. Our part, as we shall see, is to bind what has already been bound and to loose what has already been loosed.
This doctrine is rooted also in the sinless life of Jesus Christ. Binding and loosing is made possible by His atoning death and His ascension to the right hand of the Father. His present ministry of intercession for us includes the potential for binding and loosing. It is dependent upon His position over all authorities of any kind and as possessor of all authority in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18). These concepts of binding and loosing affirm that indeed Jesus Christ rules.
This Jesus Christ is the One with whom the believer is seated (Ephesians 2:6). We are in Him and He is in us (John 14:20). Through him we bind and loose. If the strong man must be bound so that his treasures may be plundered, we do it (Matthew 12:29). If we must admit that Peter upon his confession was authorized to bind and loose, so be it (16:16-19).
When Jesus later promised that where two or three were gathered in His name, He also was there in the midst, we do not object (18:20). Where Jesus said that if two were agreed upon anything (18:19), it would be done, we do not draw back. Nor do we retreat when the Saviour immediately promises His disciples that whatever they bind would be bound, and whatever they loosed would be loosed (18:18). We understand this binding and loosing process to be irrevocably linked with heaven, dependent always on the sovereign will of God. And, most amazingly, it is carried out by believers who are willing to seek the glory of God and accept their completeness and authority in Him to bind and to loose.
Preposterous? Of course! But is it biblically solid? Does it submit itself to the glory of God? Is it Christologically correct? And is it true that every believer is complete in Him? Are all believers seated with Him who is our glorious inheritance, the focal authority of all authority of every kind? Clearly, yes!
And is binding and loosing different than asking and receiving in prayer? Again, the answer is yes. Believers' authority emphatically implies that the believers do the binding and loosing. You and I do it.
This matter of who really does the binding and loosing is a subject to which we will return. Right now, the question must simply be: Is asking in prayer something you and I do? The biblical record demands an affirmative answer.
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my and I will do it. (John 14:1.3-14)
Asking is something we as Christian do. So is binding and loosing.
In a church in Montana, long before spiritual warfare became a common theme among evangelicals. I was teaching spiritual warfare principles at 6:30 each evening, one hour before the service began. In one of those sessions we came to the subject of binding and loosing. Finally, I told the people "If you hear all of this teaching and then continue to ask the Lord to bind and loose, you have not understood. You have missed the point. Binding and loosing is something you do."
One brother had a prayer rut. He always included in his prayer. "Oh Lord, bind the devil." I waited for the moment to arrive when he would pray. If ever any prayer was funny, his was. He garbled his words. He slid in and out of his rut. He never quite was able to pray, "Oh Lord, I bind." He simply could not embrace the concept that he, as a believer in Jesus Christ, was to do the binding.
If you sense that you are commissioned--even sometimes ordered--to bind and to loose on God's behalf, then you are in pursuit of the glory' of God, you are sensing you are sensing your completeness in Jesus Christ and you are exercising the authority of the believer.
The classic writer in these matters is J.A. MacMillan. His com-ments are dramatic.
So unreasonable to the natural mind seems the proposition of Jehovah to His people (Isaiah 45:11) that they should "command" (KJV) Him concerning the work of His hands, that various alternative readings of the passage have been made with the intent of toning down the apparent extravagance of the divine offer. Men are slow to believe that the Almighty really means exactly what He says. They think it an incredible thing that He would share with human hands the throttle of divine power. Nor have they the spiritual understanding to comprehend the purpose of the Father to bring those who have been redeemed with the precious blood of His dear Son into living and practical cooperation with that Son in the administration of His kingdom.
Understandable? I hope so.
But that is what this book is all about. And there is a very great deal to tell. A comprehensive and thoroughly biblical understanding of binding and loosing is its objective.
See the booklist for more resources.