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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - Chapter 20 - Verse 23

Verse 23. Whose soever sins, &c. See Barnes "Mt 16:19"

See Barnes "Mt 18:18".

It is worthy of remark here that Jesus confers the same power on all the apostles. He gives to no one of them any peculiar authority. If Peter, as the Papists pretend, had been appointed to any peculiar authority, it is wonderful that the Saviour did not here hint at any such pre-eminence. This passage conclusively proves that they were invested with equal power in organizing and governing the church. The authority which he had given Peter to preach the gospel first to the Jews and the Gentiles, does not militate against this. See Barnes "Mt 16:18, See Barnes "Mt 16:19".

This authority given them was full proof that they were inspired. The meaning of the passage is not that man can forgive sins—that belongs only to God (Isa 43:23), but that they should be inspired; that in founding the church, and in declaring the will of God, they should be taught by the Holy Ghost to declare on what terms, to what characters, and to what temper of mind God would extend forgiveness of sins. It was not authority to forgive individuals, but to establish in all the churches the terms and conditions on which men might be pardoned, with a promise that God would confirm all that they taught; that all might have assurance of forgiveness who would comply with those terms; and that those who did not comply should not be forgiven, but that their sins should be retained. This commission is as far as possible from the authority which the Roman Catholic claims of remitting sin and of pronouncing pardon.

{z} "Whose soever" Mt 16:19; 18:18

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