Admittance to the kingdom of heaven depends upon the forgiveness of sins.  He who is justified from his sins, by that very token, becomes a citizen of the kingdom of Christ.  Hence, the church must have the authority to forgive sins or, in the words of Jesus, to “loose” them and to “hold,” or “bind,” them.

From: The Heritage of the Fathers: A Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism by Jan Karel van Baalen (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1948), p. 355.

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