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Priesthood, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

83- Examples of the power to absolve and retain


Here we will quote numerous examples where power was only given to the apostles and their successors.

[19] Saint Paul’s Power To Excommunicate The Sinner Of Corinth

(1 Cor 5:3-5) For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. {4} In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, {5} deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Here we clearly see the power of Saint Paul; who also said:

(1 Cor 5:13) But those who are outside God judges. Therefore

"put away from yourselves the evil person." Image: Coptic Confession, a priest and a man confessing his sins, artwork by Sis. Sawsan صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: سر التوبة والاعتراف، كاهن قبطي ورجل يعترف بخطاياه، رسم تاسوني سوسن Image: Coptic Confession, a priest and a man confessing his sins, artwork by Sis. Sawsan.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: سر التوبة والاعتراف، كاهن قبطي ورجل يعترف بخطاياه، رسم تاسوني سوسن.

We note that Saint Paul in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians re-admitted this man, after his repentance, to the Church.

(2 Cor 2:6-8) This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, {7} so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. {8} Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.

And the congregation adhered to Saint Paul’s edicts, in both cases of excommunication and forgiveness.

He was the one to excommunicate and to absolve, and the laity, without argument, carried out and obeyed with no discussion.

[20] Saint Paul Spoke About His Ecclesiastical Priestly Power

(2 Cor 10:8) For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed;

(2 Cor 13:10) Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction.

[21] Saint Paul Heralds His Authority

(Gal 1:8) But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

(Gal 1:9) As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

Saint Paul dared, as uttered by Saint Basil the Great, to excommunicate angels.

[22] Saint Paul Uses his Power to Warn and Punish

(2 Cor 13:2) I have told you before, and foretell as if I were present the second time, and now being absent I write to those who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare;

(2 Cor 10:6) and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Here we see the power, to order, judge, excommunicate and forgive, as we have discussed this issue before here on in other sections. This is God conferring this power to the disciples and their successors

[23] Also Another Example Is His Instructions To The Thessalonians

(2 Th 3:14) And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.

(2 Th 3:6) But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.

Here we see his authority and power and the obedience of the people.

Here we reiterate our reply to the most common objection by our Protestant brethren.

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