What does the power of the Office of the Keys include?

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This power includes all the spiritual authority, which Christ has given to His Church on earth. On the basis of this authority the congregation has the right:

  1. To proclaim and teach God’s Word and administer the holy Sacraments.
  2. To care for souls with God’s Word.
  3. To remit the sins of penitent sinners, and to retain the sins of the impenitent.
  4. To call and ordain pastors to perform the above functions.

1 Pet. 2:9: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy
nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of him who
hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

Mark 16:15: Go ye into all the world and preach the ospel to every creature.

Matt. 28:18-20: The Baptismal command.

1 Cor. 11:24: This do in remembrance of Me (Holy Communion).

This power is called the Office of the Keys, because it opens heaven by forgiving sins and closes heaven by retaining sins.