Monday, October 16, 2023

God’s Promises Through Jesus – Yes and Amen

Monday, October 16, 2023 

God’s Promises Through Jesus – Yes and Amen Submitted by Kay Crumley

Paul is writing a letter to the church in Corinth explaining his change in plans. He had told them he would visit them on his trip through their region but changed his mind.  Those who opposed Paul accused him of having no integrity, not trustworthy.  Paul addressed that accusation in the first verses of this chapter.  He praised the God of comfort who is our comforter in our afflictions.  God’s comfort can be shared with others facing similar afflictions, that is His purpose, for us to give and receive His comfort through others.  Paul went on to explain the great afflictions he and his fellow missionaries faced.  Their sufferings were so great they thought they might die.  However, they did not despair as they were taught, by God, to depend on Him and not on their own ability, He is our deliverer.  Paul then asked for prayer and thanked those whose prayers had blessed them. God brought consolation and salvation to others through Paul’s sufferings.  Finally, he assured them he was not being manipulative in any way toward the Corinthian Christians.  They had become cynical as other false teachers had come into their churches.  Paul had a clear conscience before God and man that he had been honest and straight forward with all he had told them.  There were no double meanings in his message to them. 

As believers who profess to have a different standard from the world, we must live a life of integrity. Those we witness to must trust us, believe we are who we say we are and will fulfill our promises, if we are to be effective witnesses to them. Verse 12 in the New Living Translation says, We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you. It is my desire to demonstrate that same honest, straightforward lifestyle to bring glory to God so that others can know His salvation. 

In the verses below, our key verses, is the reason for our confidence and hope in Him.   

 Because I was sure of this,  I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have  a second  experience of grace.  I wanted to visit you  on my way to Macedonia, and to come back to you from Macedonia and have you send me on my way to Judea. Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans  according to the flesh, ready to say “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time?  As surely as  God is faithful,  our word to you has not been Yes and No.  For  the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you,  Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but  in him it is always Yes.   For  all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our  Amen to God for his glory.  And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and  has anointed us,  and who has also  put his seal on us and  given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 1:15-21 

Paul had genuinely wanted to stop by Corinth on his return journey.  His first visit had been painful to both Paul and the Church in Corinth as there was much confrontation.  Rather than return as planned he sent Titus with a letter to them.  Second Corinthians was written even later from Macedonia.  His change of plans had caused his opponents to accuse him of being untrustworthy, saying yes when he really meant no.  We have all encountered people who make promises yet never intending to follow through with those promises.  That was the accusation made against Paul, he was just as fickle as the false teachers who had come to the church.  He proclaims, in verse 18, that he and those with him had not said yes when they really meant no or say no when they meant yes.  They are men of integrity who can be trusted.  They preached Jesus Christ, the Son of God to all who listened.  He, Jesus, is completely reliable, His yes can always be trusted.  Paul is asking them to understand that as the apostle of the One faithful Jesus Christ, he too must have that same mindset, to be true to his word.  As Christians, having rid ourselves of the old nature, our hearts and behavior must reflect Jesus Christ.  Verse 20 is the most precious verse in this passage.  “God the Father will always say Yes to the Son and will always affirm what the Son says (Amen)” from Enduring Word Commentary.  The reason for Paul’s confidence is stated in verses 21-22.  We are established or anointed with the Holy Spirit when we give our lives to Him, the Holy One lives in us 1 John 2:20, all who believe. He, the Holy Spirit has but His seal of ownership on us to identify us and protect us. God has guaranteed us the with the Holy Spirit as our “down payment” for the promise of greater things to come.  His promises are true, 1 Corinthians 1:9.  

In Jesus Christ we find our Yes and Amen!   

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