But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No”, but in him it has always been “Yes.” For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. (verses 18-22)
Paul has been accused by his opponents in Corinth of being fickle and speaking out of both sides of his mouth. His plans to visit the Corinthians had changed, so he was charged with being unreliable, his word being unworthy of trust. They said he spoke “Yes” and “No” at the same time.
Paul defends himself, then shifts quickly to a focus on Jesus. There is certainty and faithfulness in the Person of Christ – he is the divine “Yes”, forever and always. Every single promise ever made by God is fully guaranteed by the “Yes” of Jesus himself.
Which is not to say that every promise is fulfilled as quickly as we would like. But every promise is sure, even when we cannot yet see it. Yes!
There are so many promises which undergird our faith. Here are just a few that I have specially been leaning into in recent years:
· 1 Peter 1:3-4 – “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness …” Yes!
· 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 – “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely … Faithful is he who calls you, and he also will bring it to pass.” Yes!
· Philippians 1:6 – “For I am confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Yes!
· John 14:12-14 – “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing … You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Yes!
So many more. All profound. Each deeply challenging, deeply encouraging. “No matter how may promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ.”
Thank you, Lord. I trust you. I lean into your promises. I grasp your “Yes.”
Affirm: Take one of the promises of God (from the short-list above, or another of your choosing) and affirm it all day. Call it to mind again and again. Speak it out. Punctuate it with “Yes”!