(2 Corinthians 1:12-24)
One of the major phone companies here in Australia has the word ‘Yes’ as a combination motto, logo and customer promise. Whether they actually achieve that I don’t know, but it is a good marketing approach.
Most people like to hear a ‘yes’ response because it means they are getting a positive response to their questions or inquiry.
In Jesus Christ, we see here that He too responds with ‘yes’. Paul makes the point to the church at Corinth that,
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. – (2 Corinthians 1:20)
In Christ It Is Always Yes
Many people in this world seek us to trust them, but who can you really trust. Politicians, the media, sales people, businesses and many others? These people all make promises but often they do not keep them. They want people to believe that when they say ‘Yes’ they mean it. But too often they find ways to weasel out of their promises, so much so that they have a name for such behaviour today. They call it ‘spin’ or using ‘weasel words.’
But this is not the case with God and with Jesus Christ. In God we can truly trust and in Jesus Christ we have both the offer of all the promises of God and a guarantee that they will be delivered.
There are many promises that God gave man, and the greatest of these promises come through coming to and knowing Jesus Christ.
Stop for a moment and think of some of the promises God has given to man. Examples that come to mind include:
- Freedom from sin
- Freedom from law
- The Holy Spirit
- A pathway to God
- The ability to ask and know you will get answered
- Righteousness by faith
- And eventually, eternal life
And there are many more promises in the bible, too numerous to mention here.
The one thing that is common to all of these promises of God, is that there is only one way to receive all of them. They all come through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. There is no other way to receive these promises of God because they are given as a gift through faith in Jesus Christ and by the grace of God.
This is why Paul says in the verse quoted above that, “All the promises of God have their ‘yes’ in Him.”
Even though there were promises given to Israel if they would follow the law, these promises of God through Jesus Christ are far better. We see the comparison between the old covenant of law and the vastly superior new covenant based on grace in these verses.
6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. – (Hebrews 8:6-7)
And it doesn’t simply end with a promise.
As we continue to read the section of 1 Corinthians 1, we find that to assure us of the promises of God that do find their ‘Yes’ in Jesus Christ, God has given us a guarantee. Note this verse.
20 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. 21 And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. – (2 Corinthians 1:20-22)
To assure us of His promises, God his given us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee to prove that the promises find their ‘Yes’ in Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ established the conditions for us to receive the grace of God.
Jesus came to the earth as a man and He taught the disciples what they and we needed to know to receive the promises of God. Then Christ died for us to start the process and to set us free from the law and from sin so that we could by faith be born again as new creations in Jesus Christ.
And this is not the end of the story, it is just the beginning. As we have been born again in Christ, like a human baby, we need to be fed and to grow up.
God wants all of His people to stand mature in Jesus Christ, and this is why He gave us the Holy Spirit.
It is the work of the Holy Spirit to teach us and bring us into the image of Jesus Christ. That is, the work of the Holy Spirit is to make us perfect as Jesus was perfect.
This is the guarantee from God. He guarantees that those who come to Christ in faith, believing all that He taught and who are baptised in Christ Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit, will receive the promises of God. They will receive righteousness by faith, freedom and all the other things listed above, for it is the Holy Spirit who works in us to achieve the promises of God that we receive through Jesus Christ.
Promises of Man
As mentioned above, many men make promises, but they do not always keep those promises. In some cases, they don’t even have any intention of keeping the promise but are like children who promise with fingers crossed, which for children in their games means they are not bound by their promises.
But not so in Christ. Just as Christ promised and followed through, keeping all the promises and prophecies spoken about Him in the Old Testament, so too we are to do likewise.
Jesus gave us an example to follow. In fact, He wants us to be careful of every word we speak because we are required to keep our word. As Christians, our word is our promise and our word is our contract.
As James said,
But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. – (James 5:12)
When we give our word, we must keep our word. If we say either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ we should follow through on what we say.
This how we engender trust in others. Over time people will accept that when our word is our bond, they will trust us because they have learned through long experience that we do what we say.
So just as we find the ‘Yes’ in Jesus, we too should be in the place where our yes means yes and no means no, and where there is no ‘maybe,’ and definitely no going back on our word.
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