Gracefully Truthful

Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

2 Corinthians 1:18-22

18 As God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes and no.” 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you—Silvanus, Timothy, and I—did not become “Yes and no.” On the contrary, in him it is always “Yes.” 20 For every one of God’s promises is “Yes” in him. Therefore, through him we also say “Amen” to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who strengthens us together with you in Christ, and who has anointed us. 22 He has also put his seal on us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a down payment.

The Original Intent

1) What was the “message” mentioned in verse 18?

Paul had an interesting relationship with the church in Corinth. There were at least two letters Paul had previously written to the Corinthians that were not preserved. (1 Corinthians 5:9)

In this letter, Paul is addressing some accusations that had come against him. Corinthian Christians seemed upset with Paul because he hadn’t visited them in person. They insisted that if Paul was a man of integrity, he would have been more committed to his word. They were apparently charging him with being fickle. Of course, Paul’s enemies used this to convince the people that Paul was a fraud or hypocrite. Paul assured them this was not true.

He associated the truthfulness of Christ with the message he had taught the people. Paul had preached to them that Jesus Christ was completely reliable and trustworthy. He wanted them to understand that the reliability of the messenger was crucial to the message itself.

Paul’s belief in the faithfulness of Christ should have caused them to know he would not be unfaithful or unreliable in his words or actions. Though their doubt was probably painful for Paul, it gave him an opportunity to again emphasize the reliability of the gospel he consistently preached. (2 Corinthians 4:5-6)

The Everyday Application

1) What was the “message” mentioned in verse 18?

After his conversion, Paul preached the message of Jesus the rest of his life. His life was not focused on himself, but on Jesus and the gospel message that pointed to Him. He suffered greatly in his ministry, but he was sure of his calling and his future eternal life with God and His Church in Heaven.

He wanted to assure the Corinthians of the hope he had come to know. All those who have put their faith in Christ have the same hope. We are assured of life forever with God.

It’s because of this assurance, we are able to share this same hope with others. Even amid suffering, we preach the gospel to ourselves. We remind ourselves and others that God is good and faithful, always loving and forgiving, ready to free us from the chains of sin and shame we are trapped within. We know this because He tells us in His word and because He’s proven Himself time and time again. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)

The Original Intent

2) How does God say “Yes” through Jesus Christ, the Son? (verse 20)

God’s promises are so completely trustworthy they are attached to the flawless Person of Christ Jesus. God never speaks an untrue word; He never leaves a promise unfulfilled. (Numbers 23:19)

In light of this kind of dependable God, there should be one only one proper response to His message. “Amen!” (meaning, “let it be so!”).

There is biblical evidence that the Corinthians were familiar with this response. They probably declared this word often to affirm the truthfulness of what someone had said. (1 Corinthians 14:16)

Those who knew the Old Testament stories and Scriptures knew God was faithful and true. Paul was affirming that Jesus was the embodiment of all the promises God had made. John’s gospel makes it clear that Jesus was the living fulfillment of God’s promise to reconcile the world to Himself. (John 1:14-18) The disciple recorded Jesus Himself testifying to this when He stated, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will also know my Father.” (John 14:6)

The Everyday Application

2) How does God say “Yes” through Jesus Christ, the Son? (verse 20)

When we get excited about something, we may pump our fist in the air and shout, “YES!” We are declaring our confidence that something good is happening.

Jesus is God’s “Yes.”

Father of kindness, You have poured out of grace
You brought me out of darkness, You have filled me with peace
Giver of mercy, You’re my help in time of need
Lord I can’t help but sing:
Faithful, You are.
Faithful forever, You will be.
Faithful, You are.
All Your promises are Yes and Amen!

Beautiful Savior, You have brought me here.
You pulled me from the ashes, You have broken every curse.
Blessed Redeemer, You have set this captive free.
Lord, I can’t help but sing.
I will rest in Your promises.
My confidence is Your faithfulness.
(Yes and Amen by Housefires)

The Original Intent

3) What does the Spirit reveal about God’s plan for our future as believers? (verse 22)

Verse 22 says the Spirit has been given to believers’ hearts as a down payment. “The Greek word ἀρραβών (arrabōn) denotes the first payment, or first installment, of money or goods which serves as a guarantee or pledge for the completion of the transaction.

In the New Testament, the term is used only figuratively of the Holy Spirit as the down payment of the blessings promised by God.” (netbible.org) Paul wanted the Corinthians to believe him because his message contained hopeful, confident assurance for their future with God. The promise of God the Father was made alive through God the Son.

Those who demonstrate faith in Jesus are assured of a glorious future flooded with grace, forgiveness, and unity with God because God the Spirit has been given as a down payment. The Holy Spirit is the pledge from God to every believer that they will receive all the wonderful things that have been promised them. (Romans 5:1-5)

The Everyday Application

3) What does the Spirit reveal about God’s plan for our future as believers? (verse 22)

Sometimes people put Christmas gifts on layaway. They plan to pay slowly over time, but the item is reserved just for them. God has purchased us on the ultimate lay-away plan. But this plan is a little different because He has already paid in full through Jesus.

Though we are waiting for Him to take us into His everlasting and glorious presence, He has already purchased us through the blood of His Son and has given the assurance of His payment through His Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) What an amazing gift is our salvation!

Often, people who put things on layaway either forget or can’t pay for their item. What a joy to know that God, the purchaser, will not forget us. Why would He? There is nothing left to pay and He Himself is heavily invested in His reward, us! (Isaiah 49:15-16)

One day, God created something beautiful, but He watched it get broken and stolen as His creation chose their sin over His love. (Genesis 2-3) So He sacrificed Himself to buy us back from the grip of Sin. (Galatians 3:13-14) He restored what was broken at great cost to Himself and now prizes us, His reward, forever because we bring Him glory and pleasure. (James 1:18)

Take heart, Sister. What God says He will do, He will do. And as a believer, YOU will receive everything He has promised. “Sing for joy, Daughter Zion; shout loudly, Israel! Be glad and celebrate with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem! The Lord has removed your punishment; He has turned back your enemy. The King of Israel, the Lord, is among you; you need no longer fear harm. On that day it will be said to Jerusalem: ‘Do not fear; Zion, do not let your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will be quiet in His love. He will delight in you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:14-17)

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