Amen – To Say or Not to Say, Part 5of6, Pastor Phil Sessa

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2Corinthians 1:20–22),“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. 2 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. Christ Is God’s “Amen!” (English standard version)

The IVP Bible background commentary shares that from Troas in Asia (1:8), one could sail to Macedonia, and come overland down to Corinth, as Paul had done before (Acts 16:11–12) and planned to do again (1Corinthians 16:5), and finally did later (Acts 20:1–3). 1:17. Paul had been unable to fulfill his stated intention. As he says in 1:23, his decision not to stop at Corinth was to “spare” them; instead he sent Titus ahead with a harsh letter (1:23–2:11; 7:7–12). When Titus did not return to the appointed meeting place in Troas, Paul feared for him (given the dangers of traveling in antiquity) and went on into Macedonia (2:12–13). There Paul met up with Titus again, who gave him good news about them (7:5–16).[1] Digressions were standard in ancient writing, and Paul here digresses (1:18–22) to assure them that he indeed had a good reason for not coming; he was a representative of the God who always kept his word, and he proclaimed a faithful gospel. “Amen” functioned as a positive affirmation at the end of a prayer, and Christ became the amen and yes to all the biblical promises of a truly faithful God[2]

If you recall the promises of God throughout the Bible, also the format of (Deuteronomy 27:15-26) whereby the people shouted “amen,” now Paul pulls from this backdrop and he says: We utter out “Amen” to God for His glory. The Glory of God, is what God is all about. God is chiefly concerned with his glory. Many people that speak about God do so starting with humanity. I can think of a well known song that has as part of the lyrics, “crucified, laid behind a stone; you lived to die rejected and alone, like a stone trampled on the ground, you took the fall and thought of ME above all.” This may come as a shocker, but this song has inaccurate theology. Christ was thinking about glorifying His Father, and not about you or I. Perhaps you think that sounds selfish of God, but fail to realize that God exists for His own glory, and the best thing for us to do is to live for His glory as well. The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks the question, “What is the chief end of man”? It answers the question by stating, “Man’ s chief end is to glorify God, (1Corinthians 10:31, Romans 11:36) and to enjoy him for ever. (Psalm 73:25–28)”

John Piper shares beautifully how the glory of God and the “amen” meet saying, “He [Paul] says first that Christ is God’s “Yes” to all the promises of the Bible: “As many are the promises of God, in him they are Yes.” Christ is God’s Amen to all that he has spoken. Christ affirms them and even secures them by his blood. The fact that you don’t deserve God’s promise to pursue you with goodness and mercy all your days, is now no obstacle. Christ has taken your ill-desert on him, and put his righteousness on you. He is God’s yes to all the promises in your life. For his sake you will get them if you trust him.” You see God judged Christ as if He lived your life, so He can judge you as if you lived Christ’s life. How can you not say ‘Amen” out of sheer gratitude to a gracious Father! Piper continues “Then he says, in verse 20b, “. . . therefore, also through Him is our ‘Amen’ to the glory of God.” In other words, the reason we say “Amen” through Christ when we hear the promises of God preached or hear a prayer of longing for the promises of God to be fulfilled, is that Christ has said “Amen” to us. He is God’s “Amen” to us. God says “Amen” to us through Christ in the cross, and we respond with “Amen” to God through Christ in preaching and prayer. So that’s one more reason we should make more of this echo of agreement than we do in corporate worship and prayer.”

Do you ever think about your “amen” and agreeing with God? Our “amen” should be in that which lines up with the will of God. What is God’s will and where is it found? God’s will is gloriously revealed in His life changing Word. May you look at Christ as God’s glorious “amen” on the cross, and see the eternal Christ as the one that drank the cup of the wrath of God on those that He has gloriously saved by His grace. As you sit with your Bible as see the Word of God, you should “amen” as you read its awesome truth, and see the reality of applying these truths to your life. It is amazing how many sit in churches each week, hear the truths of God’s Word, perhaps say “amen” and then go home and do NOTHING by the way of application. What does your “amen” mean to the Lord, if you allow the truth to “stay in the walls of the church” because you did not absorb it in your life? The Word of God is to be realized, savored and applied to the life of the believer. There will be a hunger to do what God’s Word says. The Jews said, “amen: if you will that they were children of Abraham, yet Christ said, “31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” We have the answer to that question, we can become free in Christ, the offspring of Abraham, to which we have become His offspring if we are in Christ having been grafted into the vine. Go and search the glories of God’s Word and as you apply it, may that be your “amen” as it displays your agreement with God.

Blessings, until the nets are filled…Phil, the Evangelist <><

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