2 Corinthians 1:19-22. 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. 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.
Paul wanted to visit Corinth again but plans kept changing. As a result, they thought he was saying “yes” out of one side of his mouth and “no” out of the other (see 1:15-18). But in Christ, Paul says, his answer to the Corinthians was always “yes.” Why? Because Christ would say yes.
Corinthians: Will you come visit us?
Paul: Well, what would Christ say to that? Yes?! Then let’s get to Corinth!
But then it suddenly gets even deeper. Christ not only says “yes” to us, he IS God’s “yes.” All the promises of God find their Yes in him.
Every promise made by God to Israel and to us, every story in the Bible, every part of his redemptive plan finds it’s YES in Jesus’ life and death. The resurrection was God screaming YES to them and to us. Yes, I love you. Yes, you’re my people. Yes, I will give you everything. And this living and breathing Yes of God lives inside of us. Every promise of God is now manifest in and through our lives as the people of God, the Church of God. And one day Christ will return as God’s final YES, as he establishes his Kingdom on earth forever. Every promise will be kept by God through Christ.
The result of this is that through him we utter our Amen to God for his glory. Our “Amen” is our yes (that’s what “amen” means). When we pray, we are agreeing with God. He has said yes to us, now we say “I agree” or “amen” back to him. God says yes and we say yes. This brings glory to God. This simple word is an act of great faith.
Then Paul goes on to give us one of the greatest statements about our union with Christ that he has written so far. God has established us with you in Christ, and he has anointed us and sealed us by giving us the Holy Spirit into our hearts.
Just like Christ is the anointed one (that’s what “Christ” means), we too are anointed kings and priests in God’s kingdom. Because we share in Christ’s life and death we have nothing to fear, nothing to prove, and nothing to lose. Why? Because God has sealed us as his possession and given us the Spirit as the guarantee, or down payment, of future glory. We are “already” anointed or set apart for Christ’s Kingdom, but “not yet” fully glorified. But that day is coming.
The Old Testament story of David illustrates this. David was anointed as king long before he would actually serve as king. He would spend decades being chased through the wilderness, fighting battles, and facing severe trials. So how could he trust God’s promise through all of that? He was given the Holy Spirit as a guarantee at the time of his anointing.
1 Samuel 16:13. Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.
The Spirit would empower David to persevere until the day he was crowned in glory.
“To live is Christ” means we are the living embodiment of God’s great big YES. All of his promises are fulfilled in Christ and now in us. How do we know? Because he has anointed and sealed us with himself, the Spirit, by the indwelling life of Christ. God has preserved us for future glory. Now we can say yes to God.
And maybe it’s time to start saying yes to others. Yes to serving. Yes to sacrifice. Yes to love.
How does it encourage you that God has said yes to you in Christ? Do you agree with God even when it’s hard or doesn’t make sense? Have you said yes to others where Christ would say yes? How can union with Christ and God’s YES to you in Christ give you the courage to say yes to God today?