In 2 Corinthians chapter 1, Paul is explaining his change of plan to his friends in the church at Corinth. It seems likely that they were disappointed, perhaps even critical of, his change of plan. Possibly Paul felt that he was looking unreliable and vacillating, because in verse 17 he asks, ‘do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say “Yes, yes and “No, no”?
This is the context in which Paul makes a wonderful statement that ‘the Son of God, Christ Jesus….. 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.’ 2 Corinthians 1:19,20. Paul is showing us that not only is he not a vacillator, but that God Himself is most definitely not, and that if God has made a promise it will find it’s “Yes”, it’s fulfillment in Jesus. In the light of this it is no wonder that Jesus said to Philip “He who has seen Me has seen the Father”, John 14:9. Jesus and His Father are completely one, and whatever promise Father God speaks, Jesus will fulfill and complete.
I think we can fairly say that it is God’s desire that we, being confident that Jesus never lies, will always be saying “Amen” as a sign of our faith in the fulfillment of God’s promises through Jesus. In the very best sense of the word Jesus is always totally in unison with the Father when it comes to God’s will and His promises. So what then does it mean to say “Amen”? Well you could use the phrase “So be it”. It is me saying “I believe, Father, that the promise you made is true and will work for me in, and because of, Jesus.”
‘So be it’ is a very positive affirmation but I personally think that, in our day and age, it can have a slightly down beat fatalistic edge to it. We can imagine someone who has just received some bad news saying ‘so be it’ in an attempt to agree with their fate. I prefer the Message paraphrase, “Oh Yes”. For example as we read the last words in the Bible, where Jesus says “I am coming soon”, and the reply is, “Oh Yes, Come Master Jesus!” Revelation 22:20,21. Or, when every creature in heaven and earth join in the worship of the Lamb, Revelation 5:13,14, the four living creatures shout “Oh Yes!” and ‘The elders fall to their knees and worship.’ For me “Oh Yes” conveys a much stronger shout of true faith.
So when God says that He will never leave us, that He has and will forgive all my sins, that He will meet all my needs, and so much more, saying “Amen”, “So be it”, or “Oh Yes”, by way of agreeing with God, is very close to saying “Thank you”. “Thank you that you will never leave me. Thank you that you forgive all my sins. Thank you that you will supply all my needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Speaking out our thanksgiving is often the action needed to activate our faith, and make it real. I also think that thanksgiving is one of the ‘works’ that James, in his letter, is talking about that demonstrates how real our faith is. Thanksgiving is a very practical way of saying “Amen” and “Oh Yes” to God’s promises that are, have been, and will be fulfilled to us in Jesus.
Better still, saying “Amen” through our thanksgiving brings glory to God, and will thrill his heart for He has found a person who is in agreement with Him. As Amos says ‘do two men walk together unless they have agreed to do so?’ Amos 3:3. Thanksgiving is a great way of coming into agreement more fully with the Lord and His promises, and thus walking in closer, more intimate and more sweetly satisfying friendship with Him on a daily basis.