Summary: "Amen" is far more meaningful than a period, a stop, or a signing-off word by which a prayer, song, or declaration is terminated.
In Scripture the word “Amen” comes from both Greek and Hebrew and is transliterated; which means there is no word in our language that can be interpreted exactly...so we used their word and in this case it is AMEN. It is variously translated Surely, Sure, Truth, Verily and Amen!
Bullinger says when it is used as an adjective, it means FIRM. As a metaphor it means FAITHFUL. As an adverb it means Verily, Truly, or Certainly. When defining the word translated VERILY, Bullinger says it means something that is Truly so, Assuredly so, and Certainly so. This is if it is used at the beginning of a sentence. At the end of a sentence it means SO BE IT, Amen.
I. MODES OF APPLICATION
A. Amens of Description.
1. God - Isa 65:16
2. The Redeemer - Rev. 3:14
B. Amens of Affirmation - John 3:3 (Most assurely)
C. Amen of assent and assurance - Deut. 27:15
D. Amen of desire and faith - Jer. 28:6
See also Jesus’ use of Amen; Matt. 6:13
E. Amen of Hope and Anticipation - Psa. 72:18-19; Rev. 1:7;
Amen describes Deity, is a vocal affirmation, also a
declaration of Assent and Assurance, a plea of Desire
and Faith and the expression of Hope and Anticipation.
II. CONTEXTUAL USES OF "AMEN"
A. It means faithful - see O.T. evidences, translation - Deut. 7:9
B. It means the integrity of God’s word. see Psalm 19:7; 111:7
C. Amen lends weight to warnings of God _ Hos. 5:9; Neh.
D. Amen used in promises - Isa. 33:16; Isa 55:3
E. Amen also used in instruction to praise God - Psa. 106:48
Amen reminds us of a faithful God, His Word of
integrity, seriousness of God’s warnings, the surety of
his promises and its a word of praise, AMEN!
III. HOW MAY WE INTELLIGENTLY USE "AMEN?"
A. First, intelligibly - 1 Cor. 14:15-16 This is the essence of
this text. There must be understanding!
B. Our AMEN must come from the heart - John 4:24
C. Our AMEN must be said in faith - Heb. 11:6
D. Our AMEN must be uttered in hope - Rev. 1:18
IV. And all the people shall say, "AMEN!"
1. From 1 Cor. 14:16, it appears that audible shouts of "amen" were common among the early Christians.
2. In Deut 27 at the giving of the law the people shouted, "Amen", no less than 12 times.
3. I can remember in days past when shouts of "Amen" not only punctuated our worship, but thundered at the conclusion of a prayer.
V. Defining "AMEN"
A. In both Greek and Hebrew a transliteration -- we used their word & just changed the pronunciation.
1. In Hebrew it means "to make firm," to "found, to prop up, to build"; hence, "support," "confirm, so be it."
2. In the Greek it would be more clearly translated as truly, verily, indeed, "so is it, so be it," or "may it be fulfilled."
B. Various uses of "amen"
1. When it is used as an adjective, it means firm.
2. As a metaphor it means faithful (see Deut. 7:9; Isa.
3. As an adverb it means Verily, Truly, or Certainly. In the Gospels we have record of 79 times Jesus used it is this way (see Mat. 5:18; John 3:3).
4. When used by God, it generally carries the idea of "There it shall be," and when used by man in response to a statement of God it carries the idea of "So let it be."
5. When others respond, "Amen," to the prayer or reading of another they are making the substance of what was uttered their own (1 Cor. 14:16).
C. "Amen" is far more meaningful than a period, a stop, or a signing-off word by which a prayer, song, or declaration is terminated. It carries the weight of approval, confirmation, and support of what is said or sung.
VI. In the Bible, when did the people say, "Amen?"
A. Old Testament:
1. Earliest reference (Num. 5:22) women to say, "Amen, amen" when sentence is pronounced upon the woman who commits adultery. They were to confess their agreement with God’s law & give consent to the justice of it.
2. In Deut. 27 Moses gave instruction for the reading of the law upon entrance into Canaan. The Levites were to read and the people were to answer, "Amen." In "amening" the law, the people were confirming that what has been read is true, just, and certain. They thereby pledged themselves to abide by those laws.
3. Neh. 8:6 records the people responding, "Amen, amen," in worship & praise of Jehovah at the reading of the law (read Neh. 8:3-6).
4. Often in Psalms, "Amen," is associated with expressive, exuberant praise (Psa. 41:13; 72:19; 89:52). The doubling of "amen" is significant.