Summary: If Paul here says that all God's promises are "yes" in Jesus, how can I have more confidence to claim those promises?
“‘Yes’ In Christ”: We are missing out on a great verse to boost our confidence in answered prayer.
- This is such a great verse and yet it’s one that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. This is one that is worth regularly quoting in prayer. It’s just a vibrant expression of our hope and expectation in prayer.
- Let’s set up the verse by looking at the previous two.
- There was some unhappiness from the Corinthians about Paul’s failure to visit them. He had planned to visit them but then changed his mind. There were circumstances that changed those plans – circumstances that included the immature response of the Corinthians. In light of all that, there could have been the accusation that “if we can’t count on your travel promises, maybe we can’t count on the theological promises you made.”
- Because of that, Paul immediately transitions from talk of travel “yes” and “no” into talk of theological “yes” and “no.” In verse 18 he tells them that his theological message to them was not “yes” and “no.” That is, it wasn’t a message where he said one thing one day and another the next. It wasn’t a message where he was constantly adjusting what the “truth” he was sharing with them was. He was anticipating the accusation they were likely to make against him.
- He pounds home his point in verse 19 by saying that the Jesus that he and his fellow preachers had shared was one who spoke “yes.”
- That brings us to verse 20, which is where we will spend the majority of this sermon. He strongly counters the anticipated slander of shifting promises with a definitive statement about how generous and reliable the promises of God are.
- I want to unpack the other parts of verse 20, but let me first look at the heart of the verse: “they are ‘Yes’ in Christ.”
- That is such a strong statement of hope, confidence, and expectation. The promises of God are yes in Jesus Christ. Through Jesus the promises of God are ones that we can count on and have confidence in.
- So, the first thing that I want to say tonight is that we need to grab onto this terrific phrase and incorporate it into our prayer life. It’s one that can give us confidence and expectation as we pray – and we can use all of that that we can get.
Living In That Confidence:
1. God does not have a capacity problem.
- 2 Corinthians 1:20 – “For no matter how many promises God has made . . .”
- Verse 20 starts with a broad statement concerning how many promises God has made. How many is that? Well, I didn’t have the time to go through the Bible and count them, but suffice it to say that it’s a bunch.
- So let’s do the math. There are a bunch of promises in the Bible that God has said He will answer for Christians. There are hundreds of millions of Christians around the globe. That’s a lot of potential requests!
- In business they talk about “capacity” issues. That is, if too many orders come in and suddenly you don’t have the ability to fulfill all the orders that you received. Suddenly, you’ve got a backlog and a bunch of unhappy customers.
- Now, what we’re talking about isn’t a business, but similar thoughts could come to mind. “I don’t know if God can hear little old me with a whole world to run.” “Maybe He forgot about me.” “It’s a big world and He’s got bigger things to attend to.” All of those point toward capacity issues. We don’t think God can handle answering every request that claims the promises.
- God, though, does not have a capacity problem. He is limitless. He is infinite. His power is always enough. His awareness is always present. His capacity is always sufficient.
- And so Paul can confidently say that no matter how many promises God has made, the answer can still be yes in Christ.
2. It’s not because of our thoughts but because of Christ’s action.
- 2 Corinthians 1:20 – “. . . in Christ. And so through Him . . .”
- If you listen to self-help gurus giving their motivational speeches, it’s all about revving yourself up. “You can do it!” “You have greatness within you!” Paul here point us in a different, better direction. Our confidence in God’s willingness to answer and our hope in God applying His promises to our lives does not lie in how great we are or anything that we’ve done for God. It lies in Jesus.
- “. . . in Christ. And so through Him . . .” are the words that Paul uses.