Summary: God is the source of all stability. In Jesus and through the promises of God we too are stabilized & become stable.
2 CORINTHIANS 1: 18-22 [GAINING PERSPECTIVE Series]
INTEGRITY OF MOTIVE AND CONDUCT
Some of the trouble makers in the church discredited Paul by pointing to inconsistency and saying he was at the least insincere, and more likely two-faced, in his relationship with them. But nothing could be more illogical than to suspect the apostle of insincerity or vacillating. Paul’s entire being was dedicated to the service and proclamation of the One Who is totally and constantly truth, Who is the same yesterday, today and forever. God is the source of all stability. In Jesus and through the promises of God we too are stabilized and become stable (CIT).
I. THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD, 18-19.
II. SOLIDIFIED IN CHRIST, 20.
III. ESTABLISH, ANOINTED AND SEALED BY GOD, 21-22.
Paul answers the charge against Him by referencing the faithfulness of His God in verse 18. “But as God is faithful, our word to you is not yes and no.”
Paul’s accusers had been saying he was unstable or untrustworthy because he seem to vacillate in his decision to come visit them. Therefore he was not to be believed. So Paul here says that if you cannot be certain about him, be certain about God. The source of stability for Paul and his ministry was God Himself, who is faithful. The message Paul preached was no less certain or faithful than God is. His preaching or doctrine was not inconsistent or contradictory. He did not preach one thing and then live another.
Paul transitioned quickly from his personal integrity to God’s integrity. Paul was much more concerned for the reputation of the gospel than his own. They might accuse him of breaking his word but when they charged that his preaching was not of God they went too far. He says whatever you think of him, be assured that because God is faithful so is Paul’s preaching.
By saying his “message was not yes and no” he is saying that it is worthy of confidence. Since God is true so the message is true. Paul says it is God’s faithfulness that makes the gospel true. It is His Word and it is forever unchangeably true. God is trustworthy, therefore His Word is trustworthy, it does not change or vacillate. Paul’s confidence in God’s word was one and the same with his confidence in God.
Verse 19 elaborates why God’s message, even through human agency, is faithful. “For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us–by me and Silvanus and Timothy–was (did not become) not yes and no, but is yes in Him” (in Him was and continues to be a reality).
At the heart of the message preached by Paul, Silas and Timothy was Christ Jesus. Not only was the preaching of the Son of God true, but when the Corinthians entered into their relationship with Christ, God proved trustworthy and continued to prove Himself true. The messengers did not sway back and forth on the message nor did Christ not sway in and out in His relationship with them. Timothy, Silas and Paul preached the Word of God for 18 months in Corinth on Paul’s second missionary journey. Their message in word and their message in life through much opposition and obstacles that would have hindered natural man prove the message and messengers faithfulness.
God word resounds with yes for there is no contradiction in Christ nor in His teaching. The Christ who their preaching had revealed or who had been experienced by them did not prove Himself unsatisfying or uncertain “but yes in Him,” that is He is true to His truth. In Him- in Christ is trustworthy truth. Christ proved Himself to be all that He was affirmed to be.
Yes, His love for us is [gegonen, perfect tense] always constant; it is not off and on. Whatever God promises [7:1; Rom. 9:4; 15:8], He fulfills. He does not simply love us when we are good, and not love us when we are bad; Jesus loves us all the time. His forgiveness is always yes. In Him, yes, we can always find forgiveness. He is always willing to extend the rope that would haul us up out of the miry clay. It has been tested uncountable times down through the centuries and has proven itself sufficient to lift us up to new life no matter how great our debt of sin is.
II. SOLIDIFIED IN CHRIST (20).
Verse 20 speaks of God’s certainties in Christ and God’s answers to man in Christ. “for as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes: therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.
“Are yes in Him” means that God’s many promises found their fulfillment in Christ. All of God’s promises of what the Messiah would be and do are fulfilled in Christ. Jesus was completely faithful in His ministry. He never sinned (1 Peter 3:18); He faithfully died for us (Hebrews 2:9); and now He faithfully intercedes for us (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 4:14,15).