Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Aug 27 2013 - 2 Corinthians 1:12-2:4 – God’s great “Yes!”

Paul had been accused by some at Corinth of wavering in his concern for them. He had told them of his plans to visit them but he had failed to come. “You can’t trust Paul”, some were saying, “his words are worthless.”

Paul explains that his change of plans was for their sake. He had wished to avoid what would have been a painful visit in which he would have had to confront face-to-face those who were causing problems in the church. Instead he had sent a letter to them in the hope that it would spur them to put things right before he came, so that his subsequent visit might be a joy to both him and them. His letter, written in tears, was an expression of the depth of his love rather than evidence of lack of faithfulness (see 2 Corinthians 1:23-2:4).

Paul reminds the Christians in Corinth that God is faithful and unchangeable in his purposes towards us. He is not two-faced; he does not say both “Yes” and “No”. Jesus is God’s great “Yes!”

All of the promises which God has made in his Word find their affirmation and confirmation in him. They all find their fulfilment in him; he is the Son who is heir of all things. All that is promised is freely given to us in him, for God has chosen to make us co-heirs with him – to be his promised bride. What belongs to him by right is ours in him by grace. So, says Paul, there is no double-mindedness with God; no uncertainty as to whether he will or will not bless us; no “yes” one minute and “no” the next. Jesus is God’s great “Yes!” And to assure us of these things, God has given us his Spirit, the Spirit of his Son, by whom we are “sealed” – marked as his own possession. The Spirit is the guarantee, the engagement ring on the promised bride, ensuring that God will do for us, and give to us, all he has promised us in Christ.

These are wonderful words, full of comfort and assurance. They remind us that God will complete the work of salvation that he has begun in us.

The work that his goodness began,
the arm of his strength will complete.
His promise is Yea and Amen,
and never was forfeited yet.
Things future nor things that are now,
nor all things below or above,
can make him his purpose forgo
or sever my soul from his love.

Paul has sought to be the servant of this faithful God. He has not been double minded in his dealings with the Corinthians but has always had the single aim of seeking their wellbeing. He is not “yes” one minute and “no” the next for he serves a Saviour who is not both “yes” and “no” but is God’s great “Yes!”

Paul’s words challenge us. If we delight in the faithfulness of God towards us in Christ then we are to reflect that faithfulness in our dealings with others. We are to have a single and unvarying aim of ministering to others in such a way that they also may rejoice in the unchanging blessings of God in Christ.

Living God, we thank you for your great and precious promises. We thank you that your word and promises, can be trusted for they are signed in the shed blood of your Son, Jesus Christ. We thank you that you have given us your Spirit to assure us that Christ is ours and that all things are ours in him. By that same Spirit, help us to be like Jesus. Help us to give ourselves tirelessly to the work of your kingdom. Make us also your “yes” men.

Peter Misselbrook