Yes in Christ
Yes in Christ
Words of Faith 8-28-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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2 Corinthians 1
 Because I was confident of this, I planned to visit you first so that you might benefit twice.  I planned to visit you on my way to Macedonia and to come back to you from Macedonia, and then to have you send me on my way to Judea.  When I planned this, did I do it lightly? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say, "Yes, yes" and "No, no"?
 But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not "Yes" and "No."  For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, 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.
Some folks in Corinth were upset at Paul. Why? Because he had changed his plans about visiting them. It was not just that "people don't like change". Paul's opponents used this as an opportunity to point out how unreliable Paul was-- "How can you believe his message if you can't count on plans for a visit?"
The accusations were really quite unfair. Paul wrote with a clear conscience and operated in holiness and sincerity. He did not do things according to worldly wisdom but according to God's grace. We might ask the critics-- "Do you want a leader who does things 'by the book', the worldly book? Or do you want one who listens to God and operates in his grace?"
Paul heard the critics and was confident in his own sincerity and holiness and in his relationship with the Corinthian believers. He knew that when he had proposed a journey from Ephesus he had the very best intention-- but when there was a change in the plans he actually ended up visiting twice instead of once! The two visits were meant to express Paul's affection for the believers in Corinth but he caught criticism for it.
Paul's opponents were saying that his vacillating was a sign of fundamental unreliability, affecting not just where he went but what he said. Something like-- "If you can't count on his schedule how can you count on his message." Nothing could have been further from the truth! The truth was that Paul did not make plans in a worldly or self-serving way altering them for reasons of self-interest. He wasn't talking out of both sides of his mouth to please different groups or to further his own ends. He was listening to God and operating in His grace.
Paul would explain the reason for his travel changes a little later, but for the moment he was more concerned with the accusation that his message was unreliable. Nothing strikes at the heart of preacher quite like that! Paul was adamant. The source of stability in his ministry was God Himself. God is faithful no matter when the plans of men come through or visits come to pass. The message Paul preached was no less certain than God. His Yes was Yes and his No was No.
This may seem like just another church squabble in ancient history, but the point here is that at the heart of Paul's message is the person of Jesus Christ. Christ completely fulfills all God's promises. The only proper response to God's message is Amen-- "let it be so".
Paul, Silas and Timothy had responded to precisely this message when they obeyed God in coming to the synagogue in Corinth to begin with! It was because of the Yes of Christ that they had come to know the Gospel at all.
In Christ all the promises of God are fulfilled! The promises to Abraham and David are fulfilled and the Law has been brought to an end. Paul would soon write to the Roman believers-- "Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes" (10:4). This is the Yes of God. This message proclaimed by Paul and his associates resulted in the Corinthians' salvation and in turn brought glory to God.
For us, there is a great fundamental truth here. God is faithful. He has fulfilled his promises in Christ. We may become disappointed when things do not turn out the way that we thought, but God is always faithful. Changes in plans or the things we had come to expect are not a reason to doubt God or criticize leaders. God's Yes will always be Yes in Christ. Even if people seem to let us down, Christ's Yes is still Yes.
Lord, set my heart in You. Settle my heart in You. You are the Rock that never changes even when plans change and people shift. You are the One I depend upon. Your Yes is always Yes. Thank You for Your promises fulfilled. Thank You for Your message, always sure. In Jesus' Name.