2 Corinthians 1:18-20 “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.”
Paul’s preaching about Jesus had never been (and it would never be), “Yes, this is certain about Jesus,” and then in the next breath, “Well, no, maybe this is not so sure.” Everything Paul preached about him, everything we have recorded about that perfect life of love, is sure. Don’t we have four separate accounts telling us so? There is no doubt Jesus gave his life as an atoning sacrifice on the cross, just as Paul preached. There is no doubt Jesus actually, bodily rose from the dead for our faith and assurance. In his earlier letter to these same Corinthian Christians, Paul had pointed them to over 500 witnesses of the fact. Many were still alive and were available for interview. Everything about Jesus’ saving work was “Yes.” It was true.
Everything Jesus taught was “yes” as well. In the gospels we hear reminder after reminder that Jesus spoke with authority. When Jesus said to a person “Be healed!” that person was healed! When Jesus said, “Son, your sins are all forgiven,” those sins were all forgiven! When Jesus preached his parables and proclaimed, “The Kingdom of heaven is like…” a vineyard, a field, or nets, that is what the Kingdom is really like! How many times Jesus introduces something in the gospels with “Verily, I say unto thee,” “Truly, I tell you.” Everything about Jesus’ message to us is sure.
Even more, because of him, ALL of God’s promises are certain. “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ.” Jesus himself is the ultimate fulfillment of all God’s promises, the greatest demonstration of God’s perfect faithfulness. Because of him I know that every word of God can be trusted. I know the Bible is true not only because it contains some passages that say so. Of course, those passages are also God’s word, and they are not to be doubted.
But I also know that the Bible is true because this is where I met Jesus. It is still where I meet him today. It is in these words Jesus introduced me to his love. And if Jesus loves me as much as these words say (and he does), then I find the faith that can depend upon him and his Father for everything in every way. Jesus makes me sure.
I don’t have space to review all the promises which are “Yes” in Christ here, but a little sampling will give us a feel for just how many promises Jesus makes certain. Isn’t it Jesus himself who says, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the Kingdom.” “Come to me all you who are weary, and burdened, and I will give you rest.” “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.” “So do not worry saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ for the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm until the end will be saved.” “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” “My sheep listen to my voice, I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” “He that believes and is baptized will be saved.” “Take and drink, this cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you for the forgiveness of your sins.” “There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”?
These and so many others are the promises of God which Jesus makes certain. In him we can be sure that every one of them is “Yes!”