In this article, we will look at how God’s promises are yes and amen. So, let’s grab our Bible and dig deep into the meaning of 2 Corinthians 1:20.
Any Christian would have heard at some point that God’s promises are yes and amen. These words are often used in sermons, Bible school lessons, and songs like “Yes and Amen.” You may, however, wonder what exactly these words mean and whether this applies to all of God’s promises.
The scripture that the phrase is based on, 2 Corinthians 1:20, within context, indicates that God is faithful and keeps all His promises.
Jesus fulfills all the promises of God in the scriptures, while those not yet fulfilled will be fulfilled with His second coming.
But it’s super important that believers must understand the difference between God’s promises and their will and desires. Like anything in the Bible, God’s promises should be read in context and understood as it was meant.
So, let’s find out what does it mean to say that God’s promises are yes and amen?
Table of Contents
His Promises Are Yes, And Amen
God made over seven thousand promises to man, recorded in the scriptures!
Herbert Lockyer, in his volume All the Promises of the Bible,’ tells the story of Everett R. Storms, a school-teacher in Canada, who made a detailed study of promises. According to Time,’ Storms, of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, reckoned the figure of 30,000 to be too high (sinceit is roughly the number of verses making up the Bible-31,]73). During his twenty-seventh reading of the Bible, a task which took him a year and a half, Storms came up with a grand total of 8,810 promises (7,487 of them being promises made by God to humankind).Victor Knowles (source)
A promise is when someone says they are going to do something specific. We find one of God’s first promises to man in Genesis 3:15:
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
The word “yes” in English is used as an affirmative response to a question or a decision. In 2 Corinthians 1:20, Paul says,
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.
Jesus is God’s affirmative response to each of His promises, meaning that all of God’s promises have been or will be fulfilled by Jesus.
In the Old Testament, the original Hebrew word meant reliable or faithful. The Greek word translated as “amen” in this verse could also be translated as “surely” or “so be it.”
So when Paul says, “…through him that we utter our Amen to God…” it means that we say “so be it,” trusting in the faithfulness of God, as He can be relied on to keep His promises.
2 Corinthians 1:20 could also be translated or understood that everything God has said He would do, has been confirmed and fulfilled by Jesus. So we, as believers, through Christ, respond by trusting that God is faithful and will reliably fulfill his promises to us to the glory of Jesus.
Are All God’s Promises Yes And Amen?
2 Corinthians 1:20 is evident in that “…all the promises of God find their Yes in him,” meaning that God did all He said He would do through Jesus Christ.
God’s early promise, in Genesis 3:15, refers to enmity between the snake’s offspring, Satan, and the woman’s offspring, Jesus. We see that thousands of years before He was born, God made a promise that Jesus fulfilled.
Later in Genesis 12:3, God promises Abraham that in him “…all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
This blessing, again, refers to the coming of Jesus. Through the blessing of the blood that Jesus shed on the cross, there can be forgiveness of sins for all the people of the earth who believe in Him.
God’s last promise in the Bible is found in Revelation 22:20.
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
Although this promise has not been fulfilled yet, it is also in Jesus, by His second coming, that it will find its fulfillment. And the word “Amen,” right after the promise, shows trust in God’s faithfulness to do what He said He would.
God, being faithful, can be trusted to fulfill all His promises, Jesus being the ultimate fulfillment of them all. However, we must be careful not to take any of His promises out of context or confuse God’s promises with personal dreams and desires.
We see a lot of this happening in our modern times especially blanking everything under “it’s my heart’s desire.”
Here is a basic example, the fact that God promised Abraham and Sarah a child doesn’t mean you will get a child if you call on God’s promises.
What Is The Purpose Of God’s Promises?
Some of God’s promises in the Bible were specific promises made to particular people for an exact time. These promises of God should not be taken as promises he makes to Christians today. His promise to make Abraham the father of a great nation (Genesis 12:1-3) and the promise of a son named Solomon to David (1 Chronicles 17:10-14) were not promised for us today.
You can’t be like, “oh, my offspring is going to be a great nation…” that’s when people start going down the deep end and creating false doctrines.
Most of God’s promises throughout the Old and New Testaments were intended to give hope and comfort to His people and have the same purpose for Christians today. God’s promise to Joshua to always be with him (Joshua 1:9) and Jesus’ promise to his disciples of sending the Holy Spirit (John 16:13-14) still apply to believers today, encouraging them during hardship.
Although many promises have been fulfilled, the fulfillment of these promises testifies to God’s faithfulness. God’s promise to give Canaan to his people (Genesis 17:8) was fulfilled when Joshua led the Israelites into the promised land (Joshua 21:43-45).
The fulfillment of this and many other promises confirms that God is faithful and can be trusted to fulfill His promises.
Many promises still need to be fulfilled. The promise God made through the prophet Isaiah of a new heaven and earth (Isaiah 65:17) and the promise of eternal life in Heaven with Him to those who believe in Jesus (John 11:25-26) are two examples of promises that still need to be fulfilled. Christians today have hope for the future fulfillment of these promises.
God’s promises aren’t always of good things to come. Some of His promises are meant to warn His people of what may happen if they are disobedient and don’t believe in Him. Jesus Himself said Christians would experience troubles (John 16:33). According to Ecclesiastes 12:14, “…God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil.”
How Are God’s Promises Interpreted Out Of Context?
A common mistake many Christians make is to take God’s promises out of context and then consider them to mean something different to them than God intended.
Many also ignore the conditions linked to a promise and choose to believe they will still receive what was promised, regardless of the conditions attached to it. And it just doesn’t work that way!
In Mark 6:33, for example, many read, “all these things will be added to you,” and then believe they can have anything their hearts desire. The context of this verse is where Jesus is telling his disciples not to worry about their needs (as opposed to wants), about what to eat or drink or wear, but rather to
“…seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
The conditions in Mark 6:33 that they should “…seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…” is often overlooked, and the scripture is read, interpreted, and even preached to mean that God will give his people all the things they desire, which is untrue.
God promises to provide for your needs on the condition that you seek his kingdom and righteousness first.
God’s promises are yes and amen. This is true for God’s promises, and Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of all His promises. God’s promises could be for specific people or apply to Christians today. He uses His promises to encourage Christians, give them hope for the future fulfillment of promises, and warn them. One should always consider God’s promises in context.
Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…