2 Corinthians 1:19-20 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. 20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.

These verses express the optimism of grace. On the theological level, Paul looks to Christ as the positive message from God. Every promise God has made is fulfilled in Christ. This includes the Old Testament Scriptures, those made in the early church, this present age, and the age to come. Christ stands at the center and focus of God’s revelation. When God speaks to humanity, it is through the grace found in Christ. The Old Testament. This grace saves and changes people. It gives direction for life and service in the kingdom. It compels and draws people towards God and full commitment of the self to God. When God makes a promise, God does not change his mind but remains true to what he reveals. Since God speaks through Christ, the Word, these promises are also guaranteed and true.

To utter the “Amen” is to add one’s confirmation and agreement with what has been said. This is Paul’s message and the Corinthians should agree with it. This optimistic message is for God’s glory, not Paul’s, the Corinthians’ or anybody else’s. The “yes” of Christ reveals the power and awesomeness of the Almighty God. This power has been, is, and will be at work in the Corinthians. Paul will later write of the transformative (3:18) and recreative (5:17) power of God in Christ.

In the context of this letter, Paul’s connects this optimism with the implied accusation of the Corinthians. No matter what plans are made and changed, these plans do not affect the essential message that Paul, Timothy, and Silvanus (a variation of Silas) preached among them. This message has always be optimistic and transformative. The Corinthians should not doubt Paul’s message just because he had to change his plans to see them. This could be viewed as heavy handed rhetoric, but Paul often connects theology to the practical situations with which he deals. Here, he gives the theological basis and uses this to remind the Corinthians of the most significant issue, and thus, they should not get so caught up in more trivial matters of change of travel plans. These verses also prepare for Paul’s defense of his message that is scattered throughout the letter.

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