Thursday, January 31, 2019

2019.01.31 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Corinthians 1:15-22

Questions for Littles: How did Paul intend to come to them before (v15)? What did he intend for them to have? Where did he intend to go (v16)? And where did he intend to stop, both on the way there and on the way back? Where did he hope they would help him go afterward? What did he not do lightly (v17)? What does he say about how easily he changes his mind? Who is the perfect example of faithfulness and consistency (v18)? And what is the perfect example of God’s faithfulness (v19)? How many of the promises of God are “yes” in Jesus (v20)? And in how many of them are “Amen”? To whose glory? Through whom? Who establishes believers in Christ (v21a)? And who has anointed the officers (v21b)? What has God done to confirm His Word to us (v22a)? Whom has God given for a similar purpose (v22b)? 
In this week’s Epistle reading, the apostle is beginning to explain how careful, intentional, and purposeful he had been in skipping his previous visit to Corinth. But this gets him onto God’s own carefulness, intentionality, and purposefulness: in other words, God’s faithfulness.

The turn in the flow comes from v17 to v18, where he is explaining that he doesn’t make plans lightly or change his mind easily. This characteristic, he says, is like God. The Lord had famously said that He is not a man that He should change His mind (Cf. Num 23:19). Rather, God’s yes is yes, and His no is no, and His plan is His plan, and His purposes will all be accomplished.

This discussion of God’s faithfulness brings him to an even more favorite topic: Christ Himself. For, Christ is really the One upon whom all the promises of God center. He alone reverses the Fall. He alone atones for our sin. He alone is our worthiness for any blessing at all. So, literally, every good promise that God has made has its “yes” in Christ.

Do you marvel at God’s faithfulness to His promises? If so, give Him frequent “Amens,” whenever you consider His good promises! This is one of the main reasons that He promises anything: to fulfill it in Christ, so that we will say “Amen,” and He will be glorified through us.

He already knows that He is faithful. But He makes special display of the glory of His faithfulness, when He brings it home to our hearts, and puts a God-glorifying “Amen” on our lips! So, He establishes our hearts in Christ, making us sure of the Savior. He seals us both by His Spirit and by baptism, which physically displays this spiritual sealing. And His Spirit works in our hearts, assuring us that the promise is unbreakable until the day that it is finally fulfilled!
Which of God’s promises is most precious to you? How does it get its “yes” in Christ?
Suggested songs: ARP119W “Lord, Let My Cry Before You Come” or TPH172 “Speak, O Lord”

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