Volume 15, No. 9 (September 2020)
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.
(2 Corinthians 1:20)
In this amazing little verse Paul summarizes the entire dynamic of God’s work on our behalf in Christ, and our response to His gracious provision: “YES” and “AMEN.”
The essence of New Testament preaching is God saying YES to all of His promises in Christ. Christ is God’s YES to us! Yes to all His promises: Yes for our salvation, Yes for our sanctification, Yes for our glorification (cf. Romans 8:30).
And, precisely because God in Christ has done everything necessary for our salvation, all that is left for us to do is accept, thank, praise, and obey: all of this is response, and is all subsumed by Paul in the word AMEN. All of our Christian living, service and worship are ways that we say AMEN to God because of His loving YES to us in Christ.
“A profession of faith is contained latently in every amen.” (Peter Brunner)
“‘Amen’ is a full and precious word in times of prayer. It doesn’t mean primarily, ‘Yes, I have now said all this prayer.’ It means primarily, ‘Yes, God has made all these promises.’ Amen means, ‘Yes, Lord, You can do it.’ It means, ‘Yes, Lord, You are powerful. Yes, Lord, You are wise. Yes, Lord, You are merciful. Yes, Lord, all future grace comes from You and has been confirmed in Christ.’ ‘Amen’ is an exclamation point of hope after a prayer for help.” (John Piper, Future Grace, 105-6)
“Jesus’ whole life of prayer and obedience and love, His whole life in the Spirit, is His self-consecration for us, for He offers, not an animal, but himself in death that He might be the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world, saying Amen in our humanity to the just judgments of God, not to appease an angry God to condition Him into being gracious, but in perfect acknowledgment of the love of God for the sinful world—to seal God’s covenant purposes for humanity by His blood.” (James B. Torrance, “Christ in Our Place” in A Passion for Christ, 44-45)
“To this you say Amen. To say Amen is to append your signature” (Augustine)
“We are accepted by God, not because we have offered worthy worship, but in spite of our unworthiness, because He has provided for us a Worship, a Way, a Sacrifice, a Forerunner in Christ our Leader and Representative, and our worship is our joyful Amen to that Worship. This is the heart of all true Christian worship. It is our response of faith to God’s grace. So we worship God ‘through Jesus Christ our Lord,’ and pray ‘in the name of Jesus Christ.’”(James B. Torrance, “The Place of Jesus Christ in Worship,” in Theological Foundations for Ministry, 352)
“Whatever else our worship is, it is our liturgical amen to the worship of Christ.” (James B. Torrance, Worship Community and the Triune god of Grace, 14)