As Paul continues with his current thought, he is establishing that when he went to Corinth and spoke with them there, he wasn’t doing it half-heartedly. This should be an example for us that when we share the Gospel of Christ both in word and deed that we should recognize the gravity of sharing it.
17 Therefore, I was not vacillating when I intended to do this, was I? Or what I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, so that with me there will be yes, yes and no, no at the same time? 18 But as God is faithful, our word to you is not yes and no. 19 For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silvanus and Timothy—was not yes and no, but is yes in Him. 20 For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. 21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.
Verses 18 and 19 are key here for us to understand what God is calling us to. It isn’t about a set of regulations and rules to follow because God has a God complex. Rather, He is calling us to freedom in Him. It’s not about a list of “don’t do this, don’t do that” but rather “if you do this in Me, you will realize your purpose and experience true freedom.” We too often focus on the Ten Commandments as a list of dos and don’ts and forget that regardless if we do or don’t, we can’t all the time. This is why Jesus teaches that it’s all about love. This is His “yes” that Paul is speaking of.
God’s promises, anointing, seal, and gift of His Spirit are all acts of love that He has showered upon us in immeasurable abundance so we can give it to others. This is why Jesus is often referred to as the bridegroom and the church (the body of believers) is referred to as His bride. Despite the difficulties with marriage in our society today, our marriage to Christ is one of purity and absolute love. This is the hope we have in Him that surpasses anything in this world.
Too often we are taught by society that God is some big dude in the sky shaking His finger at us, telling us how wrong we are and that we’re going to burn for eternity because of it. There is another school of thought that teaches, however, that He is a big fluffy teddy bear and never gets angry. The problem with these theories is that the ideas are taken from the bible but they are contradictory which means they don’t tell the whole story.
Yes, we need God to rescue us from the slavery of sin. Yes, God loves us more than we can imagine. His anger burns against sinfulness not because we just don’t listen, but because He knows how much it destroys us. His warnings and words aren’t a means of trying to control us (after all, He’s God, He can do whatever He wants to us) rather He is trying to teach us that we are operating outside of our original design and we will never experience true joy that way. He wants us to flourish and enjoy life and be in communion with Him, but we tend to ignore these things and make light of the gravity of our sinfulness.
The seal of the Holy Spirit is a promise God writes on our hearts. It is the “knowing without seeing” that we experience when we decide to finally listen to what God is telling us and we make the decision to start doing things His way instead of our own. I can’t fully explain why I believe what I do about God’s existence, but I can’t unbelieve it. I can choose to ignore it but deep down my heart is sealed with the knowledge and promises of God and it cannot be undone. I’ve chosen to say, “yes Lord, I understand I need you and that you love me so you sent your Son to cover my sins that separate me from you. But I need your continued help to transform to your will. Fill me with your Spirit and guide me. Thank you for your love, grace, and mercy upon my soul. I want an intimate relationship with you. Show me the way.”
Since then, I’ve had an unwavering knowledge in my heart of His existence and His love for me. I haven’t necessarily always listened to what He has told me, but as I learn to listen and follow His ways with the guidance and help of the Holy Spirit, I am discovering that yes, He is faithful, He is loving, and He knows what is best for me. Do you want to experience this “yes in Him”?