Yes and Amen
Friday of Epiphany 5
9 February 2018
A local talk radio host, when wanting to invoke the name of God on the air, often says, "My Glory!" thinking thereby he has avoided a misuse of God's name. That evasion probably has precious little validity with God, whose name and glory are inseparable. In fact, that is why the attempted circumlocution works. It presumes that the divine glory is inseparable from the person of God. This presumption is entirely correct. The Psalmist exults: "Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise!" (Ps 66:1-2). God's glory is the honor that is due to Him as God. He will not permit that honor to be alienated from Him. To invoke God's glory is to invoke God.
 
Shockingly God does not guard or keep his glory to Himself, as we would hoard a precious possession or even more jealously our good reputation with others. God's glory is not hoarded by Him, but is put to work by Him. His name is given to us so that we might invoke it according to His promises to us (Ex 3:14). God has wagered His glory against our sin and poverty. He has "anted up" with His promises against our spiritual bankruptcy. And by putting His glory in the balance, he has placed Himself at risk. For where His glory is wagered He has offered Himself. God never acts for our salvation using surrogates or substitutes for Himself. He does not send mercenaries. He is the ultimate commander-in-chief who, when He goes to war, puts Himself into the battle. His promises commit Him and His glory to our need and that glory becomes completely focused in the cross of Christ.
 
God is always putting His "skin in the game." Through the incarnation He has "skin in the game." Christ has taken our flesh of Mary that He might risk Himself against our sin, paying the ultimate price of His own life on the cross of Calvary. This is not our work. It does not depend on our promises to God, for His skin is in the game. Rather it depends on His promises to us. He will not allow His glory to be alienated from Himself. He will see to our salvation in his glory Incarnated and Crucified, because His glory is on the line when He promises to save us. Therefore, we should never doubt God's promises, for they are not mere human words, but are the promises of the Word of God, whose glory is Christ the Crucified. In Him everything is Yes and Amen.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   John Chrysostom
"'All the promises of God find their Yes in him' (2Co 1:20). In Him is the yes, and in Him the Amen, unto the glory of God by us. What is this: 'All the promises of God'? Preaching promised many things; and these many things the preachers held out and preached. For they discoursed of being raised again, and of being taken up, and of immortality, and of those great blessings and unspeakable goods. As to these promises then, he says that they remain immovable, and in them there is no yes and no, that is, the things spoken were not at one time true, and at another false, as was the case about Paul's return to Corinth (2Co 1:16-17), but always true. First, indeed Paul contends for the articles of the faith, and the word concerning Christ, saying, 'My word' and my preaching, 'was not yes and no;' and next, for the promises 'for however many are the promises of God, in Him is the yes.'
 
"If the things He promised are sure and He will certainly give them, how much more is He Himself and the word concerning Him, sure? If that word is sure then it cannot be said that He now is, and at a later time is not, but He 'always' is, and is the same. But what is, 'In Him is the yes, and the Amen.' He signifies that which shall certainly be. For in Him, not in man, the promises have their existence and fulfillment. Therefore, fear not, for it is not man who is speaking, so that you should doubt; but it is God who both spoke and fulfills.
 
"'That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory'(2Co 1:20). He fulfills his promises in us, that is, and by His benefits towards us for His glory. For this is 'for the glory of God.' But if the promises are for the glory of God, they will certainly come to pass. For He will not think His own glory unimportant, even if He did think little of our salvation. But as it is, He does not think little of our salvation either, both because He greatly loves mankind, and because our salvation is bound up with His glory from these things being added to us. If the promises are for His glory, our salvation also will certainly follow. This is a theme to which Paul continually returned in the Epistle to the Ephesians, 'to the praise of his glory' (Eph 1:14) and everywhere he sets this down, and shows the necessity of this result. He says here, that God's promises do not lie. For they not only save us, but also glorify Him. Therefore, do not dwell on this; that they were promised to us; as though they could be doubted. For the promises are not fulfilled by us, but by Him. Yes, and the promises were by Him; for Paul did not speak His own words, but God's."

John Chrysostom, Homilies on 2 Corinthians, 3.4
2 Corinthians
1:12-22
  
For our boast is this: the testimony of our conscience that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. For we are not writing to you anything other than what you read and acknowledge and I hope you will fully acknowledge- just as you did partially acknowledge us, that on the day of our Lord Jesus you will boast of us as we will boast of you.
 
Because I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a second experience of grace. I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and to come back to you from Macedonia and have you send me on my way to Judea. Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to the flesh, ready to say "Yes, yes" and "No, no" at the same time? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. 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. 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. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (ESV)
Prayer
Lord Christ, Incarnate glory of God, You are the Yes and Amen of all of Your Father's promises to us. Keep us from falling into despair by focusing on our sinful lives and imperfect works rather than on the glorious promises You make and fulfill. Establish us in Your promises through the preaching of the Word and the reception of the Holy Sacrament. Help us to share Your promises with others that they might know the glory of Your grace. Amen.
 
For all those who have been diagnosed with cancer, that God the Lord would grant them healing and strength
 
For President Dale Meyer and the faculty of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, that they would be strengthened in their service of providing theological leadership to the faithful
 
For Michael Koutsodontis, that he would be strengthened in his body and renewed in his inner life
Art: DAVID, Gerard  Triptych of Jean Des Trompes (1505)
Memorial Lutheran Church
smurray@mlchouston.org
http://www.mlchouston.org
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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