God’s Yes

One of the purest gospel passages in the entire New Testament, 2 Corinthians 1, can be reduced to one word that describes the dynamic, glorious, inexpressible implication of the gospel: that word is Yes. In Christ God says Yes to the divine plan for the world, to the covenant with Israel, to the Trinitarian covenant, and to each of us.

I wonder if we might have today a Yes Fest: Where is God saying Yes as you read the Bible, as you listen to the Spirit, as you see God at work in yourself, your family, your work, your church and your community? Go ahead, speak up… Where can you say a big Amen to what God is doing?

Paul was accused being a Yes and No man, a man who seemed to say Yes but then ended up saying No — a fickle man who couldn’t be trusted. Paul, of course, denied he was a Yes and No man, but what he affirmed even more was that God was a Yes God, a faithful to-be-trusted God.

18 But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas[c] and Timothy —was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” 20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

And if you (I speak here to pastors first) can’t get a series of sermons on the word Yes, I’ve got a book for you. And if you (non-pastor) want to hear God’s faithful Yes to us in Christ — over and over — with stories and exposition and pastoral common sense, then I want to urge you to read Mike Glenn’s wondrous exploration of God’s Yes to us in Christ: The Gospel of Yes.

Mike sketches God’s goodness to us through one word: Yes. God’s favorite word, the problem with living with “No,” the Yes of creation, the Yes of the cross and resurrection and forgiveness and the Yes of You and Yes of destiny and of authentic relationships and of simplicity and finding Yes in it all…

… and when Mike asked me to write the foreword I said Yes because in that word I found so much good exposition of God’s grace that is alive and well in our world.

Some good books are hard to blog through because they spill their goods early and often — and once you’ve got them up it’s hard to keep repeating things; but a good series for a congregation keeps the same theme going until we all get it, and this Yes book by Mike does just that. This is a model for a series of sermons where you can declare the faithfulness of God weekly and show to your folks that God is on our side. In Christ God has said Yes. God’s Yes is what matters.

I wonder if we might have today a Yes Fest: Where is God saying Yes as you read the Bible, as you listen to the Spirit, as you see God at work in yourself, your family, your work, your church and your community?

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • http://prodigalthought.net ScottL

    Scot -

    We are doing a short series called ’55 of 5′ at our church in Brussels. It is 5 Sundays looking at Isaiah 55. This past Sunday, we looked at vs3b-5 (I think they originally went well together), which is about God’s everlasting covenant and faithful love promised to David. We looked at how Peter (in Acts 2:29-33) and Paul (in Acts 13:32-33) both proclaimed that, in Jesus and his resurrection, the story and promises given to Israel have been fulfilled. This is evangel-gospel-good news because it now means that all peoples will be summoned and come running (as Isaiah says in 55:5).

    In all, it IS the Messianic age in which Messiah reigns and the fulfilment is upon us of the blessings of his reign – forgiveness of sin, restoration, healing, all nations being called to be reconciled with God, etc, etc!

    Pretty exciting stuff that the evangel tells us that Israel’s story, promises, prophecies and signposts have all been summed up in Jesus!

  • dopderbeck

    Barth!! All about the Yes!

  • Luke Allison

    I’m actually having a hard time coming up with one at the moment. I’ve been immersing myself in the details of this tragedy in Aurora, and I need a dose of God’s kingdom.

  • Dawne Piotrowski

    God has been saying “Yes” to the woman He created me to be for years, but I have only recently been able to hear it above the loud “No”s which have followed me most of my life. As I read through the Bible this summer, I hear His “Yes” loud and clear through the stories of women like Deborah, Hannah, Esther, Ruth, Mary – Jesus’ mother, Mary Magdelene, Priscilla, and Junia. I hear His “Yes” in the voice of my husband, the voices of men in my local church, and the voices of men like you, Scot, and many others who are joining in God’s “Yes” to women. Thank you.

  • http://www.eric-michael.com EricMichaelSay

    As I head to my sisters wedding on Friday, I’m reminded of the hedonism, the enjoyment of the human experience, that Christ modeled for us. In an evangelical and fundamentalist culture that says “Don’t do that, don’t be like them,” things can get out of whack.

    That’s why, when I go to my sisters wedding, I will celebrate her marriage, but also just being alive with my family. We will drink to her success, dance and enjoy one another’s company.

    People have asked me recently if I think Christian culture has gone too far in becoming like the world, with alcohol at parties etc… I keep saying, the problem isn’t the alcohol at the parties, the problem is that Christians aren’t modeling what a good party can be! Don’t throw out the wine, and don’t have a mandatory altar-call. Start a culture of thankfulness for the joys of life.


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