For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. — 2 Corinthians 1:20
Together with the Apostles we profess that the divine promises have been fulfilled in Christ.
Today we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent and remember that God already promised the Messiah in the time of the old covenant. Advent, however, is also a season in which we intensively occupy ourselves with our future. After all, we are a people of the future.
Christ is the Yes
Jesus Christ is the Yes of the divine promises, because the promises given by God have been fulfilled in Christ.
- God promised that He will send a Man who will bruise the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15). On the cross, Jesus gained the victory over evil.
- Isaiah announced the coming of the Saviour (Isaiah 62:11). Thanks to the merit acquired by Jesus, man can be freed from sin and delivered from evil.
- Jeremiah announced that God would make a new covenant with His people by writing His law into their hearts (Jeremiah 31:33). The sermon of Jesus ignited the hearts of His listeners. It is His love that urges us to love Him and to follow His commandments.
- Jesus Himself will return to fulfil the promise He gave and take His own unto Himself (John 14:3).
- The Lord will come to earth again in order to establish His kingdom of peace and offer salvation to all nations on earth, perfectly fulfilling the promise given to Abram (Genesis 12:3; 22:18).
Apostles pronounce the Amen
Apostles proclaim the Amen, which means that they profess that Christ fulfils God’s promises.
- They profess Jesus’ victory over evil.
- By the authority vested in them, they proclaim forgiveness of sins to repentant believers.
- They dispense the sacraments, the signs of the new covenant.
- They proclaim the return of Christ.
- Sent to all nations, they prepare the royal priesthood, who, together with Jesus, will be active in the kingdom of peace.
We profess the fulfilment of the promise
We have been called to profess the fulfilment of the promises of Jesus.
- Our trust in Christ proves that we believe in His victory.
- Our willingness to forgive proceeds from the grace that He gives us.
- Our love testifies of the effectiveness of the sacraments: the love of God was poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:5).
- Our joy in Christ is a fruit of our hope in the Lord’s return.
- We are patient with our neighbour and offer him hospitality, because we know that God wants to save him.
Jesus announced that salvation is to be offered to all—and we say amen to this.
* Thoughts from the Chief Apostle adapted for the divine service held on 27 November 2016 at Midrand Congregation.
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