The Amen and its Consequences.

A soliloquy on 2 Cor. 1:18-22.

Omicron (T. Oliver).

"God is faithful," is a prominent statement in Ch. 1 of the first epistle. The same statement "God is true" or "faithful" is made at the opening of the above passage in the second epistle. So it was a logical conclusion that the apostle's preaching was not equivocating, not saying "Yes" and "No" in the same breath or saying one thing and meaning another! Then the subject of his preaching, the Son of God, necessarily partook of the same character. The argument was one in ethical congruity, i.e., it was unbelievable that one who had such a subject to preach and who enforced it emphatically would be untruthful or controlled by considerations of expediency! Then he leaves the subject of the character of his preaching, changing the verb tense from the aorist (egeneto,* was) [*Alternative reading is estin, 3rd pers. sing. pres. indic. of eimi to be, but the change to the perfect represents the action as completed re the present time.] in the first passage to the perfect (gegone) in the second passage, signifying that the substantiation of the truth is in Christ, the Son of God. The alternative and possibly better reading of v. 20 is "in Him is the yea, wherefore also by Him is the Amen to God for glory by our means," i.e., by means of the apostle and his associates. The promises of God have been fulfilled and ratified in Christ. He is the incarnate Amen of these promises. His words were based on immutable certainty. In His life and works the promises of God were fulfilled and justified. Similar scriptural references are "I am the truth," "He that is true," and "the Amen, the faithful and true witness," all putting emphasis on the same fact. To the Greek nai is added the Hebrew Amen to give greater emphasis, as in the Revelation where the most solemn expressions are rendered in both Greek and Hebrew.

(Justin said the Congregation uttered Amen after the prayers in the synagogue, the people shouting the Amen "so be it." They read "open ye the gates that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth, literally the Amen, may enter in" (Isa 26., 2). An Amen if not well considered was called an "orphan amen." Whoever said such his children would be orphans, i.e., due to a hasty Amen his days would be shortened. But when distinctly said at length, lengthening his days would be the result).

Then the Apostle in v. 21, includes his readers in the association in establishment or confirmation in (or attachment unto) Christ, i.e., an actual incorporation with Him. As to such there are frequent occurrences in Scripture. Here is a notable threefold statement: (1) confirmation or establishment (bebaion), (2) anointing (chrisas), (3) sealing (sphragizo), by God. It is always instructive to compare scripture with scripture, so (1) Confirmation "shall confirm you unto the end," (1 Cor. 1:8) in the future tense; "stablished in the faith" (Col. 2:7); "the word confirmed unto us" (Heb. 2:3); "the heart established" (Heb. 13:9) are other examples of the usage of the same verb. (2) Anointed, used in Luke 4:18 of Christ also in Acts 4:27, Acts 10:38 and Heb. 1:9. How wonderful it is that what is predicated of Christ should be credited to us, that we should be anointed as He. This thought is continued as "unction" (1 John 2:20), and anointing (1 John 2:27). A spiritual intelligence in the power of the Holy Spirit (3) "Sealed," used in sealing the stone (Matt. 27:66) Jesus the Son of Man was sealed by God the Father (John 6:27), so we are sealed with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13), "sealed unto the day of redemption" (Eph. 4:30). We are the property of God. In the Revelation, there are many instances of sealing, mainly referring to the servants of God, the tribes and the sayings or documents of prophecy. In 2 Cor. 11:10, "no man shall stop me of this boasting" (literally "this boasting shall not be sealed to me"). Coupled with the sealing is the earnest of the Spirit given in our hearts. The Greek word arrabona is an exclusively Pauline expression appearing three times, viz., in 2 Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1:14, and here. Originally a Hebrew verb (see Jer. 30:21; Neh. 5:3), meaning to mix or to exchange or to pay first instalment as a pledge, it is also used as a cognate noun in the last sense in Gen. 38:17-18. It was probably carried to Greece by Phoenician merchants, then into Latin writings, hence to modern languages even into old Scotch as "arles" at the engagement of a farm worker! In the New Testament the Christians were not to think that their present spiritual endowment was final. It was a pledge of greater things to come. Under a Hebrew image, "first fruits of the Spirit" (Rom. 8:23), the expression may be taken as an example of the genitive of apposition, i.e., the earnest which is the Spirit.