Chapter 2 – The Dependableness of God

“For all the promises of God in Him are yes, and in Him amen, unto the glory of God by us. Now He which establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us, is God: Who has also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” 2 Cor. 1: 20-22.

There is no quality more valuable in people than dependableness. The late Dean Stanley once said, “Show me a young man who is utterly trustworthy, whose word is as good as his affidavit, who keeps his engagements and who can always be found at his post and depended upon to do his best, and I will show you a fragment from the Rock of Ages.”

There is nothing more rare in officers of public trust and positions of responsibility and in private business than this quality of dependableness and trustworthiness, and it is counted of greater value than the most brilliant gifts and the most impulsive enthusiasm.

Now this is the aspect of the divine character the apostle brings out in the striking words of our text. His enemies at Corinth had just challenged his own trustworthiness. He had promised to visit them some time before and failed to keep his appointment and they were saying that “his word was yea and nay.” What tried him much more was that they were also ascribing the same uncertainty to the message which he had brought them and criticizing the Word of God and the Gospel of Christ as if quite as unreliable as the apostle’s own promises.

He earnestly repudiates the reflection and explains that his failure to keep his appointment to visit them was prompted solely by their own interests. He had learned that they were in such a sad spiritual condition that a visit from him would have meant the severest censure and the deepest distress and pain for them and him. “I call God for a record,” he says, “that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth,” and then he adds in the next chapter, “I determined this with myself that I would not go to you again in heaviness.”

So far therefore from a spirit of vacillation he was animated by the highest honor and affection. Then he proceeds to vindicate the Word of God from the more serious criticism which they had made against it. “The Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in Him was yea. For all the promises of God in Him are yea and in Him amen unto the glory of God by us.”

Not only so, but the work of His grace in fulfillment of His word is just as sure and steadfast as His promises, and so he goes on to say, “Now He which establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God who has also sealed us and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”

God, therefore, is not a changeable and uncertain Being, but One whose word is sure and whose work is enduring even as His everlasting throne. We have a God on whom we can utterly depend. We have a Savior who is truly “the Rock of Ages.”

There is One amid all changes who standeth ever fast;
One who covers all the future, the present and the past;
It is Christ, the Rock of Ages, the First and the Last.

God’s dependableness is unfolded in this verse in two respects, with reference to His promises and His grace.

I. The Promises of God

“All the promises of God in Him are yes and in Him amen.” God never forgets His word. Long ago He promised a Redeemer and although He waited four thousand years, the promise was at last most surely fulfilled. He promised Abraham a son and although a quarter of a century of testing intervened, that promise at last came literally true. He promised Abraham the land of promise as his inheritance and although four hundred years of trial intervened, at last the land was possessed. He promised Jeremiah that after seventy years the captives should return from Babylon and on the very hour the action answered to the word. He promised Daniel that after sixty-nine prophetic weeks, that is 483 years, Messiah should appear, and at the very day the promise was fulfilled, and the most extraordinary evidence which we have to offer to the doubting Hebrew today that Jesus is his Messiah is the literal fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel at the exact date. The Lord Jesus promised the coming of the Holy Spirit, and when the day of Pentecost was fully come, the heavens were opened and the Spirit descended. Just as true are all His individual promises to the believer. Not one jot or tittle shall fail until all shall be fulfilled. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My word shall not pass away.”

Some very beautiful and striking things are taught us in this passage about the promises of God.