“What are the promises of God that are yea and amen in 2 Corinthians 1:20?”
Under the law, God’s promises were conditional. He told His people in Israel that He would bless them if they obeyed Him (Lev. 26; Deut. 28). But God’s promises to us under grace are unconditional. They are yea and amen. And the answer to the question of what those promises are is found in the background of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1:20.
You see, there were some in Corinth who were judging Paul personally, questioning his authority as an apostle (1 Cor. 4:1-17), and boasting that he would never return to Corinth to shut them up (v. 18). He responded by assuring them that he would come “shortly, if the Lord will” (v. 19). When he didn’t keep that promise as swiftly as his detractors thought he should, they accused him of making promises using “lightness” (2 Cor. 1:17), and not taking his word seriously. He replied by saying,
“But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay” (v. 18).
Here he was reminding them that his promise to return to Corinth was found in an epistle that their prophets (cf. 1 Cor. 12:28) had already identified as part of the inspired Word of God (cf. 1 Cor. 14:37), and there is nothing light about the promises found in God’s Word. “As God is true,” every promise found in His Word is also true, for He wrote the Book.
So Paul’s promise to return to them was as inspired of God as the promise that the Lord will return for us at the Rapture (1 Thes. 4:15-17), a promise that Paul made us “by the word of the Lord” (v. 15). Paul eventually did return to Corinth, and the Lord will someday return for us. That’s one of the promises of God that are yea and amen.
Others are found when we compare how Paul told the Corinthians he was minded to return to Corinth, as he told them, “that ye might have a second benefit” (2 Cor. 1:15). We already have “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3), so the only second benefit we could possibly experience would be to get raptured and physically occupy those heavenly places. Once we arrive there, God’s additional promise that “we shall judge angels” (1 Cor. 6:3) from those high places in the government of heaven will also come to fruition. Bless God, those promises too are “yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us” (2 Cor. 1:20).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.