Yes and Amen" by Richard Sibbes is an in-depth exploration of the importance of faith and assurance in God's promises and salvation through Jesus Christ. Sibbes emphasizes that God's promises are always certain and unchanging, using metaphors such as anointing, sealing, and earnest to illustrate how God affirms believers in their faith.
We have updated this work into modern, updated English so you can understand exactly what Sibbes wrote hundreds of years ago.
Sibbes underscores the confidence believers can have in their salvation through the inner witness of the Holy Spirit, which produces effects like joy, peace, sanctification, and guidance, assuring them of God's favor. However, he acknowledges that the level of assurance may vary among Christians due to factors like spiritual maturity and circumstances. Thus, believers should continually seek to strengthen their faith and experience greater assurance.
In Yes and Amen, Sibbes also highlights the importance of nurturing one's spiritual life through engagement with the Gospel, welcoming the Spirit's guidance, avoiding sin and worldliness, fellowship with other believers, and prayer. These practices invite the Spirit's presence and help believers gain strength to overcome struggles, find comfort in hardships, and face death with peace.
The central message of the book is that everything works out for the best for those who love God, as He is in control of everything and orchestrates all events for the benefit of His followers. God turns even the negatives in life into blessings for His followers, using sin to humble them, the corruption of nature to make them rely on His Spirit, and hardships to strengthen their faith.
Sibbes reassures Christians in "Yes and Amen" that God, being all-powerful, all-wise, and infinitely loving, will turn everything that happens to them into a blessing. They can find comfort in God alone, trusting that He is working everything out for their eternal good. To achieve a deep love for God, Christians must humble themselves, experience God's love and forgiveness, fear upsetting Him, and practice loving Him daily.
Yes and Amen offers a comforting and empowering message to Christians that their true joy, purpose, and strength lie in their relationship with God, who is always in control and works everything out for their good.
Yes and Amen by Richard Sibbes
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Yes and Amen. Or, Precious Promises, explained from 2nd Corinthians 1:19-23
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yes and no, but in him was yes. For all the promises of God in him are yes, and in him Amen, to the glory of God by us.
All of God's promises are a definite "yes" in him, and in him "Amen", to the glory of God through us.
The blessed Apostle, in order to have a better place in the hearts of his listeners, works hard here to clear any accusations they might have against him. This way, his teachings can reach their souls and have a better chance of influencing their consciences.
So, in these words we have Saint Paul's explanation for not visiting the Corinthians as he had promised. He argues that it wasn't because he was inconsistent; but rather due to their corrupt behavior. In verse 23, he says, "I call God as my witness, that it was to spare you that I did not return."
As a man, and a holy man at that, the Apostle could promise many things related to this life, and could lawfully change his mind later, if real obstacles appeared.
But the things he promises and talks about as an Apostle, they don't allow for such uncertainty. So, his focus is on avoiding any thoughts of wavering in this regard, and to uphold the credibility of the Gospel, which he had taught to the fullest. He knew well, how ready false teachers would be to convince people, that Paul was as inconsistent in his preaching, as he was in keeping his word with them. Therefore, our word is as true as God is true, he says.
The certainty of the truths of the Gospel is as solid as God himself. Jesus Christ, whom I preached among you, was not a "yes" and "no", says the Apostle, but the same yesterday, today, and forever. From this we can observe:
That the main focus of preaching in the time of the Gospel, is especially Jesus Christ. He is the Rock upon which the Church is built. Christ should be the main topic of our teaching, in his Nature, Roles, and Benefits, in the duties we owe to him, and the means by which we receive everything from him, which is faith.
If we preach the Law, and expose people's corruption, it's only to pave the way for the Gospel to enter their souls more freely. And if we emphasize holy duties, it's to make you live in a way that's worthy of the Lord Jesus. All teaching leads back to the Gospel of Christ, either to prepare the way as John the Baptist did, to humble all proud thoughts, and make us submit to him, or to make us live in a way that's worthy of the grace we receive from him.
The Bread of Life must be broken, the Sacrifice must be dissected and laid open; the riches of Christ, even his unsearchable riches, must be revealed. The Son of God must be preached to all, and therefore God, who has appointed us to be saved by Christ, has also ordained preaching, to reveal the Lord Jesus, with the heavenly treasures of his grace and glory. But let's move on.
Jesus Christ, who was preached among you, by me, and Sylvanus, and Timothy, was not a "yes" and "no".
Here note: That the agreement of Preachers in the mysteries of salvation, is an excellent way to strengthen faith in their listeners: not because of the truth itself, but because of people. So, God is pleased to accommodate our weakness, by adding Sacraments and Oath to his promises, thereby to show the more stability of his plan towards us.
By "yes" here is meant Certain, Constant, Unchangeable. The times change, but not the faith of the times. The same fundamental truth is in all ages. Sometimes indeed it is more explained, and unfolded; as we have in the New Testament several truths more clearly revealed than in the Old. There is not a new faith, but a larger explanation of the old faith. Divine truth is always the same. If there has been a Church always, there has always been a Divine truth. Now it is an Article of our faith in all times to believe in a Universal Church, certainly then there must be a Universal truth, to be the seed of this Church. Therefore we should search out, what was that "yes", that positive Doctrine in those Apostolic times of the Church's purity before it was corrupted.
The Church didn't remain pure for long, yet some there were that held the truth of Christ in all ages. Our present Church holds the same positive truths, with the Apostles before us. Therefore we say, Our Church was before Luther, because our Doctrine is Apostolic, as also is our Church that is continued thereby, because it is built upon Apostolic doctrine. Suppose we cannot show the men as they ridiculously demand; what does that matter? From an ignorance of particular men, will they conclude us to be ignorant of the Church of Christ, which has always been.
From this the true Church can easily be identified: the points of Religion where our adversaries differ from us, are just their own additions, they were not "yes". In the Apostles times, their Purgatory, Invocation of Saints, and Sacraments, of various kinds were invented by themselves afterwards. And indeed for a thousand years after Christ, many of the differences between us and the Catholics were never heard of; neither were they ever established by any Council, until the Council of Trent.
Our positive points are based upon the holy Scriptures; we seek the Old way, and the best way, as Jeremiah advises us. There was no Catholic nonsense in Abraham's time, among the blessed Patriarchs, nor in Christ's time. No, nor many hundred years after; they came in little by little, by human invention, for their own advantage; a mere strategy to get money and deceive the people. Indeed they hold many of our truths, but they add something of their own to them; they add necessity of tradition to the Scriptures, merits to faith; they add Saints to Christ in Divine Worship: they have seven Sacraments to our two. They can therefore more safely come to us, than we to them; we hold all that they should hold, only their own additions we do not hold, we leave them to themselves. So much for that.
To touch only another point, that borders a little upon it. Divine truth is of an inflexible nature; this contradicts another rule of theirs; for they hold, they may give whatever interpretation of Scripture they want: and that the current Church, must judge all previous councils. What? Does the truth change according to men's judgments? Must we bring the straight Rule to the crooked Timber to be measured? Shall the judgment of any man, be the rule of God's unerring truth? Shall present men interpret it this way, and say, it is so now? And shall others that succeed after say, whatever it was then, now it is this: and must we believe all? God forbid.
This shows, That no man can dispense with God's Law: this written Word is the same for all: truth is truth, and error error, whether men think it to be so or not. Reason is reason, in Turks, as well as among us. The light of nature, is the light of nature, in any Country as well as here. Principles of nature do not vary as Languages do: they are inborn things. And if Principles of nature are inviolable, and indispensable, much more is Divinity. Filth is filth we all agree: opinion should not be the rule of things, but the nature of the thing itself.
Therefore what is against nature, none can dispense with. God cannot deny himself. What is wrong in one age, is wrong in another, and forever wrong. There is no Monarch in the World can dispense with the Law of nature, or with the Divine Law of God. For the opinion of any man in the World, is not the rule which he may comfortably live by, but the undoubted light of Christ's written Word.
I say this particularly to challenge their base practices, who when God calls them to stand for his cause and truth, they will bend and twist the sacred truth, which is always "Yes" and "Amen", to their own selfish ends and base considerations. As if the opinion of any man in the world were the rule of their faith and obedience. This is to make God no God. Isn't right, right? Isn't the Law the Law? Isn't the Word of Christ a word that does not change, but remains steadfast to all eternity?
Be assured there is a truth of God, that we must uphold to the death, not only in opposing Heresy, but resisting of impiety wherever we encounter it. John the Baptist was a Martyr when he stood up against Herod and said, "You must not have your Brother Philip's Wife." He would not be soft-spoken in rebuking his sin, but cried out against the unlawfulness of it, even though it cost him his life. Men ought to suffer for the truth, and not for base ends deny the least word of God, because it is a divine spark from himself.
For all the promises of God, in him are "yes", and in him are "Amen".
This comes in after this manner: the word that I preached (says Paul) is unchangeable, because Christ himself is always "yes", and I have preached nothing but Jesus Christ among you; my preaching then must necessarily be a certain and unchangeable truth.
There are different interpretations of the words, but the most important is (as this Translation and the best Expositors have it), all promises are fulfilled in Christ. They're made in him and accomplished in him. All of God's promises are as constant as Christ himself - always true, eternally, and unchangeably.
Here's something to think about: ever since humanity messed up, God decided to establish a Covenant of grace in Jesus Christ, making him a second Adam, through whom we could be restored to a better state than we ever had in the first Adam. Now, there can't be any interaction between God and man without some promise in Christ. So, God now deals with us entirely through promises.
Why is that? Well, how can we, mere mortals, dare to expect anything from the great Majesty of Heaven without a guarantee from him? How can our conscience be satisfied? It can only rest in what it knows comes from God. So, for any good I hope for from God, I need to have some promise, some word from him. This is how he consistently deals with his people.
While we live in this world, we're always hopeful. We rejoice in the hope of God's glory. Now, hope always looks to the promise, some part of which is yet to be fulfilled.
How is Heaven different from Earth? Well, Heaven is a place for fulfillment: here on Earth, we have some fulfillments to encourage us, but we're always under some promise not yet accomplished.
So, what's a promise? A promise is nothing but a manifestation of love; an intention of bestowing some good, and removing some evil from us. A declaration of a person's free commitment in this kind is a promise; it always comes from love in the one making the promise, and brings goodness to the believing soul.
Now, if God loves us, it must be in one that is first beloved; hence, the foundation of the promises is in Jesus Christ. Christ has perfectly discharged our debts, and thereby reconciled lost sinners. He must first receive all good for us, and we must have it second-hand from him.
The promises in Christ are like the lifeblood of the body, they run through all the ages of the Church. Without him, there's no mercy or comfort to be had. God can't look on our flawed nature outside of Christ. So, if we ever hope for any mercy from God, we must hope for it in Christ, the promised seed.
The Promises are a gift, which we have from and through Christ. Why do the Angels attend to us? Because they attend to Christ first, who connects Heaven and Earth. So, the Angels, because they attend to Christ first, also become our attendants.
This should guide us in our dealings with God, not to go directly to him, but through a Promise. And when we have a Promise, look to Christ in whom it is fulfilled. What a comfort it is to know that we can go to God in Christ, and claim the Promises boldly, because he loves us with the same love he bears for his only beloved Son.
The Promises are as sure as the love of God in Christ is, upon which they are founded, and from which nothing can separate us. For Promises being the fruit of God's love, and God's love being founded first upon Christ: it must follow, that all the Promises are both made, and made good to us through him.
If a king loves someone because of the love he has for his own son, then that person can be assured that this love will never fail. This is because it's a natural affection that can't be altered. The king will always love his son, and therefore, he will always take pleasure in those his son enjoys.
Now, Christ is the eternal son of God, his beloved and only son, with whom he is always pleased. And through Christ, God can't be angry with those who belong to him. As surely as God loves Christ, he loves all those who are connected to him. Nothing in the world can separate his love from his own son, and nothing can separate his love from us, who are one with him.
God loves Christ's spiritual body, the Church, as much as his physical body. He has raised Christ to glory at his right hand in heaven, so why would he leave his spiritual body, the Church, in a lowly state here on earth? No, of course not. God loves every member of his son's body. He gave us to Christ, and he has chosen and anointed Christ to be a Savior for his people.
This is why God looks at us with patience, despite the constant reasons for displeasure he finds in us. He sees us in his son, and his love for us is based on his love for Christ. This is why we can approach God the Father with confidence in all our troubles, and say, "Lord, look at your son whom you gave for us, and see his poor members now before you." In ourselves, we feel fear, but in your dearly beloved son, we find joy in your presence. If we come dressed in the clothes of our older brother, we are sure to receive a blessing. But God can't stand to look at us in our own sinful state. If we bring Christ with us, then we are always welcome.
How unshakeable is the love of God and the faith of a Christian? How can the gates of hell overcome the faith of a true believer, when it is anchored in God's promise and his love? The love of God for Christ will fail as soon as the faith of a sincere Christian is shaken. If this were not the case, God's promises would be meaningless, they would be both yes and no, instead of always yes.
If the promises could be shaken, then the love of God and Christ would be uncertain. If we destroy heaven and earth, we destroy the faith of a true, persevering Christian. There is nothing in the world as solid as a believing soul. The ground he stands on makes him unmovable. Our connection with Jesus makes us like Mount Sinai, which cannot be shaken. But we must understand that there are three levels or steps of love, with a promise being the last.
1. Inner love.
2. Real action.
3. A declaration of intended action before it is done.
Hidden love doesn't provide comfort in the meantime. Therefore, God, who is love, not only loves us now and plans to show us mercy in the future, but also gives us many rich and precious promises. He not only loves us and shows it through his actions now, but he also expresses his future care for us, so that we can rely on him as surely as if we already had what he promised.
This shows us how God loves us. He not only has an inner affection and goodwill for us, but he also shows it through his words. He reveals his deep compassion for us, so that we can be comforted by it in advance. God wants us to live by faith and establish ourselves in hope, because these virtues prepare us for his promise. If there were no promises, there would be no faith or hope.
What is hope, but the expectation of what the word says? And what is faith, but a reliance on God's promise? Faith looks to the promise, hope looks to the fulfillment of the promise. Faith is the assurance of things not seen, making what is absent seem present to us. Hope waits for the fulfillment of the good contained in the word. If we had nothing promised, what would we hope for? And where would faith be founded? But God, wanting to satisfy both, gives us promises in his mercy, and seals them with an oath for our greater support. The love that led the Almighty to bind himself to us in precious promises will also provide us with the necessary grace until we possess them. He will allow us to depend on him for happiness and all the calming graces that can support the soul until it finds its perfect rest in him.
Now, these gracious expressions from our good God can be categorized in different ways. I'll just touch on a few points and show how we should behave to make comfortable use of them.
First, there are some universal promises for the benefit of all mankind, like God's promise to never destroy the world again, etc.
Secondly, there are other promises that more specifically concern the Church, and these are promises
1. of either outward things or
2. spiritual and eternal things, of grace and glory.
In the way they are promised, they can be distinguished. All of God's promises are made to us either absolutely, without any condition, like the promise of sending Christ into the world and his glorious return for judgment. No matter what the world is like, Christ did come and will come again with thousands of angels to judge us at the end.
Or the promises are conditional, like the promise of grace and glory to God's children. He will forgive their sins if they repent, etc. God deals with people by proposing mercy through a covenant and condition. Yet his covenant of grace is always a gracious covenant. He not only gives good things, but also helps us fulfill the condition with his Spirit. He works in our hearts to believe and to repent.
Thus, all promises for outward things are conditional. God has promised protection from contagious diseases and from trouble and war. He will be a hiding place and a deliverer for his people in times of danger. He will do this and that good for them. But these are conditional, as far as his wise providence sees that they can help preserve spiritual good things in them and advance the graces of the inner person. God takes liberty in our outward state, to afflict us or do us good, as may best further our soul's welfare. Because no matter what we do with these bodies, they will turn to dust and vanity before long. We must leave the world behind us; therefore, he looks to our main state in Christ, to the new creature; and as far as outward blessings may cherish and increase that, so far he grants them, or else he denies them to his dearest ones.
For we can't always enjoy the blessings of this life. Our corrupt nature is such that, unless we have something to balance it, we will overindulge and not digest them. Therefore, they are all given with the exception of the Cross, as Christ says, anyone who does anything for him will receive a hundredfold here, but with persecution. Be sure of that, whatever else he has. Let Christians expect crosses, to balance the good things they enjoy in this life.
Now, to make some use of this point. Are all the promises of any kind, whether spiritual or outward, temporal or eternal, are they all made to us in Jesus Christ? And are they certainly true, yes and amen in him? Then I urge you to get into Christ early, strengthen your connection with him by all means, without whom we have nothing that is truly good. Don't rest in anything separated from him, so as to be accepted by God.
But you might ask, doesn't God do many good things for those who are outside of Christ? Doesn't the sun shine, and the rain fall, on the just and the unjust, on the evil as well as the good? Doesn't he clothe, feed, and protect wicked people every day?
Indeed, he does, it can't be denied. But are they blessings? Are these favors to them? No, but as God says through Moses, if you sin against me, you will be cursed in your basket and your store. Cursed will be the fruit of your body and the fruit of your land, the increase of your cattle and the flocks of your sheep. Cursed at home, cursed abroad. They are cursed in their very blessings. A graceless, brutish person, even if he is swimming in worldly pleasures and has never such revenues and income to maintain his extravagance, is still a cursed creature in the midst of all.
For what are we made for, do you think? To live here only? Oh no. Then we would be the most miserable of all. There is an eternity of time coming, in which, after a few days spent in the flesh, we will live either in perpetual bliss or unspeakable torment. The very best things below have a snare in them, they hinder rather than further our eternal welfare.
How can we tell?
Because for the most part, these things make people feel safe and careless in their worship of God, leading them to disregard the power of godliness and pursue sin with eagerness. We can see from people's behavior that material things are traps for them. They are not Promises in Christ because if they were, they would come solely from God's love, which is the only thing that truly makes mercies merciful to us. Without it, even the best blessings will turn out to be a curse in the end.
If I have anything in this world (whether it's deliverance from evil or any positive thing), I can know it's for my benefit when it makes my heart more spiritual, leading me to value grace and holiness above all else. I value my relationship with Christ above all temporary things; above wealth and honor, and the favor of influential people, which at best is fleeting. Our relationship with him will support us when all these things have faded and shrunk to nothing. Christ is a never-ending source, his comforts are lasting. The good in material things quickly disappears, leaving the soul empty. Therefore, get into a relationship with Christ quickly, it's really important to you.
For this purpose, make use of the means of salvation and ask God to make his own ordinances (accompanied by his Spirit) effective for your soul. Ask him to reveal the excellencies of Christ to you and draw your affections to connect with him.
How are we in Christ?
When by knowing him, our knowledge leads our hearts to him; when our wills cling to what we know is excellent and necessary for us. When I firmly stick to Christ as the only good for me, then I love him, then I rely on him, then I find peace in him.
I can tell that I'm in a relationship with Christ if, upon my knowledge of him, my heart is united with him, and I find peace of conscience in him. Faith has a calming and stabilizing power. If I'm in a relationship with Christ, my soul will be cheered and satisfied with him alone. I know everything is certain and reliable in him, so my soul rests securely here. No matter how our outward condition may be varied and complicated, our status in Christ is steady and unchanging.
What does it mean to be a person who is not following Christ?
Imagine being caught in a storm, completely naked, with no clothes to protect your body from the harsh elements. It's like being in a tempest with no house or harbor to take cover in. You'd feel like a stone that's been removed from its foundation, disregarded and scattered here and there. Or like a branch that's been cut off from its root; what life could it possibly have? It's essentially useless, fit only to be thrown into the fire.
A person who isn't rooted in Christ, grounded in him, or wrapped in his love, is the most pitiful and contemptible being in the world. If we look at them honestly, we'll see them for what they truly are. It's a sad situation for such a person, and it's something we should deeply lament. If we could judge fairly, we'd realize that even the humblest life of a child of God is more valuable than the grandest life of any worldly king, no matter how dazzling their prosperity may seem. It's a tragic and dreadful situation for all those who ignore the grace and mysteries of Christ to satisfy their lowly desires. For such a person, there's only a thin line between them and Hell, they have no share in the Lord Jesus. As Saint Paul said, I consider everything else to be worthless compared to the priceless gain of knowing Christ, of being found in him, not relying on my own righteousness. The person who can stand in this truth on the day of judgment is truly blessed.
So, if it's true that all promises are Yes and Amen in Christ, then consider the strength of a Christian who relies on these promises. Compare him to someone who only has material possessions, like Esau who was rich in worldly goods. Can you see the huge difference? God gives them their earthly rewards, as he said to Dives, "You had your good things, the things you cared about most, you had them here." But Lazarus experienced pain, misery, and poverty. Now, the situation has changed. Lazarus is uplifted, and you are in torment.
A faithful Christian experiences the joy of numerous promises in this life (since God continues to deliver, comfort, and perfect them; renewing their spirit, and providing them with inner peace) but the best is still to come. The ultimate fulfillment of grace and glory is yet to be achieved; they are a child, they are a son, the promise here is their main inheritance.
One man gets paid immediately, and that's all he cares about. He has something tangible, and he puffs up with a sense of happiness because of it. But really, what good does it do us to have a lot of nothing? Solomon, who had experienced everything the world has to offer, concluded that it's all meaningless and frustrating. Everything in this world is uncertain, and we're uncertain in how we use them. If we don't have a life better than a purely physical one, eternal joy isn't for us. Think about a Christian, and imagine him without all the good things in the world. He's still happier than the most favored person who doesn't know Christ. The first man only has temporary things, and a lot of added misery, which his comfort and contentment make him more aware of, because he's more sensitive and fearful of evil than others. The second man, even though he lacks many comforts of this life and doesn't enjoy immediate rewards, is still rich in promises and assurances. God has committed to him, promising never to abandon him, but to be his portion forever. He has a claim to every good thing that can be shared. Living a godly life promises rewards in this life and the next. He's a fortunate man; whatever he needs for his safe journey to heaven, he's sure to get it. The one who will give us a kingdom won't deny us our daily bread; the one who has prepared a place for us will definitely keep us safe until we get there.
Apart from what we're currently experiencing, we have many amazing promises of even better things to come, which are all guaranteed in Christ. They're certain, even though our lives are unpredictable, and the joys of our life (which are less important than life itself) are changeable and fleeting. If life, the basis of all external pleasures, is just a fleeting moment, what do you think all these pleasures are?
It's a wonderful thing for a Christian to find joy in the midst of all life's changes, knowing that they have been given promises from above. These promises are held close in their heart and become a part of them through faith. These promises have an amazing ability to make something that is generally offered in the Gospel, become a personal possession. No matter what uncertainties a Christian may face, they have something solid to rely on. These promises are a definite 'Yes' and 'Amen', a sure thing that will always be there for them.
I'm saying this to highlight the benefits of being a Christian believer, to make you fall in love with the idea. Despite all the changes and unpredictability of this world, a Christian always has something to rely on. In all life's dangers, they have a solid foundation, a safe haven provided by God, as mentioned in Isaiah 26. God has secret places to protect his children during times of public unrest, when everything seems chaotic. God has a secure refuge for you. David said, "I have many troubles, but God is my constant protector." He is my shield and my fortress, whatever I need, I find in him. Isn't this comforting?
A Christian is aware that they'll be safe either here on earth or in heaven, and so they can rest easy. If you live in the secret place of the Most High, you'll stay under the shadow of the Almighty - meaning, you'll be in the love and protection of God above. As Moses said, "Lord, you have been our dwelling place from everlasting to everlasting" - meaning, you're our reliable help in the most extreme situations that can happen to us in any era.
So, rely on His promise: because God and His Word are one and the same. If we have nothing to lean on when tough times hit, we're in trouble: On our own, we're as fleeting as grass, and as transient as a story that's told, quickly fading away. But our position with God is solid; we don't have a permanent city here, illness may strike, and death may surround us at any moment. Those who have God as their refuge are truly fortunate, we reside in Him, even when we're dead; when we leave this world, we'll live with God forever. The righteous person isn't disturbed by bad news, they're not knocked off their rock and anchor, they fear no danger, because their heart is steadfast.
Isn't it an amazing state to be in Christ? To have promises in Him that ensure our protection and preservation, not just while we're in this challenging life, but even when our time on earth ends, extending into eternity. If our hearts are truly focused on God, we can face any bad news - whether it's war, famine, or disease - with a sense of peace. We're truly blessed. As the Psalmist says, every word of God is tested like silver in fire - the promises are proven and reliable; we can safely rely on them. But if we have nothing to hold onto when troubles come, we're like a person caught in a storm without any cover, surrounded by distress and misery.
The promises are our inheritance, indeed our greatest legacy in this life. Even if God were to strip us of everything else, as long as we have these promises, we are wealthy. We can echo the words of the Psalmist, saying, "My lot has fallen on good ground, your testimonies are more valuable to me than thousands of gold and silver." These promises are like obligations, binding God to us, his humble creations. If people who are down on their luck consider themselves wealthy because they have bonds (even if they don't have a single penny), then a true Christian, who has the promises of Christ as his guarantee, should consider himself rich. He has many bonds that bind God to him, not just for material goods, but for heavenly favors and spiritual blessings. He can ask God whenever he wants, and ask him to keep his word of truth.