I am a one-woman amen corner. And it doesn't matter who is speaking, whether it be my husband or someone else, when I hear True Truth, I say (a sometimes enthusiastic) "Amen!"
I feel sorry for anyone too self-aware to speak that simple but powerful declaration in church. It is so much more than a mere affirmation to the speaker. It is so much more than even myself agreeing with what has been spoken. Oh, the Amen is so Biblical!
Let's go to the Principle of First Mention. We first see the Hebrew "Amen" as the required response to the law of God. In fact, first mention is something about the belly swelling and the thigh rotting, and all the women were to declare...."AMEN!"
Then, if you study it out, the "Amen" was significant in the Old Covenant, as the primary response of God's people to what was the Word of the Lord in their time. There was no real "Amen" before the law. And after the law was given, the law was all they had. (That sounds so simplistic, but it is profound!) All God's people had, as a means of relating to the One True God, was Mosaic law...of course they loved it. The law was the mechanism that set them apart from all the other nations of the earth. Of course, the "Amen" was spoken by them in response to what they heard.
That small-but-powerful word, "Amen", in all its Hebrew glory, and in its original form, found its way into the New Covenant Greek. How did this happen? Because Christ is "The Amen". He was the plan, from before the world began.
Look, if you will, at almost every "Amen" declared in the New Testament. You will find it is a hearty response to the Word of the Lord in our time. You will find it is the hearty response to....grace.
The "Amen" is the hearty response to the person of Christ.
No longer is it the hearty response to a list of rules and their blessings and consequences. No longer is it a response to anything we can or can't do, should or should not do.
Now, the Amen is the heart's response to what Christ Has Done. And my gospel-loving-girlfriend, whenever you hear this Gospel being preached, it will do your heart good to declare, "Amen!"
It is plumb powerful. Every time you do it, you are declaring your heart with your mouth, and that can't help but change you, bit by bit, declaration by declaration.
For crying out loud, say it out loud. Don't whisper it. Say "yes!" to the good news!
The way we relate to God has changed radically. The veil has been torn all-two-pieces, all of human history cleaved into two separate epochs, Before Christ, and After Him. The law was given, then Grace came (John 1). In Christ, every word of the law was fulfilled and finished. His obedience has become the Only Obedience - and all our obedience flows as a response to His gift of righteousness. Any "obedience" other than that which is grounded in this belief- and this believed radically - is self righteous sin, it does not flow from faith, and it will not cut muster.
The message of the grace of God - Christ Alone - is all we have. Christ is the Word of the Lord, declared to us, in our time (Hebrews 1). Of course we love it!
My heart throbs with emotion and my eyes well with tears as I say to you right now:
Oh, if David, the man after God's own heart, knew in his day what we know in ours, what do you think his response would have been?!?! Do you really think he would have clasped the law to his bosom, and insisted that he remain, even to the smallest degree, in the Old Covenant? Do you really think he'd not fall to his knees in awe and ceaseless praise at the sight of Jesus, died and risen for his sin? Oh, this was the man who prophesied, "Blessed is the man whose sin is forgiven, whose iniquity is covered - blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute sin!"
What if David were told, "Not only does Yahweh not impute your sin to you, David, He credits to you His holiness!" What if David had been told what he did not yet understand about Yeshua - God coming to earth as man to keep the law in David's place? What if he was told, "Behold, the lamb of God, who takes away your sin, David!" Do you really believe he would desire the shadow more than the Substance?
No, I tell you by the Spirit, David would completely unclothe himself and dance, at this kind of Good God-News. His heart would throb with passion, his eyes would spill with tears, and he would, in our time, say something like this:
"Thou hast commanded us to keep (understand, implement) your New Covenant diligently - O that my ways were directed to keep your New Covenant! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto the gift of Jesus Christ! I will praise you with uprightness of heart, when I will have learned of your Gift of Righteousness! I will keep this New Covenant - for you have promised you will never leave me nor forsake me. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Thy Gospel...Jesus Christ have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, Oh Lord, teach me this New and Living Way. With my lips have I declared all this Good News from Thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Your New Covenant as much as in any and all riches!" (a few verses in Psalms 119, reverently paraphrased and transposed into New Testament reality.)
It is all about Jesus, in our time.
At the very least, King David would respond, "AMEN." When we join him and others, in this very ancient and Biblical response, we finally step from our solipsism into True Community. "The Amen" has always been as much a corporate response as it is individual. The "Amen" lets us take our place among the elect of God.
"The grace of the Lord JESUS Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen."
"Grace be with all those who love our Jesus in sincerity. Amen."
"I am the First and the Last. I am He that lives, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen. And I have the keys of hell and of death."