-by Tony Warren
ften when a Pastor is in the middle of a sermon, and he reaches a particularly cogent or compelling part of the message, someone in the Congregation will say, "Amen!" This is most often done to show assent or agreement with what has been said. The question we will address in this FAQ is, "What does amen mean, and is saying it in the congregation a Biblical thing to do?"
First of all, amen is a word used so frequently in the Church that you would think that most Christians would know it's meaning. However, many do not. Others tend to use the word frivolously, some even thinking that it simply means 'the end.' But this word is much more than just the standard "thing to say," or the appropriate ending of a prayer.
[amen] is one of the few words of scripture which is written in it's original Hebrew form. In fact, it is practically a universal word, having been adopted directly from the Hebrew into Greek, Latin, English, Spanish, and many other languages. Found both in the Old and the New Testaments, it is also translated in different ways, depending upon the context of the passage in which it is found. This Hebrew Amen is derived from the root [aman], which means to be firm or solid in the sense of permanency. Thus by implication, it means to be sure, true or faithful. So whenever we see this word Amen used in scripture, it is affirming truth, or illustrating something is said that is of absolute certainty. We can get a better understanding of the word in looking at the way God uses it in a slightly different context than we normally would see it. Here [amen] is used as a title for God, illustrating His faithfulness to His promises. What does amen mean
- "That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes."
- "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;"
- "Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death."
- "Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice."
- "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen."
- "And the Levites shall speak, and say unto all the men of Israel with a loud voice,
- Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen."
- "Cursed be he that lieth with his father's wife; because he uncovereth his father's skirt. And all the people shall say, Amen.
- Cursed be he that lieth with any manner of beast. And all the people shall say, Amen.
- Cursed be he that lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.
- Cursed be he that lieth with his mother in law. And all the people shall say, Amen."
- Affirming from their heart that they believe that what God said is perfect, absolutely true, and faithful.
- Making an affirmation in agreement to what is being read or preached as the gospel truth to which they are dedicated.
- Affirming the certainty that their prayers and petitions, when asked in accordance to God's will being done, are pleasing to God and will be heard by Him.
- "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
- "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil."
Copyright ©2003 Tony Warren
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