God's covenant with humans was made binding at Calvary when Jesus died. The commitment Christ made at the cross secures our salvation. In Acts 2.36, we read, "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah." Jesus' death and resurrection clinch his victory. Acts 2.31 reminds us, " Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay."✞
Salt often seals a binding covenant in the Orient. It is a costly but essential commodity. The exchange of salt is considered a pledge and a promise of fidelity. "If I come to your house," writes Bishop Pillai (1900-1970) of the Indian Orthodox Church, "and eat food with you seasoned with salt, I can never betray you or do you harm. Even if you commit a crime and you ask me to testify, I cannot do it because I have eaten your salt." Bishop Pillai wrote two books, "Light Through an Eastern Window" and "Orientalisms of the Bible," to explain to Western Christians the oriental customs that throw light on the Bible's stories and sayings.✞
The death and resurrection of Jesus must always interlace evangelism. Acts 2.32 reads, "God has raised this very Jesus from death, and we are all witnesses to this fact." Also, in Acts 2.32, Saint Luke writes, "you will not allow your faithful servant to rot in the grave." The Rev. Isaac Watts (1674-1748), who is credited with penning 750 Christian hymns and was the writer of the much-loved hymn "When I survey the wondrous cross," echoed this sentiment,
"See from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did ere such love and sorrow meet?
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?"
As a young schoolboy, Isaac enjoyed developing rhyme. Once, when asked why he had his eyes open during prayers, he responded, "A little mouse for want of stairs, ran up a rope to say its prayers." Taken off for punishment, he cried, "O father, father, pity take, and I will no more verses make!"✞
One of the seven Holy Spirit gifts is evangelism. This gift from Jesus is the means of spreading the Good News. We've reviewed evangelism's characteristics and how to apply them, but where does the power come from for the evangelism mission? The Holy Spirit's quickening and gifts provide us with energy for our ministry. When we offer ourselves into King Jesus' service, he gives us back the Holy Spirit's assistance. Acts 2.17-18 says, "In the last days, God says, 'I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions; your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy." God sends his gifts to those set aside for the work of evangelism. With the work comes the tools for the job. Dr. William Wallace Dawley (1874-1931), the Central Baptist Church's Pastor in Syracuse, wrote, "God gave Moses a rod, David a sling, Samson an ass' jawbone, Deborah, a talent for poetry, Dorcas a needle, and Apollos an eloquent tongue. To each God gave the ability to use his gift. In so doing, every one of them did the most effective work and used their Holy Spirit gifts for the Lord."✞