God's covenant with humans was made binding at Calvary when Jesus died. The commitment Christ made at the cross secured 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 clinched his victory. In Acts 2.31 we were also reminded, " 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."
A binding covenant was often sealed in the Orient with salt, which was a very expensive but needed commodity. When salt was exchanged it was considered a pledge and a promise of fidelity. "If I come to your house," wrote Bishop Pillai, (1900-1970) of the Indian Orthodox Church "and eat with you food that has been seasoned with salt, I can never betray you or do you harm. Even if you commit a crime and I am asked to testify I cannot do it because I have eaten your salt." Bishop Pillai wrote his books "Light Through an Eastern Window" and "Orientalisms of the Bible" to explain to Western Christians the oriental customs which threw light on the stories and sayings in the Bible.✞
Evangelism has to be always interlaced with the death and resurrection of Jesus. 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 wrote, "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." As he was 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 intended to be the means of spreading the Good News.We've reviewed the characteristics of evangelism and how they are applied, but where does the power come from to fulfill the evangelism mission? The Holy Spirit's quickening and gifts provide us with power for our ministry. When we offer ourselves into the service of the King, Jesus gives us back the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2.17-18 said, "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 sent 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) former Pastor of the Central Baptist Church in Syracuse wrote, "God gave Moses a rod, David a sling, Samson the jawbone of an ass. Deborah the talent for poetry, Dorcas a needle, and Apollos an eloquent tongue and to each the ability to use his gift. In so doing, every one of them did the most effective works and used their Holy Spirit gifts for the Lord." The Lord provides!✞