An Outward Sign

Re:Verse reading–Acts 15:1-29 (day four)

V. 8 – “And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us;

When a covenant or promise is made, it is often accompanied by a seal, a ring, or a document.  This outward sign of a pledge made, gives witness of the bond between two parties.  For instance, in a marriage ceremony, a ring is given to testify to the relationship established by the sharing of the covenant.

This is one of the roles of the Holy Spirit…He is a testimony of the pledge of a relationship between a believer and God.  It is a covenant relationship!  Peter had seen it back in chapter 11…now he reminds the elders of that role of the Holy Spirit.  The Gentiles would not have the seal of the Holy Spirit if they did not have the covenant relationship.  The Spirit bears witness.

Is that true in your life?  Does the Spirit bear witness in you of a covenant relationship with God?

Author: Larry Soape

Larry Soape is the Associate Pastor for Median & Senior Adults, and Missions at FBCSA.

2 thoughts on “An Outward Sign”

  1. A covenant is a contract and a mutual agreement between parties in that contract. There are terms and conditions of the contract, responsible parties, responsibilities and requirements of goods or services and of delivery, communication, enforcements and cancellations, rewards and penalties provisions for violators or breakers, and legal rights and so on. Both parties of the contract or covenant benefit from the arrangement.

    As contract is a mutual agreement document, if one breaks the terms and conditions and the requirements, or any other terms or provisions of the the contract, the contract becomes null or void but penalties for violators may be enforced! It is a binding agreement. Contracts for any kinds of earthly engagements are administered through a contracting administrator, but for contract or covenant between believers and God, it is administered through the Holy Spirit or God’s Spirit.

    Just like with earthly contracts for goods and services or delivery between men or organizations, the Holy Spirit has all the rights to determine the direction for the existing contract, renewal or termination. I am saying this because God is the creator of the earth and of mankind so He has all rights to do whatever He pleases or displeases. We can break our relationship with God if what we do or engage in is not of His will. Good relationship is based on good and honest communication and understanding of what His will for us or for believers is!

    For believers, good relationship stems from good fellowship! In my view, fellowship is more than just socializing. We may talk whatever we please when we come to church, but my understanding is that our primary purpose is to talk about the things of God, about God’s will for believers and for mankind in general, how we can help and support one another to do the things of God, help each other to live up to the requirements of the covenant or contract with God, and to work together to fulfill God’s plan.

    Through true fellowship, believers pray together, serve together, grow in believing and age together. These are the core requirements of true fellowship. Fellowship with God and fellowship with other believers go hand-in-hand.

    When we are walking with God, it makes sense to surround ourselves with believers. We don’t avoid each other and try to uncover other believers’ sins because we are covering our own sins but stay in to help each other to keep believing in Jesus and Jesus’ mission on earth. I feel it is a great calling on my life as a Christian. I pray that the Holy Spirit will stay in me for the rest of my life. I engage and support other Christians whatever and whenever I can based on my spiritual skills and God’s given resources. Everyone does or contributes something toward a common purpose is a good fellowship. A little help will go a long way and will please God. We don’t have to be all things and be in all places. We are human beings. The willingness and extra effort count.

    What are your thoughts on Christian fellowship? What are the benefits of fellowship with God and with other believers for you? Why do you go to church? And for what? What has been a learning experience for you in fellowship? Do other believers keep you believing in God or drive you away from believing? Have you received mentoring and coaching to continue toward good fellowship with God? I am interested in learning from you!

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